UW In The News

  • ‘Blatant manipulation’: Trump administration exploited wildfire science to promote logging

    The Guardian | January 24, 2020

    Monica Turner, a fire ecology scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said “it is climate that is responsible for the size and severity of these fires”.

  • Greta Thunberg Turns 17: A Look Back at Her Year

    Newsweek | January 23, 2020

    Quoted: In sum, she has become “a symbol of future generations whose lives will be impacted by the failure of older generations to act today,” Connie Flanagan, a professor at the school of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an expert in youth politics, told Newsweek.

  • Panicking About Your Kids’ Phones? New Research Says Don’t

    The New York Times | January 22, 2020

    Quoted: Dr. Moreno, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, said that in her own medical practice, she tends to be struck by the number of children with mental health problems who are helped by social media because of the resources and connections it provides.

  • Goodwill Sparks Deep Division, at Least on Balance Sheets

    Wall Street Journal | January 22, 2020

    Quoted: Thomas Linsmeier, a former member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, said he thinks there is “momentum on the board to move toward amortization.” A “driving factor of concern … is the amount of cost in the impairment test,” Mr. Linsmeier, a professor of accounting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said.

  • Should We Alter the Human Genome? Let Democracy Decide

    Scientific American Blog Network | January 22, 2020

    Humankind needs greater scientific and moral clarity on germline genome editing. Achieving it requires inclusive, international, democratic deliberation, supported by our democratic institutions.

  • We’re trying to keep the Galapagos pristine. That might destroy them.

    The Washington Post | January 17, 2020

    Visiting the Galapagos Islands — which have long been considered Charles Darwin’s natural laboratory — is like stepping into a nature documentary. You can snorkel with playful sea lions, watch “Darwin’s finches” feed and inch up to ancient giant tortoises.

    Elizabeth Hennessy is an assistant professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the author of “On the Backs of Tortoises: Darwin, the Galápagos, and the Fate of an Evolutionary Eden.”

  • Brain Parasite Strips Rodents of Fears of Felines—and So Much More

    Smithsonian Magazine | January 16, 2020

    Quoted: If confirmed, the findings widen the scope of Toxoplasma’s effects. Just because the parasite isn’t as targetted as previously thought, doesn’t mean it’s no longer considered a master manipulator, says Laura Knoll, a parasitologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who wasn’t involved in the study,

  • How sports fans respond to their teams’ wavering odds of winning

    EconoTimes | January 16, 2020

    Quoted: Sundays, then, are spent watching win probabilities bounce around like an errant onside kick. This made me and my colleague Evan Polman, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wonder about how people interpret predictions that change.

  • How The ‘Phase 1’ US-China Trade Deal Will Affect Wisconsin Agriculture

    Wisconsin Public Radio | January 16, 2020

    Quoted: University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientist Jon Pevehouse said even if all tariffs are lifted, there’s no guarantee Wisconsin farmers will get their Chinese markets back.

  • ‘How can we compete with Google?’: the battle to train quantum coders

    The Guardian | January 15, 2020

    This quantum bottleneck is only going to grow more acute. Data is scarce, but according to research by the Quantum Computing Report and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on one day in June 2016 there were just 35 vacancies worldwide for commercial quantum companies advertised. By December, that figure had leapt to 283.

  • Hay tainted by toxic beetles kills 14 horses in Wisconsin

    AP | January 14, 2020

    Quoted: University of Wisconsin-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab director PJ Liesch said blister beetles comprise an entire family of beetles that can be found worldwide, including nearly 30 species in Wisconsin that aren’t typically on hay and alfalfa during harvest.

  • Winter is missing from much of the Northern Hemisphere this year. When will it show up?

    The Washington Post | January 13, 2020

    Although the cold lodged over the frozen north is intense, it covers a historically small area for this time of year. Jonathan Martin, a professor of meteorology at the University of Wisconsin, wrote in an email that the size of the “cold pool” over the Northern Hemisphere, which is indicated by temperatures of 23 degrees or lower a mile above ground, ranks as the smallest on record for December and early January.

  • With many bird populations under threat, high-tech bioacoustics are being used to track birds and their songs.

    The Washington Post | January 13, 2020

    Connor Wood, a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, joined a grant to study the endangered spotted owl across California’s 38,000 square-mile Sierra Nevada range. He was stumped by the assignment until he heard about bioacoustics.

  • Cambridge Analytica used these 5 political ads to target voters

    Quartz | January 13, 2020

    Quoted: “Facebook allowed [Cambridge Analytica] to combine different data sources in a way that allowed them to understand voters maybe better than voters themselves did,” Dietram Scheufele, a science of communication professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Quartz when the scandal first broke.

  • The Virtuous Midlife Crisis

    Wall Street Journal | January 13, 2020

    Quoted: “The midlife journey will be more difficult for a good chunk of them because of heightened problems of inequality,” says Carol Ryff, director of the Institute on Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and principal investigator of a large study on midlife in the U.S. She pointed to a recent rise in “deaths of despair” among middle-aged adults driven in part by drug overdoses, alcohol abuse and suicide.

  • Meditation can better the brain. Are we morally obligated to meditate?

    Vox | January 10, 2020

    Quoted: “A little bit of empathy is important, because we need to be able to detect another person’s suffering in order to be helpful,” Richard Davidson, a prominent University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist who’s spent decades studying meditation in the lab, told me. “But empathy by itself can be toxic.”

  • Yes To recalls unicorn face masks after complaints of burns

    Today | January 9, 2020

    Quoted: “They can look very similar,” Dr. Apple Bodemer, an associate professor of dermatology at The School of Medicine and Public Health at University of Wisconsin-Madison, told TODAY. “With an irritant reaction that can happen to anybody who puts the product on their skin.”

  • Autism’s genetic drivers may differ by sex

    Spectrum News | January 9, 2020

    Quoted: The findings support the idea that women can sustain a larger genetic hit than men without having autism, a phenomenon called the ‘female protective effect,’ says Donna Werling, assistant professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not involved in the work. But the mechanisms that might protect women are a mystery.

  • What U.S. State Population Changes Mean for American Elections

    Newsweek | January 8, 2020

    Quoted: Professor Barry C. Burden, director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Newsweek the changes will not be large but probably give Republicans a “slight boost.”

  • Lynda Barry’s Making Comics is a “cookbook” for people afraid to draw

    Vox | January 8, 2020

    But it’s Beuys’s quote that comes to mind when reading Making Comics, the latest handwritten college textbook-of-sorts by the highly successful cartoonist Lynda Barry. In the book, Barry makes a similar assertion to Beuys by using the experience and anecdotes she’s accumulated during her tenure as a professor of comic book studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

  • The Gene Drive Dilemma: We Can Alter Entire Species, But Should We?

    The New York Times | January 8, 2020

    Qutoed: LAs Alta Charo, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, says of our genetic-engineering capability, “At a very instinctive level, there’s a sense that these are things humans are not supposed to be doing.”

    Quoted: Playing to fears around worst-case scenarios can be a powerful tactic. Dietram Scheufele, who studies scientific and political communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, says that scientists are generally much worse than activist groups at shaping public opinion, in part because they tend to rely on logical reasoning and facts, while activist groups are more likely to tap into unconscious values and emotions — like using the term “Frankenfoods” to describe G.M.O.s.

  • Why We Need Real Food & Real Jobs In American Public Schools

    KALW | January 7, 2020

    Guests: Jennifer E. Gaddis, assistant professor of Civil Society and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison & author of The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools

  • Wisconsin Loses 10 Percent Of State’s Dairy Herds As Fallout From Low Milk Prices Continues

    Wisconsin Public Radio | January 7, 2020

    Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Wisconsin usually sees a 4 percent decline in herd numbers each year. But the prolonged period of low milk prices from 2014 to 2019 have forced many farms to sell their herds.

  • Climate change is playing havoc with Mexico’s monarch butterfly migration

    The Washington Post | January 6, 2020

    Quoted: “The question we’re asking is ‘Can one of the world’s most adaptive insects adapt to climate change?’” asked Karen Oberhauser, who studies the species at the University of Wisconsin. “We are changing the conditions and just waiting to see.”

  • From service to science: NIH shifts focus of mentoring network aimed at boosting grantee diversity

    Science | January 3, 2020

    Quoted: “A growing body of evidence exists about how to create and sustain successful and inclusive mentoring relationships,” says Angela Byars-Winston, a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin (UW), Madison, and chair of the committee that wrote the report. “We hope our report can catalyze [the] use of that evidence.”

  • How do you make walking easier for a 2-legged dog? Ask UW-Madison engineers for help

    Wisconsin State Journal | January 3, 2020

    The assignment for a group of UW-Madison students: Find a way for this two-legged dog to walk more easily.

  • How to forgive someone who has hurt you—and why you should

    Popular Science | January 2, 2020

    Robert Enright, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education who has studied forgiveness extensively, says he understands the concern. But he feels the issue is actually a semantic one.

  • Cartoonist and ‘Genius Grant’ recipient Lynda Barry on the scariness of creativity

    The Globe and Mail | January 2, 2020

    “When kids draw,” Lynda Barry says, “there’s almost always a story that comes with their drawing.” That childlike Eden, where words and pictures arrive in tandem, is a place that the cartoonist and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is constantly trying to rediscover.

  • Heavy road salt use a growing problem, scientists say

    USA Today | December 30, 2019

    Quoted: Given the amount of salt used on roads, that’s a real problem, according to Hilary Dugan, a professor of integrative biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A 2017 study by her team found that nearly half of the 284 freshwater lakes in their sample in the Northeast and Midwest had undergone “long-term salinization.” One in 10 of them reached a threshold where scientists worry about impacts on aquatic life.

  • Fathers should be screened for postpartum blues, too

    Reuters | December 27, 2019

    Quoted: “Depression among new dads is a problem that too often gets overlooked,” lead author Tova Walsh, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told Reuters Health.

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