Faculty Story

Leading Social & Natural Science Organizations Merge

October 26, 2017 

Members of the world’s leading international science bodies, the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC), agreed in a historic vote to merge and create a unified international organization, the International Science Council. Melody Brown Burkins, Associate Director for Programs and Research at the Dickey Center for International Understanding, was part of the four-person U.S. delegation, which included two other members of the U.S. National Academies’ Board on International Scientific Organization (BISO) and the National Academies' Foreign Secretary. Burkins, who is also an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies and teaches a course on “The Practice of Science Policy and Diplomacy," was the only woman in the U.S. delegation.

Why the Vegas Shooter Did It

October 13, 2017  |  POLITICO MAGAZINE

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin writes in Politico Magazine on the speculation around why Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded almost 500 in the worst mass killing in US history. What was his motive? Possibly simply fame, in an age when the Internet makes instant fame possible.

Paddock thus becomes the latest embodiment of a pattern that has emerged in recent decades. In a world gushing with information about fresh atrocities on the internet and social media, one where screaming chyrons and shouting talk radio hosts have become ubiquitous, a small number of individuals seek to make their mark through record-setting violence. By doing so, they hope to distinguish lives hitherto marked by insignificance or failure.

Read his article online

 

Wilson Center Features Ross Virginia in Polar Interactive

August 28, 2017

The Wilson Center in Washington, DC, has created a beautiful and important online interactive called "Into the Arctic" that considers issues facing the Arctic today. Ross Virginia is featured in the section "The Arctic Environment in the Age of Man," along with Senior Arctic Fellow Lenore Grenoble, who narrates "Interactive: Languages of the Arctic."

 

Wilson Center Names Ross Virginia Polar Initiative Fellow

July 6, 2017  |  Dartmouth News  |  Bill Platt

Three Decades of Climate Research in Antarctica

August 26, 2017  |  Valley News

by Matt Hongoltz-Hetling

After the crew members tied the helicopter down to prevent it from blowing away in what was shaping up to be one of Antarctica’s famously powerful storms, they crawled over the frozen ground to join Dartmouth Professor Ross Virginia and a handful of students in the crowded emergency shelter.

They’d seen the storm on the horizon, a solid wall of clouds rushing toward them, and soon they felt it too — winds that slammed into the small aircraft and caused it to bounce erratically. Though they were just minutes from the relative safety of McMurdo Station on Ross Island, they had to abandon their plans and seek immediate shelter on the ground.

“It was a plywood shack with a little stove in it,” Virginia recalled. “There was a radio, and bunk beds. A little table. Nine of us jammed in there.”

Read the entire article at the Valley News

Mosquitoes Getting Bigger and Badder

August 14, 2017

In a National Geographic article Lauren Culler discusses the challenge of dealing with a greater number of mosquitoes emerging in Greenland. 

 "There aren’t a lot of animals for them to eat in the Arctic, so when they finally find one, they are ferocious. They are relentless. They do not stop. They just keep going after you."

A threat to caribou as well as people, mosquitoes are emerging earlier, getting bigger and hang around longer, driven by warmer temperatures. Cullers new research has been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Virginia Comments on Greenland Toxins in Popular Science Article

July 12, 2017  |  Popular Science

As the huge ice sheet melts, it releases toxins—and microbes that eat them, reports Poular Science magazine. They turned for comment to Professor Ross Virginia, Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies: “It’s potentially good news that degraders are found in the melting ice ecosystem." 

Read the entire article in Popular Science, July 11, 2017.

Fulbright Arctic Initiative Accepting Applications

July 12, 2017  |  Fulbright Scholar Program release

Fulbright Arctic Initiative information (pdf)

18-month research program will expand collaborative networks and address shared priorities

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has announced the launch of the second Fulbright Arctic Initiative.

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative is designed to create a network to stimulate international research collaboration on Arctic issues while increasing mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries.  Using a collaborative multidisciplinary model to emphasize communication across disciplines and knowledge co-production, the Initiative will translate theory into practice to address public-policy research questions relevant to Arctic Council member states’ shared challenges and opportunities.

Is Trump Fighting Terrorism?

June 4, 2017  |  POLITICO

by Daniel Benjamin

Is Trump Fighting Terrorism?  Or is he just tweeting about it, while making it worse?

Donald Trump came to the presidency on a wave of overheated rhetoric about the terrorist threat, the failures of his predecessors, and promises, as he said in his inaugural address, to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.” Four months into his term, and on the heels of Saturday’s terrorist attack in London, which killed seven and injured dozens in the third attack in Britain in three months, it’s worth asking: Is Trump actually delivering decisive counterterrorism?

Talk Highlights Outcomes of Iranian Election

May 23, 2017  |  Valley News

An article in the Valley News highlighted Dartmouth Sociology Professor Misagh Parsa's views on the roots of a deep discord between the Iranian people and their Islamist government and pointed to possible outcomes.

Parsa, author of the book Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed, talked only days after a major victory by Hassan Rouhani, a moderate reformer, in Iran's presidential election. 

She told the Valley News, "It’s highly unlikely for Iran to democratize through reform,” Parsa said, given that reformers have to work within the existing structures of power. “And so instead it’s likely that Iran will need to go through another revolutionary transformation.”

Professor Parsa's talk was co-sponsored by the Dickey Center and the Department of Sociology. 

Read the entire article by Rob Wolfe in the Valley News.

 

 

On Iran and anti-extremism, Trump strikes different note from his predecessors

May 22, 2017  |  PBS Newshour

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin talked to the PBS Newshour about whether President Trump is making a shift in foreign policy after his trip to Saudi Arabia and the tone of the language he used there.

"He’s gone all in, in terms of standing with them [Sunni Arabs] and with the Israelis against Iran. I think that brings with it some challenges.

I think it’s also noteworthy that he pushed the Saudis and others to do more against terrorism themselves, but it was quite interesting that the way that he described terrorism, it was really kind of flat. It was in very good vs. evil terms, but no larger discussion of what the drivers of terrorism are, no discussion about bad governance, about economic stagnation, about any repression.

And, as a result, it leaves the impression that this is going to be purely about military law enforcement, and not anything else, which is really at odds with the policy we had, which was that you can’t shoot your way out of this."

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