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Letters on E.O. Wilson, Senator Franken, dating data, Overseers, lecture lessons, softball, basketball, taxes, lilacs, and primate research

July-August 2012


A Radical Fix for the Republic

Lawrence Lessig thinks American democracy requires a constitutional overhaul to counter the “economy of influence.”

by Jonathan Shaw

The Case for Compromise

Continuous campaigning and gridlocked governing in American politics

by Amy Gutmann , Dennis Thompson

Voter Suppression Returns

Voting rights and partisan practices in a highly contested election year

by Alexander Keyssar

Owl, Pussycat

A bicentennial exhibition features the little-known, masterful animal artistry of Edward Lear.

by Christopher Reed

Vita: William Francis Gibbs

Brief life of America’s greatest naval architect: 1886-1967

by Steven Ujifusa

RIGHT NOW Harvard research and ideas

Why Nations Fail

James Robinson says that in the modern period, greedy leaders and institutional corruption, rather than geography, explain why some nations fail.

The Library Test Kitchen

An innovative course yields new products, services, and experiences that model the possible future of libraries.

When Having Babies Beats Marriage

Kathryn Edin of Harvard Kennedy School explains why more and more American children are born out of wedlock.

John Harvard's Journal University news

Commencement 2012: Past, Present, Future

Moments for reflection and projection during the 361st Commencement, in Harvard's 375th anniversary year

Honoris Causa

The University confers honorary degrees on six men and two women.

At the Mic

An oratorical omnium gatherum, from Donald Berwick and Derek Bok to Margaret Marshall and Fareed Zakaria

Commencement Confetti

Commencement moments and people—pleasing, surprising, and funny

Harvard, Extended

Harvard partners with MIT to form edX, an ambitious online learning venture.

Harvard Portrait: Russell Phillips

Meet the director of Harvard Medical School's new Center for Primary Care.

Faculty Finance Frustrations

In a fiscally constrained era, faculty-administration tensions arise.

Corporation Expansion

Paul Finnegan joins the Harvard Corporation, expanding its ranks to 11.

Addressing Conflicts of Interest

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences deploys new rules and procedures surrounding financial conflicts of interest.

University People

Memorial Church's new minister, Pulitzer Prize winners, and other Harvardians in the news

Yesterday’s News

Headlines from Harvard history


Shading the Yard, new digital Niemans, Brazil's Harvard commitment, and more

“Effortless Perfection”

The Undergraduate considers the human cost of perfection.

Kiwi Crewmen

The brothers O'Connor, from New Zealand, row on the Harvard varsity heavyweight crew.

Sports Wrap

Spring sports wrap-up

Montage Books, creative arts, performance and more

High-speed, Rocksteady

Rocksteady, a film directed by Mustapha Khan '84, explores the culture of stock car races.

Thinking Outside the Pack

Robert Proctor’s Golden Holocaust urges abolition of cigarettes, the leading preventable cause of death.

Off the Shelf

Recent books with Harvard connections

Listen to the Landscape

Composer Ben Cosgrove connects sound and place.

Cities for Games

Video-game designer Scott Duquette ’05, a new kind of urban planner

Chapter and Verse

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

Almuni Harvardians far and wide

The Whistle

An entrepreneur’s multimedia ESPN for kids, “the next generation of sports fans”

Oldest Graduates

Harvard’s senior members, at Commencement and elsewhere

Harvard Medalists

Five honored for outstanding service to the University

Voting Results

Four women and eight men were chosen.

Cambridge Scholars

Four seniors are bound for Britain.

Alumni Gifts

New records are announced on Commencement afternoon.

GSAS Centennial Medalists

A literary scholar, an East Asia expert, a trailblazing biologist, and a specialist on international relations are honored.

History Is Where the Future Begins

A letter from President Drew Faust

Home Builder

Nick Volk ’53 champions affordable housing.

Science Simulator

Kathy Perkins ’92 fosters science education.

The SIGnboard

Shared Interest Group happenings in July and August

The Classes

Harvard alumni may sign in to view class notes and obituaries.