October 4, 2019
The Economist spotlights “The Redemption of Vanity,” an artwork conceived by MIT artist in residence Diemut Strebe in collaboration with Prof. Brian Wardle, in which a diamond disappears behind the blackest material ever created. The Economist notes that the piece was a “stark demonstration of allotropy—the fact that a single element can come in many guises, depending on the arrangement of its atoms.”
Forbes contributor Kerry McDonald spotlights how MIT alumnus Kelly Smith started Prenda, a network of micro-schools. Smith was inspired to start Prenda by the computer coding clubs he started for his son, where he noticed that, “learning is a very different thing when a human being wants to learn something than when a human being doesn’t want to learn something.”
Dr. Francis Collins writes for the NIH that MIT researchers have developed an imaging technique that makes it possible to view dozens of proteins in the human brain in rapid succession. The technique, “may shed light on key differences among synapses,” writes Collins, and “provide new clues into the roles that synaptic proteins may play in schizophrenia and various other neurological disorders.”
Prof. Dava Newman speaks with Loren Grush of The Verge about her work developing a new type of spacesuit that would accommodate both men and women. “It’s a different design approach fundamentally,” says Newman. “Rather than shrinking spacecraft around someone, it’s saying ‘Oh here’s what the human does and how do we design a suit around the human capabilities?’”
A Mighty Girl profiles the work of Prof. Esther Duflo, the second woman and the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Duflo and her fellow laureates, “have helped millions of people around the world with their research to develop practical interventions to alleviating global poverty,” notes A Mighty Girl.
Inside Higher Ed reporter Lindsay McKenzie notes that the Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research has released its findings on how to increase the open sharing of MIT publications, data, software and educational materials. “The task force recommend that MIT ratify a set of open-access principles, create an open-access fund for monographs and work with department heads to encourage open practices across all disciplines,” writes McKenzie.
Prof. Simon Jäger speaks with Peter O’Dowd of WBUR’s Here & Now about how in Germany, workers are able to elect workers to the corporate board. “We found that these companies produce more in-house and [labor] actually become more productive,” Jäger explains. “We don't find effects on negative effects on [overall] productivity, for example.”