Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

March-April 2009


Letters from our readers

The College Pump

A vandalized pump, a fumbled swearing-in, and lessons about life from Professor John H. Finley


On <em>Tetrapanax papyriferum</em> and Chinese art

In this Issue

With a new interdisciplinary center, Harvard turns its focus to the earliest years of life.

The United States must refresh the marriage of excellence and opportunity that characterizes American higher education at its best, argue sociologists Theda Skocpol and Suzanne Mettler.

Playwright Christopher Durang, a “native American absurdist,” writes black comedies that turn painful events into hilarity.

A brief profile of the peripatetic painter and philanthropist


Letters from our readers

Right Now

Harvard Business School’s Peter Tufano says simplifying savings-bond purchases for small savers will benefit citizens and government alike.

History professor Daniel Lord Smail explores the role of psychotropic mechanisms in human evolution and history.

The Internet, by allowing like-minded individuals to self-segregate, has had a polarizing effect on democracy, suggests Harvard Law School’s Cass Sunstein..

In Laughing Fit to Kill: Black Humor in the Fictions of Slavery, Glenda Carpio describes how slavery has provided a background and a source of raw material for African-American humor.

New England Regional

Experiencing new partners in the second half of life

Some comments on cohabitation

Early spring happenings on and around campus

Merengue brings authentic Caribbean/Latin American-style food to Boston.

John Harvard's Journal

Harvard assesses the feasibility of completing capital projects now under way, and the timing of other parts of its institutional master plan.

Harvard and its schools are preparing for broad and potentially deep cost reductions.

An update on the University’s financial contribution

A University-wide task force recommends new degree programs, courses, and spaces for art production.

John Briscoe will reestablish an engineering program at Harvard focused on water.

Africa Map, a project of Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis, brings GIS capabilities to research on the entire continent.

Happenings at Harvard in March and April of years past

A profile of Julio Frenk, new dean of the Harvard School of Public Health

Harvard marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

A new interdisciplinary decision-science lab will host experiments from psychology, economics, and beyond.

News of the University and the Harvard community

Of archives, libraries, personal memories, and Sylvia Plath

Star shooting guard Jeremy Lin excels in nearly every phase of basketball.

Ice-hockey update


Harvard science labs and master chef Ferran Adrià confect a mutually beneficial partnership.

John Matteson, who left the law to pursue literature, won a Pulitzer Prize for <em>Eden’s Outcasts,</em> his double biography of Bronson and Louisa May Alcott.

In this excerpt from his new book, <em>The Art and Politics of Science,</em> Nobel laureate Harold Varmus reflects on his switch from graduate work in English to medical school.

Paul M. Barrett reviews <em>The Invisible Constitution</em>, by Loeb University Professor Laurence H. Tribe.

Recent books with Harvard connections

A profile of cultural photographer Lee Smith

A new film by G. Wayne Miller looks back to a time when tuberculosis gripped America.

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words


H. Jeffrey Leonard invests in green energy around the globe.

Robert Burke’s nonprofit Ladder Up offers tax help and financial advice to the working poor.

This spring, alumni will choose five new Harvard Overseers and six new directors for the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) board.

The HAA clubs committee awards were presented February 5

Comings and Goings; Return to Harvard Day; and a special notice regarding Harvard's Commencement Exercises

News from Shared Interest Groups

The College Pump

A vandalized pump, a fumbled swearing-in, and lessons about life from Professor John H. Finley


On <em>Tetrapanax papyriferum</em> and Chinese art