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Letters from our readers

March-April 2009


The Developing Child

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

by Elizabeth Gudrais

Reopening the Doors to College

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.

by Theda Skocpol , Suzanne Mettler

A Yodel for Help in the Modern World

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

by Craig Lambert

Fernando Zóbel de Ayala

A brief profile of the peripatetic painter and philanthropist

by John Seed

RIGHT NOW Harvard research and ideas

Save Yourself

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

Our Psychotropic Lives

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

The Internet: Foe of Democracy?

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

Laughing at Slavery

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.

John Harvard's Journal University news

In the Hole

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

The Fiscal Crunch

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

Energizing the Local Economy

An update on the University’s financial contribution

A Vision for the Arts

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

John Briscoe

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

Mapping Africa

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

Yesterday's News

Happenings at Harvard in March and April of years past

A Global Health View

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

Human Rights: Inalienable, Unfulfilled

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

Decisionmaking, Measured

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


News of the University and the Harvard community

Life in Detail

Of archives, libraries, personal memories, and Sylvia Plath

Hoops Houdini

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

Winter Sports

Ice-hockey update

Montage Books, creative arts, performance and more

The Harvard Center for Gastrophysics?

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

The Alcotts, Père and Fille

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

From Literature to the Lab

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

On Judicial Interpretation

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

Off the Shelf

Recent books with Harvard connections

Second-Life Photography

A profile of cultural photographer Lee Smith

A Scourge Remembered

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

Chapter & Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

Almuni Harvardians far and wide

Turning Green into Gold

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

Tax Tutors

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

Vote Now

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

News and Notices

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

The SIGnboard

News from Shared Interest Groups