Recent News

John Wilkerson
I would like to recommend Bill Gates’ new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. It’s a short and informative introduction to one of the most important issues of the 21st century. The book clearly explains the global carbon challenge - that world demand for energy, food and material improvements will continue to grow. Gates views this as a good thing because so much of the world currently lacks access to things... Read more
Friday, March 12, 2021, 1:30-3:00pmAgenda: Faculty Hiring Plan Zoom link (remote)
Prof. Christopher Parker and colleague Prof. Rachel Blum's recent work, Panel Study Of The MAGA Movementcited on Vox: "The Republican Party is the biggest threat to American democracy today. It is a radical, obstructionist faction that has become hostile to the most basic democratic norm: that the other side should get to wield power when it wins elections.... The political scientists behind the survey, Rachel Blum and Christian [sic] Parker,... Read more
Prof. Christopher Sebastian Parker and colleague Prof. Rachel M. Blum discuss finding from their MAGA Study: The Republican Party appears to be at war with itself, split between ex-president Donald Trump’s supporters and establishment Republicans. The “Make America Great Again” movement, often viewed as a divisive force in American politics, includes roughly half of Republican... Read more
Prof. Aseem Prakash and colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak on Forbes web site considering what needs to be done to improve electrical transmission for a carbon-free future energy production: Until 2007, coal accounted for more than half of the U.S. electricity generation. By 2019, its share had dropped to 23%. Natural gas that mostly replaced it saw its share rise from 20% in 2007 to 39% by 2019. But replacing coal with natural gas does not lead to zero-emission... Read more
Prof. Victor Menaldo writes about the possible politicization of our antitrust laws: Breaking up Big Tech is a radical solution in search of a problem. Something simple like a consent decree, which could target limited solutions based on empirically verified problems, might make more sense. While these have not always totally worked in the past when applied to Big Tech, they are not toothless either: The FTC recently brought down the hammer on Facebook, imposing a record $5 billion fine after it fell short during the Cambridge Analytica scandal of... Read more
Prof. Aseem Prakash and colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak write on Forbes that the political polarization is shaping the shouting match over India’s new farm laws in India. For supporters, these laws give farmers the freedom to decide where and to whom they sell their crops. These supporters portray farm protests as a western-inspired conspiracy. For them, Twitter shows double standards on hate speech. And they point out that rich farmers lead the protest: among... Read more
"The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump has shown he was right when he said he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes. There’s a similar sense of disbelief now, that a president could foment a riot at the Capitol to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, and yet his party remains so reluctant to hold him to account. As one stunned reader wrote me this past week: “I’m beginning to think the mob could have succeeded in hanging Mike Pence, and that wouldn’t have made any difference. Republicans would still find a way to stick with their Trump.”... Read more
Professors James D. Long and Victor Menaldo discuss the recent algorithmic craziness: Small groups of committed enthusiasts are using the power of social media and its algorithms to make their otherwise quixotic and bizarre ideas go mainstream. These movements have become more commonplace and their velocity has increased. The most recent case is Reddit’s WallStreetBets group of merry men and women driving GameStop’s share piece to the stratosphere in a bid to squeeze hedge funds out of short-selling positions. While the... Read more
"In the wake of the Capitol riot and on the eve of former President Trump’s second impeachment trial, new data from the University of Washington reveals the attitudes and beliefs that are growing within the Republican Party. The data also uncovers demographic information that may dispel some myths about hard-core Trump supporters...'Right now, these people feel like they’re losing their country and their identity. They feel like they’re being displaced by communities of color, by feminists and by immigrants. These people are motivated by what they... Read more