Fotini Christia named director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center

Political science professor will spearhead the Institute’s interdisciplinary center that studies high-impact, complex societal challenges.

Terri Park | MIT Schwarzman College of Computing • mit
Oct. 14, 2020 ~3 min

Tags: data networks research school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences faculty technology-and-society idss political-science administration mit-schwarzman-college-of-computing

The 2020 elections will determine which voices dominate public land debates

Republicans and Democrats take sharply different positions on managing US public lands, but there's solid consensus on some issues.

James R. Skillen, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Calvin University • conversation
Oct. 6, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: joe-biden donald-trump-administration national-parks national-wildlife-refuge oil-and-gas-exploration malheur-occupation national-monuments donald-trump-jr public-lands us-elections-2020

A proposed mine threatens Minnesota's Boundary Waters, the most popular wilderness in the US

Conservation or copper? A proposed mine in northern Minnesota pits industrial jobs against a thriving outdoor economy.

Char Miller, W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History, Pomona College • conversation
Oct. 5, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: conservation forests water-pollution fishing donald-trump-administration mining rivers minerals outdoors lakes copper wilderness us-forest-service minnesota sonny-perdue camping

Monarch butterflies' spectacular migration is at risk – an ambitious new plan aims to help save it

Can a plan that brings together government and private landowners create enough habitat for monarch butterflies?

D. André Green II, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: conservation insects migration wildlife-conservation pollinators trump-administration endangered-species habitat butterflies endangered-species-act

Looser standards for showerheads could send a lot of water and money down the drain

The Trump administration is trying to roll back a regulation that requires showerheads to conserve water and saves owners an average of $70 and nearly 3,000 gallons of water yearly per showerhead.

Robert Glennon, Regents Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law & Public Policy, University of Arizona • conversation
Sept. 2, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: covid-19 water energy-efficiency deregulation drought regulation trump-administration water-conservation water-efficiency us-department-of-energy

Will the new 15-minute COVID-19 test solve US testing problems?

The new BinaxNOW antigen test is quick, easy, accurate and cheap. It could solve the US testing problem, but the emergency use authorization only allows people with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Sept. 1, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus fda screening sars-cov-2 food-and-drug-administration testing viruses abbott emergency-use-authorization antigen-test pcr-testing covid-test

Trump greenlights drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but will oil companies show up?

The Trump administration is opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas leasing – a step that's as much about politics as it is about energy.

Scott L. Montgomery, Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington • conversation
Aug. 21, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: wildlife-conservation alaska oil trump-administration endangered-species us-history us-energy-policy oil-and-gas-industry national-wildlife-refuge anwr oil-and-gas-exploration environmental-movement

Rapid screening tests that prioritize speed over accuracy could be key to ending the coronavirus pandemic

Testing large numbers of people regularly would reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the US. Laboratory testing is slow and expensive, but rapid screening tests could be the answer.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Aug. 14, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: covid-19 coronavirus fda sars-cov-2 food-and-drug-administration testing viruses false-positive rt-pcr swab-test false-negative diagnostic-test

The Fed's independence helped it save the US economy in 2008 – the CDC needs the same authority today

The Trump administration has revised CDC health guidelines and undermined its own experts, making it harder for science to prevail over politics in US's coronavirus strategy.

Mitchel Y. Abolafia, Professor Of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York • conversation
July 15, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: coronavirus donald-trump-administration coronavirus-response us-federal-reserve experts 2007-08-financial-crisis us-centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention political-interference

MIT announces plans for fall 2020 semester

Extensive safety protocols will undergird the return of additional students and staff to campus.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office • mit
July 7, 2020 ~19 min

Tags: education covid-19 ethics pandemic research community students classes-and-programs president-l-rafael-reif faculty staff vice-chancellor administration chancellor financial-aid teaching-and-academics tuition

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