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In the Media

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Fortune reporter Shawn Tully writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers that examines the amount of e-waste Bitcoin generates. The researchers found that: “In 2020, the Bitcoin network processed 120 million transactions,” writes Tully. “For every sale or purchase recorded on the blockchain, the miners disposed of e-waste equal in weight to two iPhone 12 Minis. In other words, the industry trashed the equivalent of 240 million of the 135 gram mobile devices.”

Boston Herald

Boston Herald reporter Rick Sobey spotlights how Army Maj. David Frost, a graduate student in the Sloan School of Management, is running in this year’s Boston Marathon to help raise funds for Boston Children’s Hospital, where he had emergency surgery for a cavernous angioma when he was eight-years-old. “It was a life-changing moment for me,” says Frost. “I’ll forever be thankful for the work they do, the care they provide, and their ability to show empathy for kids.”


A new study by graduate student Chi Heem Wong examines panic selling during periods of stock market volatility dips, reports Kate Dore for CNBC. “Panic selling is predictable,” explains Wong. “It’s pretty consistent over time that people with certain attributes tend to panic sell more often than others.”

Inside Higher Ed

Institute Professor Paula Hammond, head of MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, has been selected to serve on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, “a group of external advisers tasked with making science, technology and innovation policy recommendations to the White House and the president,” reports Alexis Gravely for Inside Higher Ed. Professors Maria Zuber, MIT vice president for research, and Eric Lander, the president’s science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, are two of the co-chairs for the council.


Forbes contributor Jeff Kart spotlights the teams selected for MIT Solve’s Resilient Ecosystems Challenge, which is focused on how communities can sustainably protect, manage and restore their local ecosystems. “Ecosystems are a critical resource for communities in so many ways, and face their own pressures from both the climate crisis and development,” says Alexander Dale, the lead for sustainability and U.S. communities at MIT Solve. “Finding ways to strengthen ecosystems against these shocks and stresses while also helping local communities thrive is key for the long-term success of humanity.”


Research affiliate Hunt Allcott speaks with Vice reporter David Shultz about his research on the nutrition gap in America. Allcott and his colleagues “have proposed a sort of expansion on the soda tax, in which unhealthy foods are taxed more, and that money is used to subsidize healthier foods,” writes Shultz.

Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Visiting Prof. Susan J. Blumenthal and research scientist David Kong underscore the need to reimagine America’s public health infrastructure. “A new multidisciplinary academic field of public health technology should be established to integrate diverse expertise in public health, technology, engineering, data analytics, and design to help build the products, programs, and systems necessary to modernize the nation’s public health infrastructure and ready it for 21st-century challenges and opportunities,” they write.

A new study by MIT researchers finds that more people started walking during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, but how much they walked was correlated to their income levels, reports Arianna MacNeill for The researchers found “people in higher-income areas walked more during the pandemic, while people in lower-income areas – including neighborhoods with more BIPOC and those suffering from long-term illnesses like diabetes and obesity – walked less,” writes MacNeill.

New York Times

New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall spotlights Prof. David Autor’s research exploring the state of men in the U.S., including the growing gender gaps in educational attainment and the labor market.   

Boston Globe

President L. Rafael Reif and Linda Henry, CEO of Boston Globe Media Partners, took part in a wide-ranging fireside chat during the inaugural Globe Summit, touching upon everything from the urgent need to address the climate crisis to MIT’s response to Covid-19, the Institute’s approach to AI education and the greater Boston innovation ecosystem. “This is such an important global issue,” says Reif of climate change. “It’s the most serious challenge we have in our times.”

Fast Company

“The Guardians: Unite the Realms,” a video game developed by Media Lab developer Craig Ferguson, has been awarded Fast Company’s 20201 Innovation by Design award in the Wellness category. The game employs behavioral activation techniques to address mental health, allowing players to advance when they’ve completed tasks such as going on a walk or drawing a picture.


Mashable reporter Meera Navlakha writes that researchers from the MIT AgeLab have found that when using partially automated driving systems drivers may become less attentive. The researchers found that when using the Autopilot system in Tesla vehicles, “visual behaviour amongst drivers is altered before and after Autopilot is disengaged. That means before the feature is switched on/off, drivers look less on the road and pay more attention to ‘non-driving related areas.’”

USA Today

MIT researchers are developing plants that can glow in the dark and provide light all night, reports USA Today. “The high-tech plants are embedded with nanoparticles that absorb light during the day or from other light sources like LEDs. After the lights go out, they slowly release that stored energy as luminescence over time.”

Fast Company

Graduate student Ken Nakagaki’s tiny transformable robots, called Hermits, have changeable mechanical shells that allow the robots to acquire new capabilities, reports Mark Wilson for Fast Company. The Hermits project has been selected as the winner of Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards in the Student category. 

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Janelle Nanos spotlights how MIT and the food incubator CommonWealth Kitchen will be hosting three new vendors in the Launchpad dining hall in the Stratton Student Center as part of MIT’s goal to support diverse, local start-up food businesses and help create a more just, equitable, and sustainable food economy. “The move stems from the July 2020 announcement by President Rafael Reif that MIT would work with more minority-owned businesses as part of its effort to fight systemic racism on campus,” writes Nanos.