Blog Archives

Oh, the morality: why ethics matters in economics

“Morally bankrupt” is how a recently departing Goldman Sachs executive described the culture of the investment bank. As noted in Business Day, this view “is common among the bank’s critics, many of whom see the firm as a symbol of Wall street’s excesses and a culture of greed which has wreaked havoc on US business […] … learn more→

Cosmic motion offers \’new window\’ on evolving Universe

The first observation of a cosmic effect could give astronomers a new tool for understanding the forces behind the Universe\’s formation and growth, including the enigmatic phenomena of dark energy and dark matter. An international team led by Princeton University, and including Oxford University scientists, has detected the movement of distant galaxy clusters via the […] … learn more→

Calculating the cost of advanced manufacturing

For Tim Gutowski, advanced manufacturing is an opportunity not just to boost employment, but also to improve the environment. Gutowski heads MIT’s Environmentally Benign Manufacturing research group, which looks at the environmental costs and impacts associated with manufacturing traditional materials such as concrete and steel, as well as advanced and emerging technologies such as semiconductors, […] … learn more→

China’s leadership transition: a fight behind closed doors

As the once-in-a-decade transfer of political power in China looms, the consequences for the country’s foreign policy, economic development, political reform, and military affairs is hard to overstate. In Autumn, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will hold its 18th National People’s Congress, changing over all nine positions in the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest decision […] … learn more→

Helping women faculty navigate ‘career pressure points’

As a professor of astronomy and physics, Priyamvada Natarajan doesn’t balk at taking risks. She has modeled the upper limits of “monster” black holes and analyzed the consistency of dark matter. As a theorist, she notes, intellectual risk is par for the course. But as a woman in science, risk-taking has another meaning, she says. […] … learn more→

Chimps show food link to walking

A study of chimpanzees gives tantalizing evidence that humans may have evolved upright walking in order to carry more food. A team of scientists from Oxford University, Cambridge, and Kyoto University tested the theory that two-legged (bipedal) walking should occur more of the time when animals are carrying prized but rare resources. The researchers put […] … learn more→

Viral video, gone bad: Kony 2012 and the perils of social media

There have been enough social media disasters of late to make one thing clear: manipulating sentiment through social networks is next to impossible. The McDonald’s #McDStories campaign in January was supposed to allow the public to share fond memories of eating at McDonald’s. Instead, responses quickly became abusive and negative. Qantas famously made the same […] … learn more→

The crisis of shareholder primacy

How do we prevent another financial crisis? Since the devastation that began with the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market in 2007, a great deal of ink has been spilled trying to answer this question. Unfortunately, most official accounts of the crisis, and how to avoid the next one, have missed the mark. They […] … learn more→

A biplane to break the sound barrier

For 27 years, the Concorde provided its passengers with a rare luxury: time saved. For a pricey fare, the sleek supersonic jet ferried its ticketholders from New York to Paris in a mere three-and-a-half hours — just enough time for a nap and an aperitif. Over the years, expensive tickets, high fuel costs, limited seating […] … learn more→