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UW In The News

  • Masks Protect Schoolkids from COVID despite What Antiscience Politicians Claim

    Scientific American | September 17, 2021

    For starters, laboratory experiments show that masks block the respiratory droplets and aerosols that transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. In one test, mechanical engineer David Rothamer and his team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison used a machine in a classroom to pump out particles of the same size as those that carry the virus.

  • Hate seeing snakes? Blame the asteroids that killed the dinosaurs, scientists say

    Christoph Mans | September 17, 2021

    Christoph Mans, clinical assistant professor of zoological medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said in 2016 that 50 snake species live in the United States.

  • Do warehouse clubs like Costco save you money in the long run?

    Marketplace | September 17, 2021

    Nancy Wong, a professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said she stopped shopping at Costco because she felt like she was losing money.

  • The climate crisis is getting worse, but the solutions have improved dramatically

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | September 16, 2021

    Written by Gregory Nemet, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs. He is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report, which will be released by the United Nations in spring 2022. He is co-chair of the La Follette School’s Climate Policy Forum on Oct. 6.

    As the House gears up for debate federal infrastructure spending to fight climate change, signs of a planetary-scale crisis are everywhere. Intense rainfall and floods, searing heat in normally cool locations, and relentless wildfires of enormous scale raging continuously.

  • Efforts To Recall U.S. Governors Rarely Succeed

    NPR | September 16, 2021

    Likewise, the unsuccessful bid nine years ago to remove Walker. “I don’t think Democrats gained anything in Wisconsin,” Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told NPR. When they failed to unseat Walker, “I think it set back the Democrats for a while and emboldened Scott Walker and his supporters.”

  • Government support credited with 2020’s decline in poverty

    Marketplace | September 15, 2021

    Many Americans got a lot of new support during the economic disruption of 2020. The supplemental rate does look at those benefits, and that number “shows that we actually did a good job in keeping people out of poverty, even though the money incomes were falling,” said Tim Smeeding, who teaches public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Biden says climate change causing severe weather is ‘no longer subject to debate’

    Fox News | September 15, 2021

    Stevens’ view was echoed by University of Wisconsin geographer Paul Robbins, who argued such fires are not something new.”The idea that fire is somehow new… a product solely of climate change, and part of a moral crusade for the soul of the nation, borders on the insane,” Robbins said.

  • ‘Cyber Ninjas 2.0′ Coming to Wisconsin?: Ballots & Boundaries

    Bloomberg Government | September 15, 2021

    Barry Burden, a University of Wisconsin professor and election administration specialist, released a report declaring the Wisconsin 2020 presidential election “a tremendous success.”

  • The New Science on How We Burn Calories

    The New York Times | September 14, 2021

    The still-growing database, which underpins the Science paper, includes samples from dozens of countries and cultures, from foragers in Tanzania to commuters in Manhattan. “In terms of scale and scope, this is just unprecedented,” says Rozalyn Anderson, a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an author of a commentary published with the study.

  • Mammoth-elephant hybrids could be created within the decade. Should they be?

    National Geographic | September 14, 2021

    The company’s advisers also include two prominent bioethicists who study genome editing: R. Alta Charo of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and S. Matthew Liao of New York University. (Stanford University chemical engineer Joseph DeSimone, a member of Colossal’s scientific advisory board, is also a member of the National Geographic Society’s board of trustees.)

  • Walmart (WMT) Denies Litecoin ($LITE) Pact After Fake Press Release

    Bloomberg | September 14, 2021

    “If you’re putting out a press release that can move markets, you have tremendous potential for harm,” said Kathleen Culver, head of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin. “If you were someone who saw this, made some buys and then everything dropped back to Earth again, you could be out a lot of money.”

  • Column: Lawsuits demanding ivermectin raise fears of judges ordering doctors to commit malpractice

    Los Angeles Times | September 13, 2021

    In one sense, says University of Wisconsin bioethicist R. Alta Charo, judges’ orders at least insulate hospitals and doctors from the consequences of what might be considered malpractice — the prescribing of a drug without established evidence of safety or efficacy for the purpose.

  • Preserving the Selfless Heroism of the Passengers of United Flight 93

    The New Yorker | September 13, 2021

    The attacks of 9/11 were called “the ultimate teachable moment,” but educators have never reached a consensus on “precisely what students should learn,” the scholars Diana Hess and Jeremy Stoddard, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education, have noted. Middle- and high-school textbooks and videos have tended to prioritize what Hess and Stoddard call “lower-order thinking,” which demands little more than rote memorization. Most of the curricula that Hess and Stoddard examined did not challenge “students to critically examine the roots of the attacks.” Some textbooks from the mid-two-thousands failed to provide even the number of people killed, or that Al Qaeda was responsible.

  • Two UW-Madison researchers have spent 20 years studying how 9/11 is taught in schools. Here’s what they learned.

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | September 10, 2021

    As the World Trade Center towers collapsed, Diana Hess wondered if she should cancel class.

    It was Sept. 11, 2001.

    Hess, then an assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education, started hearing whispers that the entire campus would shut down. She had been preparing for an evening class for social studies student teachers, who were working in area middle schools and high schools.

    But now, the world was changing before her eyes — and so was the social studies curriculum.

  • Time, misinfo complicate teaching 9/11 to kids born after it

    The Washington Post | September 10, 2021

    “I think that the way it’s been taught has largely been memorializing the events versus really digging into the context of 9/11 and the ongoing sort of results of 9/11,” says Jeremy Stoddard, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who has researched that subject.

  • Vast Expansion in Aid Kept Food Insecurity From Growing Last Year

    The New York Times | September 9, 2021

    Before the pandemic, Judith Bartfeld, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin, found that school meals account for as much as 7 percent of economic resources among low-income households. That financial contribution approached the impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the main federal antihunger program, which provided more than 10 percent of household resources but is larger and more visible.

  • These Jennifer Aniston Fans Weren’t Born When ‘Friends’ Aired

    The New York Times | September 9, 2021

    Among her young followers, Ms. Aniston’s apparent fallibility may well be a trump card, said Jonathan Gray, a professor of media and cultural studies at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Teaching 9/11 to those who weren’t alive to experience it

    ABC News | September 9, 2021

    Sept. 11 is an important topic in classrooms across America leading up to the 20th anniversary of the attacks.Over time, teachers’ classrooms have become filled with students who were not alive in 2001. In fact, more than a quarter of Americans were not yet born when the attacks happened.Recent Stories from abcactionnews.com”We have students now who have no lived memory of it, and from what teachers reported, very little information about it and in some cases, sort of misinformation or misunderstandings of it,” said University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Jeremy Stoddard.

  • What schools teach about 9/11 and the war on terror

    The Conversation | September 8, 2021

    The phrase “Never Forget” is often associated with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But what does this phrase mean for U.S. students who are too young to remember? What are they being asked to never forget?

    As education researchers in curriculum and instruction, we have studied since 2002 how the events of 9/11 and the global war on terror are integrated into secondary level U.S. classrooms and curricula. What we have found is a relatively consistent narrative that focuses on 9/11 as an unprecedented and shocking attack, the heroism of the firefighters and other first responders and a global community that stood behind the U.S. in its pursuit of terrorists.

    -Jeremy Stoddard and Diana Hess

  • China chases ‘rejuvenation’ with control of tycoons, society

    AP | September 8, 2021

    Party members who worry reforms might weaken political control appear to have decided China’s rise is permanent and liberalization is no longer needed, said Edward Friedman, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin.

  • A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’

    Wall Street Journal | September 7, 2021

    Young men get little help, in part, because schools are focused on encouraging historically underrepresented students. Jerlando Jackson, department chair, Education Leadership and Policy Analysis, at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Education, said few campuses have been willing to spend limited funds on male underachievement that would also benefit white men, risking criticism for assisting those who have historically held the biggest educational advantages.

  • The Nation’s First Regenerative Dairy Works with Nature to Heal the Soil—at Scale

    Civil Eats | September 7, 2021

    Despite that drop in production, grazing is overall a lower-cost approach to producing milk that can increase a dairy’s profitability, said Randy Jackson, a professor of grassland ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Wolf Populations Drop as More States Allow Hunting

    Scientific American | September 7, 2021

    “The state was trying to maintain a tolerable level of mortality” through the February hunt, says Adrian Treves, a carnivore ecologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and an author of the study. “They didn’t.”

  • UW-Madison reports 90% of campus fully vaccinated even without vaccine mandate

    Wisconsin State Journal | September 2, 2021

    UW-Madison reported on Thursday that nine out of every 10 members of the campus community are fully vaccinated — even without mandating students and employees to get the shot.  “I’m proud of our students and employees for taking this important step to protect themselves and others,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in an announcement. “And I’m grateful to our staff, who worked tirelessly to achieve these results.”

  • UW chemist has used showmanship to excite people about basic science for more than a half-century

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | September 2, 2021

    Bassam Shakhashiri stood before a packed theater, all eyes riveted on the bright red handkerchief in his hand.

    “The blue is there. It’s hiding,” Shakhashiri said, having playfully promised his audience that he could change the cloth’s color. “I’m going to sho

  • Largest study of masks yet details their importance in fighting Covid-19

    NBS News | September 2, 2021

    Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist and associate professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was not involved with the study, called the research “thoughtfully put together” and “impressive on many different levels.”

  • Coronavirus vaccines work. But this statistical illusion makes people think they don’t.

    The Washington Post | September 1, 2021

    Is the vaccine wearing off? It’s an exhausting thought for those of us who believed the battle against covid-19 would be won once enough needles plunged into enough arms. But outbreaks of the delta variant have blossomed even in places with high levels of vaccination, including Israel, Britain and my own home of Madison, Wis. Recent reports from Israel that nearly 60 percent of people hospitalized with severe covid-19 were fully vaccinated raised particular alarms about the limits of the protection that vaccines provide.

    –Jordan Ellenberg, a math professor at the University of Wisconsin, is the author of “Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else.”

  • Fact check: FDA Pfizer vaccine approval doesn’t mean ‘nothing’

    USA Today | August 30, 2021

    “The FDA rarely approves a food,” R. Alta Charo, a professor emerita of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told USA TODAY. “Foods go on the market without any prior screening by the FDA if they are generally recognized as safe.”

  • Climate change comes for a favorite summer pastime: fishing

    National Geographic | August 30, 2021

    In Wisconsin, brook trout are expected to disappear by 2050 from nearly 70 percent of the 10,000 miles of rivers and streams where they now swim, John Lyons, curator of fishes at the University of Wisconsin Zoology Museum, and colleagues reported in 2019. “You could argue this is a best-case scenario,” Lyons said.

  • Save the Planet, Eat a Bug

    The New Yorker | August 30, 2021

    The practice of ethical entomophagy started haphazardly. In 1974, Gene DeFoliart, who was the chair of entomology at the University of Wisconsin, was asked by a colleague to recommend someone who could talk about edible insects as part of a symposium on unconventional protein sources

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