Tag Archives: Environment

Week Ending June 30, 2017

Johns Hopkins gets $150M for interdisciplinary effort to foster discussion of divisive issues
Johns Hopkins Magazine – June 22, 2017
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has committed $150 million to a joint effort with Johns Hopkins University to forge new ways to address the deterioration of civic engagement worldwide and facilitate the restoration of open and inclusive discourse that is the cornerstone of healthy democracies. The gift establishes the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University as an academic and public forum bringing together experts from fields such as political science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, ethics, sociology, and history. Together, they will examine the dynamics of societal, cultural, and political polarization and develop ways to improve decision-making and civic discourse. They also will design and test mechanisms for strengthening democracy through dialogue and social engagement, and convene subject matter experts from a range of perspectives to explore new approaches to divisive issues.”

Free Stanford tool enhances collaborative learning in classes focused on reading, writing
Stanford News – June 22, 2017
“An online annotation tool developed at Stanford is helping students and researchers with reading, writing and fostering an exchange of ideas in the fields of humanities and social sciences.   Developed in 2013 by researchers in Stanford’s Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), Lacuna is an online platform that encourages interdisciplinary conversations and peer-to-peer learning. It allows students and professors to discuss and annotate texts, images and other media online synchronously as well as organize and analyze those annotations. The platform is free and has been implemented in colleges and universities around the world since its first use at Stanford. It has been used at the University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University, Dartmouth College and the University of Copenhagen, among other institutions.

The New York Times recognizes UW student policy recommendations
University of Washington – June 26, 2017
“In 2015, a harmful algal bloom damaged ecosystems, communities and economies across the U.S. West Coast. Fisheries essential to local economies faced long-term closures to protect human health. Marine life suffered mass die-offs. Climate change makes recurrent events likely, but there is little assurance that public policy will better support our communities and environment the next time. Seeking to protect coastal communities from these devastating impacts, an interdisciplinary team of UW students authored a policy case for lawmakers. Their case won the inaugural APRU-New York Times Asia-Pacific Case Competition, besting submissions from 31 universities across the Americas, Asia and Australasia. The entries were judged by senior university leaders and staff from The New York Times newsroom. It will be published in the international edition of The New York Times.”

Symposium explores possibilities of origami nanomachines
Cornell Chronicle – June 26, 2017
“Origami usually brings to mind folded paper cranes, but Cornell scientists see in origami the promise of nanoscale machinery. On June 16-17, the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) held a symposium in the Physical Sciences Building to explore using origami to create machines at the micron scale using atomically thin materials.  The symposium, “Atomic Origami: a Technology Platform for Nanoscale Machines, Sensors and Robots,” brought together experts from a wide range of origami-related fields with the goal of creating bridges, connections and possible collaborations, said conference co-organizer Itai Cohen, associate professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences.”

Hatching a new hypothesis about egg shape diversity
Princeton University – June 22, 2017
Mary Caswell Stoddard, an assistant professor in Princeton’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, proposes a far-ranging hypothesis regarding how and why bird eggs acquire their shapes. Her research, an interdisciplinary collaboration involving multiple authors, suggests that the shape of an egg for a given bird species may be driven in part by physiological features related to its capability for flight.  In a study published June 22 in the journal Science, lead author Stoddard and colleagues suggest that the correlation may have a mechanistic explanation: it may be that birds with a strong flight capability have developed aerodynamic body shapes that have influenced the configuration of these birds’ internal organs, including the reproductive system.