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Forbes

Forbes reporter Christ Westfall spotlights “The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines,” a new book by Prof. David Autor, Prof. David Mindell and Research Scientist Elizabeth Reynolds that explores the future of work in America. “The US has allowed traditional channels of worker voice to atrophy without fostering new institutions or buttressing existing ones,” they write. “It has permitted the federal minimum wage to recede to near irrelevance.”

Inside Higher Ed

The MIT Press will publish all monographs and edited collections on an open-source access basis this upcoming spring, reports Suzanne Smalley for Inside Higher Ed. The move presents a “model that scholars and librarians say could be revolutionary for cash-strapped libraries, university presses and a dwindling number of humanities scholars,” writes Smalley.

NPR

Prof. Azra Aksamija speaks with NPR’s Scott Simon about her book "Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp," which spotlights the inventions and designs created by Syrian refugees at the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. “For me, you know, what's so powerful about them is they visualize, on the one hand, this ingenuity of human spirit, yes, and resilience but, on the other hand, really, what is missing because people invent what is not provided,” says Aksamija, “and what is not provided are basic ideas of what constitutes human - essential human needs.”

NPR

Greg Rosalsky of NPR’s Planet Money spotlights a new study co-authored by Prof. David Autor that examines the impact of the China Shock on Americans working in the manufacturing industry. Rosalsky notes that the research by Autor and his colleagues on the China Shock demonstrates what happens “when a bomb explodes on a community's main industry. The community doesn't just bounce back. Workers don't just shift to new sectors or move to new places. The social fabric of the community gets ripped apart. Destitution, squalor and depression set in.”

Guardian

Prof. Azra Akšamija, founder of the MIT Future Heritage Lab, speaks with Guardian reporter Greta Rainbow about her new book “Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp,” which spotlights inventions created by residents of the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. “In a disaster, it is really important to support the cultural revitalization of affected communities, not just the empty symbols of physical monuments,” says Akšamija. “And isn’t the culture they are producing while being displaced a heritage of the future?”

CBS News

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with David Pogue of CBS Sunday Morning about what’s causing the current supply chain breakdowns. "The underlying cause of all of this is actually a huge increase in demand,” says Sheffi. “People did not spend during the pandemic. And then, all the government help came; trillions of dollars went to households. So, they order stuff. They order more and more stuff. And the whole global markets were not ready for this."

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Nina MacLaughlin spotlights the MIT Press Bookstore, which has reopened in a new space in the MIT Kendall Gateway. “The new space has more square footage than its previous home, and besides offering the books and journals published by the titular press, the bookstore also carries a selection of academic and general interest titles,” writes MacLaughlin, “including a space dedicated to STEAM books for kids, with special attention on the new MIT Kids Press and MITeen Press titles.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Damien Cave spotlights Prof. Alan Lightman’s book, “In Praise of Wasting Time.” Cave writes that Lightman’s book “combines personal anecdotes with research on the way our wired world alters the way humans think, and guidance on how to resist the addiction of what he calls ‘the grid.’”

Forbes

Graduate student John Urschel speaks with Forbes contributor Talia Milgrom-Elcott about how his mother helped inspire his love of mathematics and the importance of representation. “It’s very hard to dream of being in a career if you can’t relate to anyone who’s actually in that field,” says Urschel. “One of my main goals in life as a mathematician is to increase representation of African American mathematicians.”

Inside Higher Ed

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Kim writes that “Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn,” a book by Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, and research associate Luke Yoquinto is “an important contribution to the literature on learning science and higher education change.” Kim adds that “Grasp can provide the foundations of what learning science-informed teaching might look like, with some fantastic real-world examples of constructivist theory in pedagogical action.”

New Scientist

In an article for New Scientist, Vijaysree Venkatraman reviews a new book by Kate Darling of the Media Lab, which explores whether we should think of robots as more like animals than humans. “Unlike animals, robots are designed, peddled and controlled by people, Darling reminds us. Her timely book urges us to focus on the legal, ethical and social issues regarding consumer robotics to make sure the robotic future works well for all of us,” writes Venkatraman.

 

USA Today

USA Today reporter Barbara VanDenburgh spotlights Media Lab research specialist Kate Darling’s new book, “The New Breed: What Our History with Animals Reveals about Our Future with Robots.” VanDenburgh writes that in the book, “An MIT Media Lab researcher and technology policy expert argues that treating robots more like we treat animals, with a bit of humanity, will serve mankind well.”

CNN

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with CNN’s Zachary Wolf about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected supply chains, impacting the supply of ketchup packets and causing delays in computer chips. “During the pandemic many industries reduced their orders and suppliers reduced their orders and capacity even further (because they anticipated that future orders will also be reduced),” says Sheffi. “When the economy came back, there was no capacity to snap right back.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, M.J. Andersen highlights Prof. Sara Seager’s book, “The Smallest Lights in the Universe.” Seager’s memoir is "half hymn to the stars and half guide to grief recovery,” writes Andersen. “Lured by her faith in finding life elsewhere, she continued her research on exoplanets — versions of other star-orbiting Earths — and methods for detecting them.”

New York Times

New York Times contributor Vivian Gornick reviews “The Empathy Diaries,” a new memoir by Prof. Sherry Turkle in which “she seeks to tell the story of her own formative years and how she became the distinguished social theorist that she is today.”