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School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences

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The Washington Post

Prof. James Poterba speaks with Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein about his work with the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee in determining if a recession is underway in the U.S. “By far, the most important thing to try to convey is that the committee is not trying to do real-time dating of whether we’re in a recession,” said Poterba. “There’s often enormous amount of interest in that question and what many people are hoping for, but the committee’s task is to create a consistent historical record of the turning points — the peaks and the troughs in the U.S. economy.”

The Boston Globe

Institute Prof. Emeritus Peter Diamond speaks with Boston Globe reporter Scot Lehigh about the Fed’s attempts to control inflation. “My message to the Fed would be, yes, we need to cool the economy, but we need to go slowly in doing so, and see how this plays out, because we shouldn’t have confidence in our predictions,” says Diamond.

GBH

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with GBH Boston Public Radio co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan about the future of inflation and the potential strategies of the Federal Reverse Bank.  

WBUR

Prof. Craig Steven Wilder is a featured expert in a new documentary titled “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America,” reports WBUR. “For me, the term ‘driving while black’ isn’t just a slogan, it isn’t just a part of our political rhetoric, it’s not just something we say to remind ourselves of the persistence of racism in the United States. It’s a very personal experience of remembering, in fact, the anxiety, the fear,” says Wilder.

Bloomberg

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with Bloomberg Washington Correspondent Joe Mathieu about Affordable Care Act funding and the future of healthcare. It’s both about making these premiums more affordable for the lowest income people and giving middle-income people access to this important government program, says Gruber.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Laurence Kotlikoff spotlights the work of Institute Prof. Peter Diamond. Diamond’s work, notes Kotlikoff, clarified “that there are many levels of employment at which supply equals demand, including many that are very low.”

New York Times

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was “perhaps the most transformational politician in Japan’s post-World War II history,” reports David E. Sanger for The New York Times. “We didn’t know what we were going to get when Abe came to [our] office with this hard nationalist reputation,” recalls Prof. Richard Samuels, director of the Center for International Studies. “What we got was a pragmatic realistic who understood the limits of Japan’s power, and who knew it wasn’t going to be able to balance China’s rise on its own. So, he designed a new system.”

The New York Times

Prof. Emily Richmond Pollock weighs in on how interpretations of the 1812 Overture, a common Fourth of July prelude, has changed over time, reports Javier C. Hernández for The New York Times. “It has been used for different purposes throughout history,” says Pollock. “In 2022, with ambivalence about Russian power, it has come to mean something different. And it could mean something different again in the future.”

Time Magazine

Siblings Gia Schneider ‘99 and Abe Schneider SM ‘03 co-founded Natel, a company dedicated to developing sustainable, climate-resilient hydropower, reports Amy Gunia for TIME. “The siblings hope that what they’re doing can help demonstrate a more sustainable approach to renewable energy – proving that companies shouldn’t have to choose between what’s good for the environment and what works economically,” writes Gunia.

The Boston Globe

A forthcoming study by Prof. Erik Lin-Greenberg finds that the use of drones in the military could lower the risk of escalating an existing conflict, reports Kevin Lewis for The Boston Globe. Lin-Greenberg “presented members of the military with scenarios in which a US reconnaissance aircraft is shot down by a surface-to-air-missile from a hostile country,” writes Lewis. “The military decision-makers generally felt they had to escalate with force when the downed aircraft was manned, whereas that was generally not the case with a drone.”

Scientific American

In a recent case study, Steven Gonzalez Monserrate PhD ’22 makes the case that the environmental cost of computer science, specifically computer cloud storage and data centers, are huge and will only continue to rise, reports Naomi Oreskes for Scientific American. “The cloud, he [Monserrate] contends, is a ‘carbonivore’: a single data center can use the same amount of electricity as 50,000 homes,” writes Oreskes. “The entire cloud has a greater carbon footprint than the entire airline industry.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank spotlights postdoctoral research associate Brian Guay’s research examining why “Republicans share between 200 percent and 500 percent more fake news (fabrications published by sites masquerading as news outlets) than Democrats.” Guay explains that “the issue primarily seems to be a supply issue. There’s just way more fake news on the right than the left.”

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Charles Stewart III provides evidence that hand counting paper ballots is less accurate than using ballot scanners to tabulate results. “Computers — which ballot scanners rely on — are very good at tedious, repetitive tasks,” writes Stewart. “Humans are bad at them. And counting votes is tedious and repetitive.”

KITV

Kealoha Wong ’99, Hawaii’s first poet laureate, shares his excitement at being selected to deliver the keynote address at the graduation celebration for the classes of 2020 and 2021. “It’s a huge honor, I never would have thought in a million years that something like this would happen,” says Kealoha. “I feel as if I am ready to let these words fly.”

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.