Features

Roosevelt and Recovery: Eric Rauchway's The Money Makers

Roosevelt and Recovery: Eric Rauchway's The Money Makers

By Loren Michael Mortimer - In his latest book, historian Eric Rauchway places Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the center of a worldwide monetary revolution. Roosevelt wanted to end the Great Depression in a way that preserved capitalism and democratic institutions. His decision to take the U.S. off the gold standard was key to the country’s economic recovery. But his monetary policy has been given scant credit—until now.

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Looking for Utopia: Smriti Srinivas

Looking for Utopia: Smriti Srinivas

By Tory Brykalski - Anthropologist Smriti Srinivas is searching for alternative futures—in the present. With today's urban spaces facing problems of waste, pollution, and uncontrolled growth, how, she asks, can we lay the foundations for humane and livable cities of tomorrow?

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Describing Colonial Art: Almerindo Ojeda

Describing Colonial Art: Almerindo Ojeda

By Loren Michael Mortimer - Since the 1950s, the study of Spanish colonial art has fallen out of favor among art historians inclined to view Colonial paintings as merely "slavish" reproductions of European originals. But Almerindo Ojeda, professor of linguistics at UC Davis and director of the Project on the Engraved Sources of Spanish Colonial Art (PESSCA), disagrees. Rejecting what he calls an "inferiority complex among colonial historians," Ojeda sees important stories embedded in colonial paintings—stories that deserve to be told.

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Separating GMO Fiction from Fact

Separating GMO Fiction from Fact

By Ben Hinshaw - The UC Global Food Initiative is committed to tackling the global food challenge, including the controversial matter of GMO crops. In a recent two-session panel entitled "GMOs: All Facts, No Fiction" held on two consecutive evenings at UC Davis and UC Riverside, the Initiative invited four experts to discuss the complexities and implications of genetically modified food. One of the panelists was Belinda Martineau, former genetic engineer and current ISS grant writer. I talked to Belinda about her background in GE food and her thoughts on what consumers deserve to know.

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Reversing the Gaze: Sunaina Maira

Reversing the Gaze: Sunaina Maira

By Tory Brykalski - The effects of the War on Terror can be felt as far afield as Pakistan and Palestine, and as close to home as on the UC Davis campus. Exploring what some of those effects might be for her forthcoming book THE 9/11 GENERATION: YOUTH, RIGHTS, AND SOLIDARITY IN THE WAR ON TERROR (NYU Press, Fall 2017), Sunaina Maira, professor of Asian American studies, enlisted the help of local Muslim American students. In the process, she found herself wondering: who exactly is social science for?

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Challenging the Construction of Ethiopia's Gibe III Dam

Challenging the Construction of Ethiopia's Gibe III Dam

The Gibe III dam sits on the Omo River, 300km southwest of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, the Lower Omo Valley is home to five national parks and over 200,000 people. Scholars predict that the dam and its associated plantations will have catastrophic effects for these citizens. It could also impact the region’s fragile ecology and complicate relations between Ethiopia and Kenya.

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Red-baiting and the Birth of Modern Conservatism

Red-baiting and the Birth of Modern Conservatism

By Loren Michael Mortimer - Did Herbert Hoover's hostile response to the unionization efforts of farmers in New Deal-era California sow the seeds of today's ultra-conservative politics? That's the question Kathryn Olmsted, Chair of the Department of History at UC Davis, seeks to answer in her new book.

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Turning Big Data into Big Knowledge

Turning Big Data into Big Knowledge

By Alex Russell - The major challenge of big data for social scientists today is in figuring out how to turn this wealth of information into knowledge, according to Martin Hilbert, an assistant professor of communication at UC Davis. Hilbert studies information technology, big data and what it means for human societies.

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Memory and Music

By Alex Russell - A lot happens when we remember. Networks of neurons firing throughout the brain let us see, hear, smell, touch and maybe even taste something that happened in the past. An interdisciplinary research project at UC Davis is using music to access memories that on most days seem buried under years of living—and forgetting.

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Imprisonment Takes Long-lasting Tolls on Children and Families

Imprisonment Takes Long-lasting Tolls on Children and Families

By Alex Russell - Children whose parents are in prison have worse health, poorer school performance and are at a greater risk for depression, anxiety, asthma and HIV/AIDS, according to a policy brief released by the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis.

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21st Century Linguistics

21st Century Linguistics

By Alex Russell - Security on the Web has as much to do with the programmers writing code as it does with firewalls and virus protection. Linguistics Associate Professor Raúl Aranovich studies language structure and theory, and is working on a project for the NSF that could identify programmers most likely to write vulnerable code.

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GPS Tracking Shows Differences Between Human and Primate Societies

GPS Tracking Shows Differences Between Human and Primate Societies

By Alex Russell - Compared to other animals, humans have highly stratified societies. Birds, fish and other animals have this, too—as do other primates—but it’s not as pronounced as it is with humans. UC Davis anthropologist Margaret Crofoot, a member of the ISS Executive Committee, is working to understand what primate societies can tell us about humans and also the changing global environment.

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Virtual Worlds and Their Carryovers into Reality

Virtual Worlds and Their Carryovers into Reality

By Alex Russell - Jorge Peña, an assistant professor of communication, has recently been teaming up with researchers across disciplines to observe the impact that virtual experiences, which includes playing video games, can have on people in the real world.

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Doublets Network Analysis Reveals the Complexity of the English Language

Doublets Network Analysis Reveals the Complexity of the English Language

By Alex Russell - Patrick Farrell, a professor of linguistics, recently wrapped up a joint project with statistics professor Fushing Hsieh that used a language game from the 1870s to build a visual representation of the English language as a network.

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Mating Market Trumps Biology in Relationships

Mating Market Trumps Biology in Relationships

By Jeffrey Day - The popularly held sexual stereotype concludes that men want as many partners as possible, and women want stability and commitment. But what men and women want from relationships also depends heavily on the supply of potential partners, according to a University of California, Davis, study.

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The Pink-and-Blue Toy Divide

The Pink-and-Blue Toy Divide

By Jeffrey Day - As a child in the 1970s and 1980s, Elizabeth Sweet played with a Lone Ranger action figure she’d pair up with Barbie for outings in a toy Jeep, Fisher Price Little People with their perfectly round heads and peglike bodies, and Star Wars figures.

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This Grant Sent Jeremy Mikecz to Map the Spanish Conquest of Peru

This Grant Sent Jeremy Mikecz to Map the Spanish Conquest of Peru

By Alex Russell - Jeremy Mikecz, a Ph.D. candidate in history at UC Davis, won a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant this year for his project applying mapping technology to debunk myths about the Spanish conquest of Peru. Here he talks about applying for the grant, his project and why it would have been worth it even if he was not funded.

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Cloudy Water Affects the Health of Rural Immigrants

Cloudy Water Affects the Health of Rural Immigrants

By Alex Russell - Cloudy tap water may have a greater effect for California's rural immigrants than merely leaving behind a bad taste, according to a new policy brief released by the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis.

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Even Those Who Know Better Find Junk Food Irresistible

Even Those Who Know Better Find Junk Food Irresistible

By Jeffrey Day - People who know that certain foods are bad for them still respond positively when confronted by a picture of a burger, fries and soda, according to a University of California, Davis, study.

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The California Poverty Measure

The California Poverty Measure

This infographic from the Center for Poverty Research shows the difference in California poverty rates when calculated with the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) and the California Poverty Measure (CPM).

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What Happened When? How the Brain Stores Memories by Time

What Happened When? How the Brain Stores Memories by Time

By Andy Fell - Before I left the house this morning, I let the cat out and started the dishwasher. Or was that yesterday? Very often, our memories must distinguish not just what happened and where, but when an event occurred -- and what came before and after. New research from the University of California, Davis, Center for Neuroscience shows that a part of the brain called the hippocampus stores memories by their "temporal context" -- what happened before, and what came after.

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Male-dominated Societies Are Not More Violent, Study Says

Male-dominated Societies Are Not More Violent, Study Says

By Karen Nikos-Rose - Conventional wisdom and scientific arguments have claimed that societies with more men than women, such as China, will become more violent, but a University of California, Davis, study has found that a male-biased sex ratio does not lead to more crime.

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Bullying Happens to Popular Teens Too

Bullying Happens to Popular Teens Too

By Karen Nikos-Rose - A new University of California, Davis, study suggests that for most adolescents, becoming more popular both increases their risk of getting bullied and worsens the negative consequences of being victimized, perhaps because they feel they have "farther to fall."

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Snubbing Lion Hunters Could Preserve the Endangered Animals

Snubbing Lion Hunters Could Preserve the Endangered Animals

By Jeffrey Day - For hundreds of years young men from some ethnic groups in Tanzania, called "lion dancers" because they elaborately acted out their lion killing for spectators, were richly rewarded for killing lions that preyed on livestock and people. Now when a lion dancer shows up he might be called a rude name rather than receive a reward, according to a new UC Davis study.

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Low-Wage Workers Are Often Trapped, Unable to Advance

Low-Wage Workers Are Often Trapped, Unable to Advance

By Alex Russell - Low-wage workers know they have to enhance their skills to escape low-wage jobs, but long hours and multiple jobs make skill-building and education nearly impossible, according to a new policy brief released by the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis.

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Does "Free Will" Stem from Brain Noise?

Does "Free Will" Stem from Brain Noise?

By Andy Fell - Our ability to make choices -- and sometimes mistakes -- might arise from random fluctuations in the brain's background electrical noise, according to a recent study from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis.

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Working Migrant Youth in the U.S. Face Exploitation and Social Exclusion

Working Migrant Youth in the U.S. Face Exploitation and Social Exclusion

By Alex Russell - Young migrants who come illegally to the United States to support families in their home countries face exploitation, poverty and marginalization, partly because they are not protected by law and lack parental guidance, according to a new policy brief released by the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis.

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Chimps Plan for a Good Early Breakfast

Chimps Plan for a Good Early Breakfast

By Jeffrey Day - New research by the University of California, Davis, shows that chimpanzees plan ahead, and sometimes take dangerous risks, to get to the best breakfast buffet early.

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Manipulating Memory with Light

Manipulating Memory with Light

By Andy Fell - Just look into the light: not quite, but researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology have used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how different parts of the brain work together to retrieve episodic memories. The work was published Oct. 9 in the journal Neuron.

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