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GBH

Prof. Jon Gruber speaks with GBH hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan about the impact of political corruption on economics worldwide. The United States “has an incredibly dedicated, professionalized civil government,” says Gruber. “People go into government and spend much of their careers serving really the public good.”

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Arianna Salazar-Miranda SM '16, PhD '23 explore the possibility and potential of developing 15-minute cities in America. “If implemented correctly, the 15-minute city can be an agent of freedom: freedom from traffic jams, freedom to live in a healthy environment and freedom to be outside,” they write. “It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but our research shows that almost every community in America could benefit from a few more well-placed amenities.”

E&E News

Michael Mehling, deputy director of the Center for Energy and Environment Policy Research, speaks with E&E News reporter Benjamin Storrow about the impact of global climate deals on climate change. “The history of the Paris Agreement suggests that global climate deals do make a dent in emissions,” Mehling says. “But the impact can be subtle and felt over time.”

NPR

Prof. Tavneet Suri speaks with NPR reporter Nurith Aizenman about her ongoing research studying the impact of universal basic income with GiveDirectly, a U.S. charity that provides villagers in Kenya with a universal basic income. Suri says her results thus far, “add to the evidence that many poor people are trapped in poverty by a lack of capital for precisely the kinds of transformative investments they would need to vault them into higher incomes.”

NPR

Prof. Tavneet Suri speaks with NPR hosts Ari Shapiro and Nurith Aizenman about her research with GiveDirectly a U.S. based charity that provides villages in Kenya with universal basic income. Suri’s work studies how the method of income delivery payments – monthly income or single lump sum payments – can impact communities. “We need to see if these effects last,” says Suri. “Does it just disappear, or was this enough to keep them going forever?” 

Vox

New research by Prof. Tavneet Suri and Prof. Abhijit Banerjee explores how to most effectively direct cash to low-income households, reports Dylan Matthews for Vox.  Suri and Banerjee compare “three groups: short-term basic income recipients (who got the $20 payments for two years), long-term basic income recipients (who get the money for the full 12 years), and lump sum recipients, who got $500 all at once, or roughly the same amount as the short-term basic income group,” writes Matthews. “Suri and Banerjee found that the lump sum group earned more, started more businesses, and spent more on education than the monthly group.”

The Guardian

Prof. Tavneet Suri discusses GiveDirectly, the world’s largest universal basic income (UBI) program, which has been providing almost 5,000 people in Kenya with “a payment of about 75 cents (62p) a day since 2017,” reports Philippa Kelley for The Guardian. “We do see people leaving low wage jobs,” says Suri. “They are going and starting businesses, and the businesses are doing great because there’s money around.”

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores the concept of the “15-minute city,” which is aimed at creating walkable neighborhoods. “The 15-minute city must be paired with investment in transport between neighborhoods,” writes Ratti, noting that investment is especially needed in public transportation to ensure that 15-minute cities do not contribute to greater segregation.

Science News

Science News reporter James Riordon writes that by employing a new technology called frequency-dependent squeezing, LIGO detectors should now be able to identify about 60 more mergers between massive objects like black holes and neutron stars than before the upgrade. Senior research scientist Lisa Barsotti, who oversaw the development of this new technology, notes that even next-generation gravitational wave detectors will be able to benefit from quantum squeezing. “The beauty is you can do both. You can push the limit of what is possible from the technology of laser power and mirror [design],” Barsotti explains, “and then do squeezing on top of that.”

The Boston Globe

President Biden has awarded Prof. Emeritus Subra Suresh ScD '81, the former dean of the MIT School of Engineering, the National Medal of Science for his “pioneering research across engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences,” reports Alexa Gagosz for The Boston Globe. Prof. James Fujimoto '79, SM '81, PhD '84, research affiliate Eric Swanson SM '84, and David Huang '85, SM '89, PhD '93 were awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, “the nation’s highest award for technical achievement.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Mitchel Resnick explores how a new coding app developed by researchers from the Lifelong Kindergarten group is aimed at allowing young people to use mobile phones to create interactive stories, games and animations. Resnick makes the case that with “appropriate apps and support, mobile phones can provide opportunities for young people to imagine, create, and share projects.”

The Washington Post

Researchers at MIT have discovered that the ocean’s color has changed considerably in the last 20 years and is “another warning sign of human-driven climate change,” reports Maria Luisa Paul for The Washington Post. “These ecosystems have taken millions of years to evolve together and be in balance,” says Senior Research Scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz. “Changes in such a short amount of time are not good because they put the whole ecosystem out of balance.”

IEEE Spectrum

Researchers from MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) are using high-temperature superconducting tape as a key part of the design for their tokamak reactor, reports Tom Clynes for IEEE Spectrum. The researchers believe that “this novel approach will allow it to build a high-performance tokamak that is much smaller and less expensive than would be possible with previous approaches,” Clynes notes.