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News and Features

Robert Murphy

The economic challenge

BC economist Robert Murphy offers perspective on the challenges facing the new administration to NECN and the Boston Globe.

Lisa Cahill

On religion and politics

When the Church is perceived to be a cheerleader for one political party, a rich faith tradition is badly damaged and loses its prophetic voice, writes Monan Prof. of Theology Lisa Sowle Cahill in National Catholic Reporter.

Marc Lancy

The new administration

Political scientist Marc Landy discusses the Obama Administration and challenges facing the president-elect.  Boston Herald | WCVB-TV 'Chronicle' | CNN

Voter prudence, prioritization

Voters in the 2008 election should weigh the 'two p's' - prudence and prioritization, says BC theologian Kenneth Himes.  BC Chronicle

Juliet SchorMarkets stall but spoiled always sells

Even in our declining market, "Consumers still focus on the media's message; success depends on the right clothing, right friends, and right decor," commented sociologist Juliet Schor in the NY Times.

Humor in the presidential race

Professor of English Paul Lewis discussed Sarah Palin's SNL appearance and the role of humor in the presidential race live on the CNN International Sunday World News program.

Work now, play later

Working Longer, the latest book by Center for Retirement Research Director Alicia Munnell and Associate Director Steven Sass, is featured by the Boston Herald.

How will America change?

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Director Alan Wolfe was among thought leaders asked how America will change as a result of the economic downturn by The New Republic's blog 'The Plank'.

Judging presidential greatness

Political scientist Marc Landy is among scholars asked to assess the financial rescue initiative's effect on how the Bush presidency will be viewed. Wall Street Journal

Sowing the Word

Scriptural understanding has flourished since Vatican II, but challenges remain, writes theologian Pheme Perkins in America magazine.

Congressional Testimony

Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett was called to testify before Congress to explain the role of social science, behavioral, and economic research in improving the nation's health and reducing the economic burden of health care. Subcommittee on Research and Science Education | Psychology department news

The election ed gap

Each presidential election, pundits say, hangs on a crucial variable that divides one party from the other. This year's big dividing point, if a new Washington Post/ABC poll is to be believed, is education, writes political scientist Alan Wolfe for TNR's 'The Plank'.

The duality of Sarah Palin

Sociologist Sharlene Hesse-Biber comments on public reaction to the 'beauty queen politician' duality of the GOP vice-presidential nominee in The Hill, the newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress. More

Praise for 'The Faithful'

A new chronicle of American Catholic laity by Clough Millennium Prof. in History James O'Toole is 'distinguished by its attentiveness to devotional life,' according to a review in America magazine. More

Profs weigh in on financial turmoil

Comments on the turbulent financial scene by Murray and Monti Prof. of Economics Peter Ireland and College of Arts & Sciences Dean Patrick Maney are featured on the Boston Globe's Business Update.

A matter of honor

Political scientist Robert Faulkner discusses his recent book on the unsung virtues of political ambition. Video from Boston College Libraries

Party peer pressure

From wild weddings to 'super sweet 16' bashes, over-the-top celebrations abound. Sociologist Juliet Schor and doctoral candidate Patricia Arend discuss the trend with the New York Times.

'The Given Day'

Author Dennis Lehane, a native son of Boston, paints a surprising and affectionate portrait of that staid burg as a snake pit of cutting-edge trouble, writes American Studies Director Carlo Rotella in a review of Lehane's latest book 'The Given Day.' Chicago Tribune

Cellular symmetry

Scientists including biologist David Burgess are placing sea urchin eggs in snug, microscopic chambers shaped like triangles, stars and ice cream cones to learn what cues tell a cell to divide at the center. Science Daily


Chemist Dunwei Wang and colleagues have conquered a longstanding engineering challenge in nanotechnology by creating nanonets, a flexible webbing of nano-scale wires that has potential applications in microelectronics and clean energy. More | UPI | Science Daily | Cellular News (UK) | Daily India | Nanotechwire

1918 flu epidemic

University Historian Tom O'Connor recalls the devastating worldwide influenza epidemic ninety years after it first hit Boston. Boston Herald

Sediment Study

A team led by BC geologist Noah Snyder will monitor changes along a 14-mile stretch of New Hampshire's Souhegan River following the removal of the century-old Merrimack Village Dam. More

Faith and Campaign 2008

Walsh Professor of Bioethics John Paris, S.J. discussed with CNN's Lou Dobbs the appearances of John McCain and Barack Obama at the Saddleback Church faith forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren. Read the program transcript (segment begins about halfway through).

Sleep and memory

A study by BC psychologist Elizabeth Kensinger and colleagues suggests that sleep plays a key role in determining what we remember - and what we forget. Science Daily

Census shift

In an interview on NECN, Sociologist Sharlene Hesse-Biber discusses a new government projection showing whites will no longer make up the majority of Americans by 2042. Video

An 'amazing' anthology

Prof. of Russian and English Maxim D. Shrayer's anthology of Jewish-Russian literature is deemed 'amazing' and 'a fascinating cultural phenomenon in itself' by a review in the London's East European Jewish Affairs journal. More

Render unto Caesar

In the Holy newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, BC theologian Rev. Robert Imbelli reviews a timely book on the intersection of faith and politics. Catholic News Agency

Alternative brain cancer treatment

AHANA student Jeremy Marsh's '08 research on brain cancer has been accepted for publication in Clinical Cancer Research. The study, conducted by Marsh in collaboration with BC biologists Purna Mukherjee and Thomas Seyfried, showed that the simple process of caloric restriction could reduce growth and extend survival in mice bearing a malignant glioma. More

Scientists concerned for Georgia colleagues

BC geoscientist Emanuel Bombolakis and alumni have been helping colleagues in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, monitor earthquakes in a region now rocked by conflict with Russia. More | Project background

Working longer

As headlines warn Americans that their retirement years may be far from golden, Center for Retirement Research Director Alicia Munnell discusses their options with US News & World Report and on WBUR-FM's 'Here and Now'.

'Last lectures'

German Studies Professor Michael Resler reflects on what he would try to convey to his students in a last lecture. Boston Globe

Teaching award

Professor of History Kevin Kenny is the recipient of the 2008 Boston College Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Doctoral Faculty Teaching Award, for significant contribution to the teaching of students pursuing doctorates.

Crime story

After 15 books about a city torn by mob shootouts, gang wars, serial killers and street vengeance, Washington, DC crime novelist George Pelecanos may be ready for a little peace, writes American Studies Director Carlo Rotella in a cover story for the Washington Post MagazineQ&A

Carbon in the clouds

The testing of new tools to study the role of tiny airborne particles of carbon-laden soot in global climate change brought nearly 20 U.S. researchers to the lab of BC chemist Paul Davidovits. More | Science Daily | | Malaysia Sun | The Hindu

Feast of St. Ignatius

July 31 is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. BC theologian Rev. Robert Imbelli offers some reflections on the day and other subjects on

Overflow Crowd for an Open-Air Chamber

Andrew Sofer's poem, "Wandlebury Ring," that was set to music by award-winning composer Kevin Beavers, was performed at the Washington Square Music Festival in NYC. Sofer's piece was praised by classical music critic Allan Kozinn in his NY Times review.

Working longer

The new book 'Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge' by Alicia Munnell and Steven Sass of the Center for Retirement Research is featured by the New York Times.  About the book

Campaign trail

Political Science Professor Marc Landy discussed the results of a recent poll on Americans' views of Barack Obama, and was interviewed about the candidate's overseas trip, in two reports on NECN. Video 1 | Video 2

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sociologist David Karp has been awarded the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, for a career of outstanding contributions to the sociology of emotions.

Thinking mathematically

During a recent workshop at the University of Chile, BC mathematician Solomon Friedberg was interviewed about educating future elementary school teachers in 'math knowledge and thinking.' More

Consumer diet

Sociologist Juliet Schor contends that global consumers must go on a 'diet' to help reduce carbon emissions and safeguard the environment. More

Partial recall

Psychologist Elizabeth Kensinger explores how age and emotion affect what we remember. Audio from @BC

Theologian honored

The Catholic Theological Society of America this month presented its 2008 John Courtney Murray Award to BC's Monan Professor of Theology Lisa Sowle Cahill. Citation

Americans and religion

BC faculty members comment on a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which found that most Americans consider themselves religious, yet non-dogmatic in their approach to faith. More

An action intellectual

An editorial in America, the national Jesuit weekly, deems Center for Human Rights and International Justice Director David Hollenbach, S.J. to be an 'action intellectual' whose work exemplifies Catholic higher learning in service to the poor.

Near perfect 'black'

Physicist Willie J. Padilla and colleagues working with metamaterials say they are near to achieving a surface that can absorb every photon that hits it. Nature

Rage in South Africa

Sociology Assoc. Professor Zine Magubane recently discussed growing racial tension at South Africa's University of the Free State on NPR's 'News and Notes.' More

Seismology at Sea Lab

Local fifth-graders are attending a class on seismology at New Bedford's Sea Lab taught by BC geophysicist Alan Kafka - a partnership designed to help improve the quality of science education in U.S. schools. More

Remembering Bobby Kennedy

J. Joseph Moakley Professor of Politics Kay Schlozman is interviewed by NECN on the life and times of Robert F. Kennedy, forty years after his assassination. Video

Texas custody case

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Director Alan Wolfe discussed a Texas court decision to return children who had been removed from a polygamous sect on WGBH-TV's "Greater Boston." Video

Fame game

American Studies Director Carlo Rotella writes on boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s pursuit of 'mainstream fame and money a la Paris Hilton' for the New York Times.

Targeting anti-cancer agents

An enzyme within a powerful anti-cancer agent may prove useful in better targeting cancer cells and producing new drugs that are more stable, chemist Steven D. Bruner and colleagues report. More | Science Daily

A 'perfect' first

Physicist Willie J. Padilla and colleagues have designed the first metamaterial to demonstrate perfect absorption of all the light that strikes it. More | Science Daily

Social Security strategy

Center for Retirement Research Director Alicia Munnell discussed strategies for claiming Social Security on PBS 'Nightly Business Report.' Transcript

Down at the dump, townies mine for treasure

BC sociologist Juliet Schor told the Boston Globe that consumer environmental awareness is making it fashionable to shop for secondhand items.

The forgotten philosopher

Academe's specialization has left John Stuart Mill out in the cold, writes Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life Director Alan Wolfe in the Chronicle of Higher Education Review.

Working longer

'Working Longer' -  a new book co-authored by Center for Retirement Research Director Alicia Munnell and Associate Director Steven Sass - is highlighted in the Wall Street Journal.

Chasing Utopia, Family Imagines No Possessions

Juliet Schor, BC sociologist and author of "The Overspent American," was interviewed in the New York Times on families giving up their possessions.

Distinguished award

Sociologist Natalia Sarkisian has won the 2008 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Article Award from the ASA's Race, Gender, and Class section for her article, "Extended Family Integration among Euro and Mexican Americans: Ethnicity, Gender, and Class."

Israel at 60

Sociologist Eve Spangler's op-ed, "We Should Not Celebrate Dis-Possession," was published by Counterpunch.

Waiting for America

Professor of Russian and English Maxim D. Shrayer recently discussed his new memoir 'Waiting for America' on WBZ-AM's 'Jordan Rich Show.' Listen here

'Some enchanted quagmire'?

Is the musical 'South Pacific' - now a hit revival on Broadway - also a geopolitical allegory? That intriguing question is posed in a book by English Assoc. Professor Tina Klein, according to the New York Times' editorial blog The Board.

Ireland's Magdalen Laundries

English Associate Professor James M. Smith needed the distance of living abroad to write his new book about the Irish women who suffered incarceration in the Magdalen laundries. Irish Times

Psychologist named Searle Scholar

Assistant Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Kensinger has been named a 2008 Searle Scholar, an honor that recognizes young faculty conducting important and innovative research. more

Era of cheap goods ends

The era of cheap goods is over, write History Associate Professor Prasannan Parthasarathi and Sociology Professor Juliet Schor, and broad-based reforms are needed to cushion higher prices for basic needs. Boston Globe

On capital punishment, a message for all

Capital punishment and a commitment to due process are not compatible, writes History Professor Alan Rogers as Massachusetts approaches the 30th anniversary of its abolition of the death penalty. Boston Globe

Sociologist honored

The International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy will present its highest recognition to Sociology Professor and Center on Wealth and Philanthropy Director Paul Schervish this month. More

Music builds bridges in the brain

Taking music lessons can strengthen connections between the two hemispheres of the brain in children, according to a study co-authored by Psychology Professor Ellen WinnerScience Magazine

The Faithful

Clough Professor of History James O'Toole, author of the book The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America, is interviewed on WBUR-FM's 'Here and Now'.

A 'war hero' candidate

Sociology Professor Charles Derber reflects on use of the term 'war hero' in campaign rhetoric as co-author of an op-ed in the Christian Science Monitor.

Editing humor

Professor of English Paul Lewis edited "The Muhammad Cartoons and Humor Research: A Collection of Essays," in HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 21-1 (2008), 1-46. About the Journal

Labor of love

BC theologian Reverend Robert Imbelli offers reflections on a milestone lecture delivered by Cardinal Avery Dulles earlier this month. America

A first in metamaterials

A team led by BC physicist Willie Padilla report in Nature Photonics engineering a new metamaterial composite to bridge the electromagnetic spectrum's 'terahertz gap,' a phenomenon that has defied researchers until now. More | Science Daily

The papal visit

BC theologian Thomas Groome discusses Pope Benedict's historic visit to the United States with NECN. View video

Driven to succeed

The scholarly productivity and drive to succeed that characterize Professor of Russian and English Maxim D. Shrayer - author of the new memoir 'Waiting for America' - are highlighted by the Boston Globe.

Late-night comics sock it to democracy

Professor of English Paul Lewis was quoted in a Chicago Tribune story about the impact of late-night comedy on American politics.

Cancer research first

BC researchers led by biologist Thomas Seyfried have developed the first laboratory mouse model that mimics cancer's spread through the human body. More | Science Daily

A legacy of beauty

Calderwood Professor of Islamic and Asian Art Sheila Blair discusses the place of calligraphy in Islam's rich tradition of decorative arts. US News & World Report

Birthday presents get a timeout from parents

Sociology Professor Juliet Schor was quoted in a Boston Globe article about parents planning birthday party themes to teach their children the spirit of giving.

Useful anger

Angry outbursts often are considered bad for any sort of situation - but such emotions are potentially useful in confrontational tasks, report BC psychologist Maya Tamir and colleagues. UPI | Science Daily | Times of India

New light from Biblical scholarship

Theology Professor Pheme Perkins' 'Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels' is among books by distinguished senior scholars highlighted in the latest America magazine.