On the cover: Yestock/iStock images


Cambridge 02138

Authoritarianism, labor law, climate change, and more

Greetings from Elmwood

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

What Counts

Faculty governance and long-range intellectual planning for Harvard

May-June 2020

On the cover: Yestock/iStock images


From Lewis and Clark to Michael Brown

Walter Johnson’s radical history of St. Louis

by Marina N. Bolotnikova

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

Brief life of a breakthrough astronomer: 1900-1979

by Donovan Moore

The Federal Fisc

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

by Karen Dynan , Douglas Elmendorf

The World’s Costliest Health Care

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

by David Cutler

RIGHT NOW Harvard research and ideas

Butterfly Wings in a New Light

A study reveals new dimensions to their function and beauty.

Linking Lifestyle to Stem Cells

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

The Risks of Homeschooling

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 

John Harvard's Journal University news

The Campus, Quieted

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

Susan Murphy

Portrait of a hockey-playing statistician—from Louisiana

Rebooting Online Education

A push to emphasize learning rather than teaching

Yesterday’s News

Headlines from Harvard’s history

Character Count

Widener Library’s overlooked designer


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

Divestment Digest

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

Will Truth Prevail?

A student scientist contemplates power and the denial of scholarship.

A Championship—and Seasons Cut Short

A necessary but brutal blow

“Drip, Drip, Drip”

How Harvard fencers won an Ivy championship

“Not Meant to Be”

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

Montage Books, creative arts, performance and more

A Love Letter

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

Taking the Plunge

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

Off the Shelf

Recent books with Harvard connections

The Fiction of Limbo

Novelist Paul Yoon explores Laos’s forgotten war.

Setting the Stage

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

The “Messy Experiment”

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

Chapter & Verse

A correspondence corner for not-so-famous lost words

The Hollowing Out

Americans diminished by “social poverty”

Harvard Squared What to do in Boston, Cambridge and beyond

Historic Threads

Tracing America’s industrial roots in the Blackstone River Valley

“La Survivance”

Woonsocket’s historic French-Canadian community

Staff Pick: Gold Rush Days

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

Conferring Degrees, 2020

Harvard’s 369th Commencement goes virtual.

Returning to Celebrate, and Eat

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

Harvard Square Old and New

Looking ahead to a reopened Harvard Square

Almuni Harvardians far and wide

The Early Bird

A quest to chronicle New York City’s avian community

Overseer and HAA Director Elections

The official 2020 slates