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VICE

Research affiliate Hunt Allcott speaks with Vice reporter David Shultz about his research on the nutrition gap in America. Allcott and his colleagues “have proposed a sort of expansion on the soda tax, in which unhealthy foods are taxed more, and that money is used to subsidize healthier foods,” writes Shultz.

New York Times

New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall spotlights Prof. David Autor’s research exploring the state of men in the U.S., including the growing gender gaps in educational attainment and the labor market.   

Mashable

Prof. Justin Reich speaks with Mashable reporter Chris Taylor about the need to rethink the future of education and how kids learn. “There are going to be more interruptions in schooling in the future,” says Reich. “More fires, more floods, more freezing, more pandemic events, more tropical diseases migrating. The West will continue to have terrible fires. When it’s unsafe to travel, kids should be able to switch to remote learning for a week or two.”

Reuters

A new study co-authored by Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu finds that countries with older workforces are seeing a larger increase in the use of robots, reports Timothy Aeppel for Reuters. Acemoglu and his colleague Pascual Restrepo of Boston University found that “age alone accounted for 35% of the variation between countries in their adoption of robots, with those having older workers far more likely to adopt the machines.”

Times Higher Ed

Times Higher Ed reporter Matthew Reisz memorializes Prof. Jing Wang, “a literary scholar who became a leading expert in Chinese literature and digital media.” Prof. Emma Teng remembers Wang as “an innovator, activist and passionate teacher” whose “long career was defined by her intellectual curiosity, drive and energy, and unwavering integrity.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. David Autor explores how the current labor shortage provides an opportunity to improve the quality of jobs in the U.S. “The period of labor scarcity, then, is an opportunity to catalyze better working conditions for those who need them most,” writes Autor.

GBH

Prof. David Autor speaks with Kara Miller of GBH’s Innovation Hub about the impact of Covid-19 on the future of work.

New York Times

New York Times columnist Peter Coy spotlights a new working paper by Prof. Daron Acemoglu examining democracies. “Democracies breed their own support only when they are successful: all of the effects we estimate work through exposure to democracies that are successful in providing economic growth, peace and political stability, and public goods,” Acemoglu and his co-authors write.

KQED

A new report by Prof. Justin Reich and Jal Mehta of Harvard proposes a new path forward for rethinking K-12 schools after Covid-19, reports Paul Darvasi for KQED. “The report recommends that educators build on the positive aspects of their pandemic learning experience in the years ahead,” notes Darvasi, “and supports increased student independence to cultivate a safe and healthy environment that is more conducive to learning.”

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.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Amy Finkelstein explores the need to reign in prices of drugs administered by physicians. “Economists tend to favor letting the private sector set prices, but this requires a well-functioning market,” writes Finkelstein. “In trying to base its payments on what other customers pay, Medicare has distorted the market for physician-administered drugs beyond reason.”

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.”

Stat

Writing for STAT, Prof. Susan Silbey and Prof. Ruthanne Huising of Emlyon Business School make the case that to prevent lab leaks, there should be a greater emphasis placed on biosafety. “The global research community does not need more rules, more layers of oversight, and more intermediary actors,” they write. “What it needs is more attention and respect to already known biosafety measures and techniques.”

The Providence Journal

Graduate student Aja Grande and Sam Coren of Brown University write for The Providence Journal about how the Industrial Trust building, also known as the Superman building, in downtown Providence could be transformed into “a hub where local food operations, green industries and sustainability research could attract recent graduates of the region’s many schools, while providing jobs and job training to local residents.”

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.