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Why nonviolent resistance beats violent force in effecting social, political change

Why nonviolent resistance beats violent force in effecting social, political change

February 4, 2019

 

Recent research suggests that nonviolent civil resistance is far more successful in creating broad-based change than violent campaigns are, a somewhat surprising finding with a story behind it.

When Erica Chenoweth started her predoctoral fellowship at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in 2006, she believed in the strategic logic of armed resistance. She had studied terrorism, civil war, and major revolutions — Russian, French, Algerian, and American — and suspected that only violent force had...

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Health care spending on Medicare elderly dips, study finds

Health care spending on Medicare elderly dips, study finds

February 4, 2019

Health care spending among the Medicare population age 65 and older has slowed dramatically since 2005, and as much as half of that reduction can be attributed to reduced spending on cardiovascular disease, a new Harvard study says.

Led by David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, a team of researchers found that by 2012 those reductions saved the average person nearly $3,000 a year. Across the entire elderly population, those savings add up to a whopping $120 billion, with about half of those savings...

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Harvard works to embed ethics in computer science curriculum

Harvard works to embed ethics in computer science curriculum

January 25, 2019

Barbara Grosz has a fantasy that every time a computer scientist logs on to write an algorithm or build a system, a message will flash across the screen that asks, “Have you thought about the ethical implications of what you’re doing?”

Until that day arrives, Grosz, the Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), is working to instill in the next generation of computer scientists a mindset that considers the societal impact of their work, and the ethical reasoning and communications skills to do so.

“Ethics...

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Financial stress linked to heart disease risk among African-Americans

January 17, 2019

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and African-Americans are disproportionately affected. Prior studies have investigated how limited access to material resources due to financial hardship may influence health, but the association between the stress caused by financial hardship and coronary heart disease in African-Americans had not previously been examined.

In a new study, researchers looked at the association between the psychological stress of financial hardship and CHD in this population and found that African-Americans who experienced moderate to...

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Trump may be able to build wall, Harvard analysts say, but then the ripples will widen

January 10, 2019

What started as a touchpoint for presidential candidate Donald Trump to visualize immigration concerns has become the linchpin behind a government shutdown and a possible legal challenge to sweeping presidential power.

In calling for Congress to appropriate $5.6 billion to build a wall along the Mexican border to stanch what he called a “growing humanitarian and security crisis” of illegal migrants and smuggled drugs, President Trump declined to sign budget legislation after the 113th Congress rejected his full request last month. That prompted the shutdown, which will soon be the...

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Harvard researchers share views on future, ethics of gene editing

Harvard researchers share views on future, ethics of gene editing

January 9, 2019

Medicine is at a turning point, on the cusp of major change as disruptive technologies such as gene, RNA, and cell therapies enable scientists to approach diseases in new ways. The swiftness of this change is being driven by innovations such as CRISPR gene editing, which makes it possible to correct errors in DNA with relative ease.

Progress in this field has been so rapid that the dialogue around potential ethical, societal, and safety issues is scrambling to catch up.

This disconnect was brought into stark relief at the...

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Carpenter Center show reflects racial disparities that helped fuel James Baldwin’s writing

Carpenter Center show reflects racial disparities that helped fuel James Baldwin’s writing

November 26, 2018

James Baldwin’s 1964 essay “Nothing Personal” critiqued a country divided by suspicion, greed, hatred, fear, violence, oppression, and racism. But it also acknowledged the light in humanity. More than 50 years later, it remains relevant and fresh.

Now through Dec. 30 at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, a series of photos shines a light on the America the author and social critic was responding to with his words, as well as on the present climate. “Time is Now:...

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Harvard conference discusses the machinery to drive ed reform

Harvard conference discusses the machinery to drive ed reform

November 21, 2018

Paul Reville knows that education reform must reach beyond the classroom to achieve its goals. For the Education Redesign Lab’s inaugural Leadership Institute symposium, to be held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (GSE) Monday through Friday, the former Massachusetts Secretary of Education is bringing together mayors, school superintendents, and community leaders from 21 communities to discuss how to leverage government, nonprofits, and the private sector to battle key issues, such as income disparity, that can hold back students.

In...

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‘Silence Is a Statement’ brings topic of race into the workplace

‘Silence Is a Statement’ brings topic of race into the workplace

November 20, 2018

“Not talking about race actually increases the sense of bias somebody already has … studies show that ignoring race can exacerbate rather than alleviate issues of race in the workplace,” said Allison Manswell, author of “Listen In: Crucial Conversations on Race in the Workplace.”

Manswell, a certified professional in learning and performance (CPLP), delivered her remarks at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Diversity Dialogue titled “Silence Is a Statement: Understanding...

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Harvard conference focuses on the ongoing tragedy of lead in life

November 20, 2018

The water crisis in Flint, Mich., has been a recent focal point, but the issue of lead pollution is both global and pervasive. As Thursday evening’s “Lead Summit at Harvard: Revolutionary Discoveries in Lead Pollution and Health Impacts” made clear, man-made sources of atmospheric lead not only reach back through the centuries, but they have increasingly deadly effects on some of our most vulnerable groups.

To tackle a problem that goes beyond medicine into social and economic realms, the summit at Boylston Hall took an interdisciplinary approach. Organized by the...

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