Professor Sue Robinson in Madison Magazine: Staying in the room

The idea that journalists should stay in a room where people are demanding participation cuts at the heart of traditional notions of objectivity. A generation of newsroom protocol mandates that reporters remain free of conflicts of interest: Don’t cover issues you are involved in. Don’t put political signs in your yard. Don’t participate in rallies. Keep yourself out of the story. 

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Professor Kathy Cramer in The Washington Post: Ready for an anti-Trump wave in November? Look at Wisconsin

Democrats won Wisconsin in every presidential election from 1988 to 2012, but Hillary Clinton’s strategists made the mistake of taking the state for granted in 2016. What they missed were trends brilliantly analyzed by Katherine J. Cramer, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin, in her prophetic book, “The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker.” It was published eight months before the 2016 vote.

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In Bloomberg: Math whiz who doubled debt is favorite to win Colombian election

As Colombian presidential candidates try to outdo each other with pledges to slash taxes, Sergio Fajardo (PhD'84, Mathematics) has stood aloof from what he calls the “political bazaar.”

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In the New York Times: Climate change is altering lakes and streams, study suggests

“We’re monkeying with the very chemical foundation of these ecosystems,” said Emily H. Stanley, a limnologist (freshwater ecologist) at the University of Wisconsin — Madison. “But right now we don’t know enough yet to know where we’re going. To me, scientifically that’s really interesting, and as a human a little bit frightening.”

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In the Washington Post: In a fast-warming world, scientists say recent cold wave was exceptionally weird

The record-crushing cold that rang in 2018 was like a blast from the past that will become increasingly rare. For much of the Eastern United States, the polar vortex unleashed the coldest start to a calendar year in recorded history. The punishing cold was exceptional for both its strength and duration, shattering scores of records and persisting two weeks after its invasion on Christmas Eve.

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Professor Alfred McCoy in The National: Joining the dots between Afghanistan's opium trade and Washington’s failing struggle against the Taliban

In the words of Alfred W McCoy, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of a new book, In the Shadows of the American Century, “Afghanistan is the world’s first true narco-state – a country where illicit drugs dominate the economy, define political choices and determine the fate of foreign interventions.”

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In the South China Morning Post: Healthy habits of mind bring happiness and can be learned – even by the busy

Richard J. Davidson, director of the UW-Madison Center for Healthy Minds, says research into how mental training like meditation affects our health throws light on what constitutes a healthy mind. Well-being – as understood by its qualities of awareness, connection, insight and purpose – is a skill that can be learned.

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Alfred McCoy in The Guardian: How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

After 16 years and $1 trillion spent, there is no end to the fighting – but western intervention has resulted in Afghanistan becoming the world’s first true narco-state.

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In The Atlantic: America's rivers are getting saltier

“When we’re throwing down road salt, we might be thinking about the fact that we’re putting salt into the water, but we’re not thinking that it may also mobilize lead,” says Hilary Dugan, a limnologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dugan has studied lakes in North America, which she also found to be increasing in salinity.

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