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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

May-June 2020

Letters

Authoritarianism, labor law, climate change, and more

President Bacow on encountering—and coming to terms with—COVID-19

Faculty governance and long-range intellectual planning for Harvard

The College Pump

Image of sign on Adams House faculty dean residence

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/JSR

Houseboating in Boston Harbor, Apthorp North, and clothing counts

Treasure

Margaret Mee painting of yellow trumpet tree

Click on arrow at right to see additional images
(1 of 8) Margaret Mee, Tabebuia umbellata, the yellow trumpet tree. Cult. São Paulo, Proc. Butantã, August 1964

Image courtesy of Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection.

Botanical bounty at Dumbarton Oaks

In this Issue

The St. Louis, Missouri, skyline on the Mississippi River with the Gateway Arch visible, as seen from across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, Illinois

(Click on arrow at right to see additional images)
(1 of 7) The St. Louis, Missouri, skyline on the Mississippi River, as seen from East St. Louis, Illinois 

Photograph by Visions of America/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Walter Johnson’s radical history of St. Louis

Posthumous portrait of astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin looking up and through a window, echoing Vermeer’s painting “The Astronomer”

(Click on arrow at right to see the full image) Patricia Watwood’s 2001 posthumous portrait of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin echoes Vermeer’s The Astronomer.

Painting © Patricia Watwood/From the Harvard University Portrait Collection. Gift of Dudley and Georgene Herschbach

Photograph © President and Fellows of Harvard College

Brief life of a breakthrough astronomer: 1900-1979

Photograph of copies of the federal budget fiscal year 2021

President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2021 U.S. budget, pre-COVID-19: add a few trillion dollars of debt
Photograph by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The politics, policymaking, and public consequences of mounting government debt—and how to cope with it

Photograph of surgical procedure

Americans use a lot of technologically sophisticated, expensive medical services—slighting more effective, routine care.

Photograph by Rui Vieira/PA Wire/AP Images

Administrative costs, greed, overutilization—can these drivers of U.S. medical costs be curbed?

Letters

Authoritarianism, labor law, climate change, and more

President Bacow on encountering—and coming to terms with—COVID-19

Faculty governance and long-range intellectual planning for Harvard

Right Now

Six butterflies shown in infrared wavelengths of purple and pink colors

(Click on arrow at right to see full image) Butterflies of six different species, photographed in infrared wavelengths, reveal patterns unseen in visible light.

Image courtesy of Naomi Pierce and Nanfang Yu

A study reveals new dimensions to their function and beauty.

Matthias Nahrendorf seated in front of a PET/CT scanner

Matthias Nahrendorf uses equipment like this PET/CT imaging scanner to study the role of white blood cells in inflammation.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Exercise attenuates stem cell production of pro-inflammatory white blood cells.

Children play outside while a homeschooled child watches through a window

Illustration by Robert Neubecker

Elizabeth Bartholet highlights risks when parents have 24/7 authoritarian control over their children.

Activity tracking to identify the at-risk elderly, and China’s offshore windfarm potential 

Harvard Squared

Scenic view of historic Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

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(1of 7) Old Slater Mill site

Photograph courtesy of Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park

Tracing America’s industrial roots in the Blackstone River Valley

A replica of a textile mill shows life-like statues of workers.

(Click on arrow at right to see additional images)
(1 of 3) Exhibits, like this replica of a textile-mill floor, reveal long days of grueling work on dangerous mill machinery.

Photograph courtesy of the Museum of Work & Culture

Woonsocket’s historic French-Canadian community

Circa 1853 photograph of Lawman Captain Harry Love and two of his California Rangers, the state's first law-enforcement agency

(Click on arrow at right to see additional images)
(1 of 3) Lawman Captain Harry Love and two of his California Rangers (the state’s first law-enforcement agency), circa 1853

Photograph courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum

“Gold Rush: Daguerreotypes of Early California,” at the Peabody Essex Museum

Harvard students in caps and gowns enjoying Commencement

Bright-red clackers helped public-health degree candidates promote hand-washing on Commencement morning in 2019.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Harvard’s 369th Commencement goes virtual.

"Rohan Duck" dish at Talulla

“Rohan Duck” at Talulla

Photograph by Wayne E. Chinnock/Courtesy of Talulla

Where to (eventually, again) feast with friends and family in Greater Boston 

The Café Pamplona sign in Harvard Square

Looking ahead to a reopened Harvard Square

John Harvard's Journal

Photograph of student moving out of Eliot House for coronavirus social distancing

An unseasonable move-out: packing up at Eliot House

Photograph by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The sudden dispersal from Cambridge and Boston, Commencement postponed, and the looming financial consequences

Photograph of Susan Murphy

Susan Murphy

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Portrait of a hockey-playing statistician—from Louisiana

Photograph of Bharat Anand

Bharat N. Anand
Photograph courtesy of Bharat N. Anand

A push to emphasize learning rather than teaching

Illustration showing groups on both sides of the Charles River pushing two halves of a brick bridge together to span the river

Illustration by Mark Steele

Headlines from Harvard’s history

Architectural plan for Widener Library

Click on arrow at right to see full image
Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/HPAC

Widener Library’s overlooked designer

Photographs of Harvard and Radcliffe would-be honorands Martin Baron and Melinda Gates

Martin Baron and Melinda Gates

From left: Courtesy of Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post; Courtesy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Baron and Gates planned at Commencement, new Corporation member, a lawsuit renewed, and more

Developments at Harvard, Brown’s changed investments, and Yale’s engagement with companies in its portfolio

A stylized plot of Lorenz's "butterfly effect" model against a black background with gold-toned curves wrapping themselves around unshown x and y axes, resembling the wings of a butterfly

A plot of Lorenz’s “butterfly effect” model: “curves wrapping themselves wildly around the and axes ”

Creative Commons

A student scientist contemplates power and the denial of scholarship.

A necessary but brutal blow

fencers celebrate a championship win

Cai (far left) and teammates swarm Filip Dolegiewiez, who clinched their Ivy title.

Photograph courtesy of Crimson Athletic Communications

How Harvard fencers won an Ivy championship

Chris Lewis, ball in hand, drives past opponent

Senior forward Chris Lewis led the Crimson in rebounding, en route to an All-Ivy League Second Team selection.

Photograph by Erica Denhoff

Injuries—and the coronavirus—lead to disappointing basketball seasons.

Montage

A still image from the film, This is Love, showing Rudy Love in shadowed profile

InThis is Love,filmmakers John Alexander and JC Guest document Rudy Love’s scattered, euphoric, tumultuous life.

Image courtesy of The Love Story LLC

John Alexander follows the ups and downs of funk musician Rudy Love.

Photograph of swimming hole cut in ice

© Mandarinkap/Dreamstime.com

The Business School’s Rebecca Henderson reimagines capitalism to save the planet.

J. B. Jackson drawing of telephone poles on open plain

“Telephone Poles” (1947): an ordinary landscapeobserved and drawn by J.B. Jackson

Courtesy of Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

Recent books with Harvard connections

Paul Yoon

Paul Yoon

Photograph by Peter Yoon

Novelist Paul Yoon explores Laos’s forgotten war.

The Chelsea Theatre building

The artistic mission of the renovated Chelsea Theatre is partly informed by its public-housing neighborhood.

Photograph by Maurice Savage/Alamy Stock Photo

Joshua McTaggart leads London’s Chelsea Theatre into a new era.

Photograph of Radcliffe Bunting Fellows circa 1964-1972

Bunting Fellows in conversation, circa 1964-1972; Tillie Olsen, holding a cup, is at right.

Photograph by Olive Pierce (circa 1964-1972). Copyright © the Pierce family. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

From “women’s confinement” to “women’s liberation” at the Radcliffe Institute

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

Photograph of downtown Yamhill, Oregon, with general store

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(1 of 3) Yamhill’s physical charm, complete with a general store, may make it easy to overlook its people’s struggles.

Photograph by Lynsey Addario

Americans diminished by “social poverty”

Alumni

Birder David Barrett pictured at Central Park

Barrett at a favorite birding site overlooking Turtle Pond, in Central Park, with Manhattan’s Upper East Side beyond

Photograph by Robert Adam Mayer

A quest to chronicle New York City’s avian community

The official 2020 slates

The College Pump

Image of sign on Adams House faculty dean residence

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/JSR

Houseboating in Boston Harbor, Apthorp North, and clothing counts

Treasure

Margaret Mee painting of yellow trumpet tree

Click on arrow at right to see additional images
(1 of 8) Margaret Mee, Tabebuia umbellata, the yellow trumpet tree. Cult. São Paulo, Proc. Butantã, August 1964

Image courtesy of Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection.

Botanical bounty at Dumbarton Oaks