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Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that sleeping more may not improve performance or well-being, especially if night-time sleeping is often interrupted, reports Arianne Cohen for Fast Company. “The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep quality may be essential,” writes Cohen. “Participants experienced many nightly sleep interruptions, a saga familiar to anyone who lives with children.”

Issues in Science and Technology

Writing for Issues in Science and Technology, President L. Rafael Reif examines Vannevar Bush’s groundbreaking 1945 Science, the Endless Frontier report and considers how our needs today have changed. “To meet this moment, we need to ensure that our federally sponsored research addresses questions that will enhance our competitiveness now and in the future,” writes Reif. “Our current system has many strengths…but we must not allow these historical advantages to blind us to gaps that could become fatal weaknesses.”

Financial Times

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Financial Times reporter Martin Sandbu about the need for better economic “plumbing,” the shortcomings of policy to address climate change and the state of the profession of economics. Duflo notes that before the pandemic there had been improvement in quality of life around the world, "in part because of more focus on these quality of life issues and, I would argue, a little bit more attention given to plumbing and setting pragmatic objectives and programs as opposed to aiming for some more elusive growth.”

7 News

Students in Prof. Azra Akšamija’s class created Covid-19 masks that reflected their experiences and shared powerful messages with the world, reports 7 News. “Students learn how to articulate problems they see in the world and issues that we are facing,” says Akšamija. “And to communicate that and translate that through their designs.”

The Guardian

Writing for The Guardian, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of a worldwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign. “Vaccinating the world will be crucial if countries are going to act together to confront the climate crisis,” they write, “which will require many of the same things as delivering vaccines: resources, innovation, ingenuity and a true partnership between rich and developing countries.”

United Press International (UPI)

UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that a new study by MIT researchers finds that people tend to follow a predictable travel pattern that remains consistent in countries around the world. The findings could help urban planners “better understand how populations interact with their surroundings, as well as assist city planners with zoning, infrastructure and other development decisions,” writes Hays.

Motherboard

Researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab have uncovered a new travel pattern in human mobility that remains consistent across four continents, reports Beck Ferreira for Motherboard. “The notion that distance and frequency of visitation are related is in accordance with intuition,” the researchers explain. “What is surprising is that the relationship between these two quantities can be described by a simple and clean mathematical law.” 

Financial Times

In a letter to the Financial Times, graduate student Daniel Aronoff explores the effectiveness Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s regional policies. “If Israel severely cripples Hamas and Fatah emerges the winner of that contest, it will be an improvement from the standpoint of Israeli security, since Fatah is not committed to the goal of destroying Israel,” writes Aronoff.

The Tech

MIT has announced a new climate action plan aimed at helping the Institute tackle climate change, reports Kristina Chen for The Tech. The plan offers increased opportunities for student involvement and a new organizational structure. Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, explains that MIT feels “that it’s our responsibility and duty to try to make a genuine difference, and to do that, we’re going to need the help of everyone in the community.” 

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of helping other countries avoid a repeat of the coronavirus surge India is facing. “The world needs to look beyond India and avoid yet another mistake of timing,” they write. “We cannot afford to repeat the experience of the first wave, when we didn’t realize just how quickly a virus can travel. Neither should nations be lulled into a sense of false security by the progress of vaccination campaigns in the United States and Europe.”

WSHU

Profs. Elsa Olivetti and Christopher Knittel speak with J.D. Allen of WSHU about the future of renewable energy in New England. Olivetti notes that the MIT Climate & Sustainability Consortium is aimed at “looking at the role of industry in helping to accelerate the transition to reduce carbon emissions, and the idea is that by convening a set of cross economy, leading companies with the MIT community, we can identify pathways towards decarbonization particularly focused on those industries outside of the energy producing sector.”

Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien

Elisabeth Reynolds, executive director of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, speaks with Soledad O’Brien about how to ensure workers aren’t left behind in the transition to a more digital workforce. “If we can find pathways to the middle where we do see growth and demand for workers - construction, healthcare, the trades, manufacturing, places where we are seeing opportunities - that move can really be a new lifeline for people,” says Reynolds. 

The Boston Globe

In an article for The Boston Globe, President Emerita Susan Hockfield and Prof. Ernest Moniz, former secretary of energy, highlight alumnus George Shultz’s PhD ’49 visionary approach to tackling climate change and the development of new technologies. "George was masterful in bringing together people and ideas from disparate disciplines to find new kinds of solutions to daunting political, technological, and organizational problems," they write. "He created communities of shared concern, which he recognized was the way to get things done and to have lots of fun doing so, frequently reminding us, 'If you want to land together, you better take off together.'"

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reporter Dieter Holger spotlights the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium. Holger notes that in January “IBM joined a dozen other companies—including Apple Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Boeing Co. —as the inaugural members of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium to develop technologies to combat climate change.”

Associated Press

Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala MCP ’78, PhD ’81 has been selected to lead the WTO, writes David McHugh for the AP. “Her first priority would be quickly addressing the economic and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as by lifting export restrictions on supplies and vaccines and encouraging the manufacturing of vaccines in more countries,” writes McHugh.