News

ASPIRE Symposium Celebrates Undergraduate Research

ASPIRE Symposium Celebrates Undergraduate Research

By Diana Selmeczy – The ISS ASPIRE Undergraduate Research Program held its third annual Spring Research Symposium on June 9, 2017 at the Center for Mind & Brain. The event featured a keynote by Dr. Simona Ghetti, a student presentation by Raphael Geddert, and poster presentations by each of the ASPIRE Scholars, detailing the research they completed during the 2016-2017 academic year.

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Tech for Social Good Announces 2017 Awardees

Tech for Social Good Announces 2017 Awardees

The Tech for Social Good program at UC Davis has announced its 2017 awardees, divided into two categories: Tech Development and Student-Led Events.

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Haskins Presents Evidence for Policy Success [Video]

Haskins Presents Evidence for Policy Success [Video]

By Michael Haggerty - Should all failing social programs be cut? Or does reassessing and improving them make more sense? Delivering the 2017 Sheffrin Lecture in Public Policy on May 23, Ron Haskins offered a definitive answer. His talk was entitled “Is Evidence-Based Policy Going to Improve Social Programs?”

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Butts Tackles Complex Systems with Data Science [Video]

Butts Tackles Complex Systems with Data Science [Video]

On May 25, 2017, Carter T. Butts of UC Irvine presented a lecture entitled "From Conversation to Plant Carnivory: Using Data Science to Tackle Complex Systems". The event was hosted by ISS and the Data Science Initiative. Watch the video here.

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Anthropology Students Analyze Strategy for Slowing Climate Change

Anthropology Students Analyze Strategy for Slowing Climate Change

REDD+ provides financial incentives to nations, organizations, and communities who work to slow local rates of deforestation. Here, the students of ANT 103H: Conservation and People, led by Professor Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, assess the program’s efficacy in slowing global climate change.

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Contractor Computes Solutions to Real-World Problems

Contractor Computes Solutions to Real-World Problems

By Alan Wong - Advances in computing and data technology have allowed social scientists to develop exciting new solutions to long-standing problems. At the Gerald P. Mohrmann Memorial Lecture on May 18, 2017, Noshir Contractor explored some of those solutions in a talk entitled "Leveraging Computational Social Science to Address Grand Societal Challenges".

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Wingfield Treats Racism in Medicine

Wingfield Treats Racism in Medicine

By Michael Haggerty – While racism in the medical profession has diminished in recent decades, discrimination persists. Adia Wingfield, professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, illuminated this issue at the 2017 Lemert Lecture, hosted on May 11 by the Department of Sociology. Her talk was entitled "Professional Work in a Postracial Era: Black Professionals in the New Economy."

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Gentzkow Reads Fake News Amid Rising Polarization

Gentzkow Reads Fake News Amid Rising Polarization

By Alan Wong – American politics are more polarized than ever, and fake news is to blame. Or is it? At a Levine Family Fund lecture hosted by the Department of Economics on May 12, 2017, Matthew Gentzkow of Stanford University traced the impact of online news and echo chambers on our widening political divisions. His talk was entitled “Media, Polarization, and the 2016 Election".

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Schiff Tells Tales of Archival Life

Schiff Tells Tales of Archival Life

By Michael Haggerty – On May 3, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Stacy Schiff presented the 2017 Eugene Lunn Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Department of History. Schiff’s talk, “In the Archives: Getting a Life”, drew on her own experience of crafting clear, compelling accounts of messy, complex lives.

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Halfmann Ponders Reproductive Rights Under Trump [Video]

Halfmann Ponders Reproductive Rights Under Trump [Video]

On May 9, 2017, Associate Professor of Sociology Drew Halfmann presented a Noon Lecture entitled "Reproductive Rights in the Trump Era (and Beyond)", addressing the recently-passed American Health Care Act in the process. Watch the video here.

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Conversation Charts China's Shifting Religious Landscape

Conversation Charts China's Shifting Religious Landscape

By Alan Wong – In twentieth-century China, religion was suppressed, often violently. Today, the country is experiencing an explosive spiritual revival. On May 2, 2017, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ian Johnson and historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom discussed the CCP’s approach to that revival at an event hosted by East Asian Studies, entitled "The Presence of the Past in a Future-Facing China".

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Con Diaz Answers Hard Questions About Software [Video]

Con Diaz Answers Hard Questions About Software [Video]

By Alan Wong – Is software text? Machine? Or somehow both? In his ISS Noon Lecture on April 18, 2017, assistant professor of science and technology studies Gerardo Con Díaz delved into the legal debates surrounding this ubiquitous element of modern life.

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Grant to Model Human Memory and Learning for Machines

Grant to Model Human Memory and Learning for Machines

By Kathleen Holder - A multi-university study led by Charan Ranganath, professor of psychology at UC Davis, aims to vastly deepen understanding by developing a computer model of how the brain forms, stores and retrieves complex memories. The goal is that the model will have humanlike abilities to remember, understand and learn from events.

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Warren Reinterprets Ghost Dance Religion

Warren Reinterprets Ghost Dance Religion

By Michael Haggerty – The Ghost Dance religion has long been associated with the decline and destruction of Native American populations. But as Louis S. Warren argued on April 12, 2017—in a lecture based on his new book “God’s Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America”—that interpretation may need updating.

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ACLS Fellowship Awarded to Suzana M. Sawyer

ACLS Fellowship Awarded to Suzana M. Sawyer

By Alan Wong – Associate Professor of Anthropology Suzana M. Sawyer has been awarded a 2017 fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies. The award will support a project entitled "Suing Chevron: Law, Science, and Contamination in Ecuador and Beyond."

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Balkin Reports on Regulation of Fake News

Balkin Reports on Regulation of Fake News

By Griselda Jarquin – Today, fake news is big news. At the 2017 Law in the Information Age Lecture on March 15, Jack M. Balkin of Yale Law School tackled the issue head-on. His talk was entitled “Soylent Green is the Right to Forget Your Robot is Spouting Fake News: Free Speech Theory in the 21st Century.”

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Tezcan Traces Modern Islam to 17th-Century Preacher

Tezcan Traces Modern Islam to 17th-Century Preacher

By Andrew McCullough – The emergence of a religion is a process—one involving changes in beliefs, social attitudes, and political structure. On March 15, 2017, Associate Professor of History Baki Tezcan explored that process in the context of Kadizade Mehmed, an Islamic preacher active in the 17th-century Ottoman Empire. Tezcan suggested that Kadizade’s influence inspired a populist reformation that ultimately led to the emergence of Islam as we know it today.

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Derby Sees Sorcery as History

Derby Sees Sorcery as History

By Griselda Jarquin – Is sorcery real? Or is it a metaphor for how people come to terms with political and socio-economic processes? How should historians interpret the supernatural? On February 27, 2017, at an event hosted by the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, Robin Derby of UCLA addressed such questions. Her talk was entitled “Werewolves and Other Bêtes Noires: Sorcery as History in the Haitian-Dominican Borderlands.”

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Film Exposes Sterilization of Immigrant Mothers

Film Exposes Sterilization of Immigrant Mothers

By Diana Johnson - On February 7, 2017, the Women and Gender in the World research cluster hosted a screening of a documentary film entitled No Más Bebés (No More Babies). Following the screening, producer Virginia Espino and film consultant Elena Gutierrez shared their insights and fielded questions.

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O'Connor Spreads the Word About Frankenskeeters

O'Connor Spreads the Word About Frankenskeeters

By Andrew McCullough - In the Florida Keys, long-running debates about how to combat mosquito-borne diseases show no sign of abating. On February 21, 2017, Anne O’Connor, PhD student in cultural studies, described the complex web of scientific, environmental, social, and political issues surrounding the use of genetic engineering to control native mosquito populations.

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Symposium Seeks New Directions in Black Radical Thought

Symposium Seeks New Directions in Black Radical Thought

By Griselda Jarquin – On February 17, 2017, the New Directions in Black Radical Thought symposium promoted a critical dialogue on black radicalism across the African diaspora.

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ISS Conference Confronts U.S. Immigration Policy

ISS Conference Confronts U.S. Immigration Policy

By Ben Hinshaw – On January 27, 2017, as President Trump signed his executive order to halt immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, ISS hosted a conference entitled "Documenting the Immigrant: U.S. Immigration Policy Past, Present, and Future." Welcoming speakers and panelists from an array of disciplines and fields, the event represented a timely opportunity to tackle a critical and controversial issue.

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Can 19th-Century French Literature Help Us Fight Climate Change?

Can 19th-Century French Literature Help Us Fight Climate Change?

By Andrew McCullough - French literature’s Decadent movement emerged in the late 19th century, depicting societal decline caused by human excess and overindulgence. Benjamin Morgan, professor of English at the University of Chicago, visited the Environments and Societies colloquium series on February 8, 2017 to discuss the ways in which the movement can inform our thinking about the current climate crisis.

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Isenberg Injects New Insight into Indian Vaccination Act

Isenberg Injects New Insight into Indian Vaccination Act

By Griselda Jarquin – Why did the United States government vaccinate Native Americans while forcibly relocating them? How was the vaccination program used to justify U.S. expansion into the West? On February 1, 2017, at the first Environments & Societies colloquium of the quarter, Temple University’s Andrew Isenberg explained.

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Crofoot Wins Grant for Work on Complex Societies

Crofoot Wins Grant for Work on Complex Societies

By Ben Hinshaw - Margaret Crofoot, assistant professor of anthropology, has been awarded the Leakey Foundation’s 2016 Gordon P. Getty Grant for her project entitled “Dominance, Social Stability, and the Emergence of Collective Decisions in Complex Societies.”

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Sommer Uncovers Cross-Dressing in Eighteenth-Century China

Sommer Uncovers Cross-Dressing in Eighteenth-Century China

By Griselda Jarquin – During the Qing dynasty in China, cross-dressing was a crime punishable by death. Why? And how common was the practice? Matthew Sommer, professor of history at Stanford University, addressed such questions on January 25, 2017, in a talk entitled "Cross-Dressing and Gender Passing in 18th-Century China."

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Ramay Challenges Traditional Narratives of Chilean Oppression

Ramay Challenges Traditional Narratives of Chilean Oppression

By Griselda Jarquin – Referred to as the “Araucanians” by conquistadores, the Mapuche in south-central Chile was one of the few indigenous groups in South America to avoid Spanish colonization. But the Mapuche people went on to be oppressed by the Chilean state, as Allison Ramay explained on January 12, 2017.

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Chen Explores Ethics in Citizen Science

Chen Explores Ethics in Citizen Science

By Andrew McCullough - Involving the general public in the scientific process has many potential benefits, particularly when it comes to data collection and categorization. But "citizen science" also raises a number of ethical issues. Shun-Ling Chen explored those issues on January 24, 2017 in a lecture entitled "Beyond Efficiency: Ethics and Fairness Concerns in Citizen Science."

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Bennoune Urges Fight for Cultural Rights

Bennoune Urges Fight for Cultural Rights

By Andrew McCullough - The fundamental human right to culture is often overlooked. Cultural rights are frequently targeted by parties aiming to weaken or divide a culture or group. And cultural sites are often some of the earliest casualties of war. On January 19, 2017 at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Karima Bennoune, professor of law at UC Davis, delivered a rallying cry for the preservation of cultural rights. Her lecture was entitled “Defending the Right to Culture.”

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Savinar Assesses Value of Recruiters for H1-B Visa Holders

Savinar Assesses Value of Recruiters for H1-B Visa Holders

By Griselda Jarquin – For H1-B visa holders, consulting firms are often crucial to securing employment in the U.S. But do the jobs offered by such firms lead to long-term integration and assimilation? And is the playing field level for immigrants of all nationalities? Robin Savinar, PhD candidate in sociology at UC Davis, addressed such questions in a talk entitled “The Labor Market Pathways of H-1B Workers,” hosted on January 19, 2017 by the Migration Research Cluster.

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