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Fast Company

A new report by researchers from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab “examines the federal government’s history of election spending—and suggests ways it could consider dispersing monies to help underfunded election administrators,” reports Talib Visram for Fast Company. “The federal government not being a full partner in the game, especially given its fiscal resources, contributes mightily to the underfunding of this area,” says Prof. Charles Stewart III.

The Hill

In an article for The Hill, Prof. Emeritus Henry Jacoby writes that “government agencies, even as they act to protect U.S. interests, need to try to maintain conditions favorable for international climate research efforts.”

Financial Times

In an article for the Financial Times, Prof. Robert Merton underscores the importance of providing workers with financial security in retirement and explains Selfies (Standard-of-living indexed, forward-starting, income-only securities), a pension-like bond innovation he helped create. “More such innovative instruments from academics, politicians and others are needed if we are to ensure more people can retire with resources that can withstand inflation and provide the security they need,” Merton writes. 

GBH

James Arthur Jemison II M.C.P ’94 has been appointed Boston’s first planning chief by Mayor Michelle Wu, reports Saraya Wintersmith for GBH. "I'm incredibly grateful to Mayor Wu for the opportunity to bring my expertise and passion for equitable development back to Boston,” Jemison said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Bostonians to reform the development process and create the kind of growth that reflects our values.”

Fortune

Fortune reporter Jeremy Kahn spotlights a study co-authored by Prof. Marzyeh Ghassemi exploring issues associated with “explainable” AI systems that are being applied in fields such as healthcare, finance and government. The researchers explain that those using such systems “might have misunderstood the capabilities of contemporary explainability techniques—they can produce broad descriptions of how the AI system works in a general sense but, for individual decisions, the explanations are unreliable or, in some instances, only offer superficial levels of explanation.”

CBS

Daleep Singh, an MIT alumnus and the United States Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, speaks with CBS journalist Sharyn Alfonsi about the economic sanctions being used to combat Russia’s attack on Ukraine. “In this century, our view is power is much more closely tied to your economic strength, technological sophistication, and your story,” says Singh.

NBC Boston

Carol R. Saivetz, a senior advisor for MIT’s Security Studies Program, speaks with NBC Boston about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The claims that this was all about NATO expansion are really false,” says Saivetz. “I think it’s much more about Putin’s imperial ambitions and this whole idea that unless he can put back together the Soviet Union that somehow Russia is not a great power.”

The Boston Globe

Prof. Mariana Arcaya writes for The Boston Globe about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Build Beck Better bill will help combat the ongoing global climate crisis. “Shifting away from fossil-fuel consumption and combatting injustice are the two keys to solving the climate crisis,” writes Arcaya. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act provides vital funding for some of the measures the United States needs to take.” 

The Atlantic

Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini writes for The Atlantic about the dangers posed by government agencies adopting the use of facial recognition technology. “No biometric technologies should be adopted by the government to police access to services or benefits,” writes Buolamwini, “certainly not without cautious consideration of the dangers they pose, due diligence in outside testing, and the consent of those exposed to potential abuse, data exploitation, and other harms that affect us all.”

The Washington Post

In an article for The Washington Post, Visiting Professor Susan Blumenthal and Emily Stark of New America make the case for creating a “government-backed program that would evaluate and label masks for consumers like the Food and Drug Administration does for sunscreens.”

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Clint Rainey writes that a new study co-authored by MIT economists finds that the bulk of the loan money handed out through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) helped business owners and shareholders. The researchers estimate that “somewhere between 23% and 34% of PPP dollars went to workers who would’ve otherwise lost their jobs,” writes Rainey. “The rest of the loan money—a full two-thirds to three-fourths—landed in the pockets of either the company’s owners or shareholders.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Steven Simon of the MIT Center for International Studies and Jonathan Stevenson of the International Institute for Strategic Studies underscore the need for extensive analysis of the growing dangers to American democracy. “The overarching idea is, publicly and thoroughly, to probe just how bad things could get precisely to ensure that they never do,” they write, “and that America’s abject political decay is averted.”

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Kevin Lewis spotlights how MIT researchers surveyed thousands of Democrats and Republicans to rate the reliability of nonpolitical news headlines. “People genuinely believe that opposing partisans are more gullible, even when that stereotype is costly to them,” writes Lewis. “On the other hand, that stereotype can be corrected with evidence.”

NPR

NPR reporter David Gura spotlights U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler as he takes a new approach to his role as head of the SEC. After teaching a cryptocurrency course at MIT and serving as the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Obama, Gensler has “promised he’ll unveil new rules across the board as part of an ambitious agenda, from cryptocurrencies to new disclosure rules,” says Gura.

CNN

A new report by researchers from MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab, the Migration Policy Institute and the World Food Programme investigates the motivations and costs of migration from Central America, and finds that migrants spend $2.2 billion every year trying to reach the U.S., reports Catherine E. Shoichet for CNN.  "That is an extreme amount of money," explains Prof. Sarah Williams. "That $2.2 billion is all paid for by the migrants themselves, so the risks, both in terms of debt and personal risk, is borne by the migrant."