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Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Shoshana Wodinsky spotlights a new study by MIT researchers that finds videos are not likely to sway public political opinion more than their textual counterparts. “It’s possible that as you’re scrolling through your newsfeed, video captures your attention more than text would,” says Prof. David Rand. “You might be more likely to look at it. This doesn’t mean that the video is inherently more persuasive than text – just that it has the potential to reach a wider audience.”

Forbes

Forbes reporter Derek Newton spotlights Nwanacho Nwana '20, co-founder of education startup Valfee, a communications program aimed at engaging students with public speaking skills. “We truly believe that feedback-based learning is optimal for long term growth, and that the future of student learning is gamified,” Nwana tells Newton.

The Washington Post

MIT Prof. M. Taylor Fravel and University of Pennsylvania Prof. Fiona Cunningham explores what China’s investment in its nuclear arsenal means for U.S. – China relations in a piece for The Washington Post. “Two shifts in China’s nuclear thinking may be happening. First, Chinese leaders believe that they now need to threaten the United States with greater nuclear damage to deter a U.S. nuclear first-strike: a handful of warheads is no longer enough,” they write. “Second, China’s leaders may be finding Beijing’s promises not to engage in a nuclear arms race increasingly difficult to fulfill — or less of a priority than deterring U.S. nuclear use with more confidence.”

Project Syndicate

Institute Prof. Daron Acemoglu writes for Project Syndicate about why the U.S. and its allies never reconsidered a top-down state-building strategy in Afghanistan. “In viewing nation-building as a top-down, ‘state-first’ process, US policymakers were following a venerable tradition in political science,” writes Acemoglu. “The assumption is that if you can establish overwhelming military dominance over a territory and subdue all other sources of power, you can then impose your will. Yet in most places, this theory is only half right, at best; and in Afghanistan, it was dead wrong.”

The Guardian

Writing for The Guardian, Sam Levine spotlights Prof. Charles Stewart’s work investigating election administration during the 2020 presidential election. Levine writes that Stewart plans to “dig deeper into ballot rejection rates. Among rejected ballots, about a third went uncounted because of signature matching problems. Around 12% were rejected because the voter missed the deadline to return the ballot.”

The Tech

Incoming Chancellor Melissa Nobles speaks with Tech reporter Srinidhi Narayanan about her academic trajectory, specific initiatives she is interested in pursuing as Chancellor and how she plans to incorporate student voice in decision-making. “In the Chancellor’s Office, we get to focus on the student experience inside and outside of the classroom, and we can help students grow into their whole selves here at MIT,” says Nobles.

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Erik Lin-Greenberg and Theo Milonopoulos of the University of Pennsylvania explore the challenges posed by governments no longer controlling sensitive security information. “As commercial imagery satellites proliferate in orbit, policymakers around the world will increasingly need to grapple with the ways the technology can reveal national security secrets,” they write.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Kevin Lewis highlights a new study by MIT researchers that finds “voter turnout increased by several percentage points among municipal employees in New York City whose hourly wages were affected by increases in the minimum wage.”

The Washington Post

Graduate student Emma Campbell-Mohn writes for The Washington Post about why Pope Francis has put former French foreign minister Robert Schuman, who helped lay the foundation for the European Union, on a path to sainthood. Campbell-Mohn writes that through this action, “the papacy has taken a quiet step toward suggesting its sympathy for the European Union and economic integration as a cornerstone for peace.”

GBH

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with Craig LeMoult of GBH about his new study, which finds there are mixed reactions when people are informed of the racial disparities in Covid-19 outcomes in the U.S. “We are so interconnected as a society - economically, socially, politically,” says Lieberman, “and [it’s important] to remind everyone that we are all potential vectors for this epidemic so it really behooves all of us to cooperate and to be able to end this pandemic as soon as possible.”

Bloomberg

A new study by Prof. Charles Stewart III and graduate student Jesse T. Clark explores voter confidence in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, reports Stephen L. Carter for Bloomberg Opinion. Stewart and Clark found that Democrats had extreme confidence in the election results, which may have been “influenced by a strong negative repudiation of Trump’s calling the results of the election into question.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Prof. Evan Lieberman speaks with NPR’s Michael Martin about how the pandemic’s racial disparities have affected people’s public policy views. “I think it's important for us to keep reminding one another how interconnected we are, how our shared fate exists together depending on the actions we take and don't take, and perhaps that we have a common purpose beyond, you know, national borders and obligations towards one another,” says Lieberman.

Bloomberg

A new study by researchers from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab finds that there is bipartisan support for some voting changes included in a bill that passed the House, reports Ryan Teague Beckwith for Bloomberg News. The researchers found that “87% of Republicans supported requiring paper backups for electronic voting machines, and 62% backed making Election Day a holiday, both provisions of the Democratic legislation.”

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. M. Taylor Fravel explores how Chinese and Indian forces have disengaged and created a buffer zone at Pangong Lake on their disputed border. “The disengagement and buffer zone creates space for further talks,” writes Fravel. “In the short term, discussions have already begun to address disengagement in other “friction areas” such as Gorga/Hot Springs. Longer term, political talks about the border may be possible if a complete de-escalation occurs.”

The Washington Post

In an article for The Washington Post, graduate student Aidan Milliff and Saksham Khosla of Dalberg Advisors explore why farmers are protesting in India. Milliff and Khosla write that farmers are concerned that new laws aimed at deregulating agricultural markets in India could create a situation where “farmers would see less long-term stability, and could be at the mercy of big business.”