Winter is dark. It's exhausting. It has also features the flu, colds and a tendency to stay indoors. So is Jan. 1 really a good time for resolutions? WashU's Tim Bono has a better idea: Wait a few months.
African American health care workers are there for a reason.A new book by a Washington University in St. Louis social scientist shows how hospitals, clinics and other institutions participate in “racial outsourcing,” relying heavily on black doctors, nurses, technicians and physician assistants to do “equity work” — extra labor that makes organizations and their services more accessible to communities of color.
The dramatic rise of income inequality since 1970 has largely been caused by advances in marketing, says a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.“Marketers have become better at creating and exploiting market distortions in legal ways,” said Gerrit De Geest, the Charles F. Nagel Professor of International and Comparative Law in the School of Law.
The century-old convention of daylight saving time takes effect this weekend but can be hard for our bodies to handle. Circadian rhythm expert Erik Herzog, of Washington University, offers some tips to help us adjust.
In his long career, the evangelical preacher Billy Graham — who died Feb. 21 at age 99 — offered one piece of advice that may be especially relevant to men in the current age of #MeToo sexual harassment scandals — never dine, drink or spend time alone with women other than your wife.Known as the “Billy Graham Rule,” the advice was in line with cultural and sexual norms of the 1950s and later decades, when many of Graham’s contemporary evangelical preachers fell from grace after widely publicized extramarital affairs, said R.
As Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continue to become more prevalent, it may not be long before there is a push for legalizing physician-assisted death (PAD) in dementia cases in the United States.American officials must thoroughly consider the moral and social consequences of such an action, says an expert on medical ethics at Washington University in St.
With an era of decarceration of America’s penal system quickly approaching, a Washington University in St. Louis expert and co-editor of a new book offers concrete strategies for ushering in a metamorphosis of the criminal justice system.“The United States out-incarcerates every other developed nation in the world by a rate of several hundred per 100,000 people,” said Carrie Pettus-Davis, assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St.
Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy protection May 3, the largest-ever American municipal debt restructuring in history. As the U.S. territory seeks forgiveness in $73 billion to assorted creditors, an expert at Washington University in St. Louis says the situation should serve as a dire wake-up call to the municipal bond market.
A newly-redesigned poverty risk calculator, developed by Mark Rank, a renowned expert on economic hardship at Washington University in St. Louis, can for the first time determine an American’s expected risk of poverty based on their race, education level, gender, marital status and age.
Here, in celebration of Valentine's Day, we present another of the paradoxes, sometimes called the Picky Suitor problem: Can you guess the odds that you will find your one and only among the 9 billion people on the planet?
Striking racial divides in the 2016 election serve as a reminder that racially charged narratives still have a powerful hold on the American mindset. If the left is to compete in future elections, it must learn to tell competing narratives that build coalitions around racial justice, says political scholar Clarissa Hayward.
While cynics may scoff at the United Nations'; March 20 observance of International Happiness Day, a positive psychology researcher at Washington University in St. Louis says it's high time for happiness to be taken seriously.
"Happier people live longer, get sick less often, are more productive at work, more engaged in their communities, more likely to help those in need, and enjoy higher-quality relationships." said Tim Bono, who teaches courses on the psychology of happiness in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.
Wishing family and friends a “Happy New Year” is all well and fine, but if you’re serious about spreading cheer in the New Year, consider passing along more specific advice from a psychologist who studies the science of happiness at Washington University in St. Louis. There is no secret to happiness, but there is a science to it, says Tim Bono.
Article Body 2010 Few things are as certain as the end of life, so why is it so hard to talk about? That’s the question many families will be grappling with as they get together over the holidays with extended families, including close relatives who are getting on in years or those battling a serious health issue. While it’s easy to put off dark discussions during festive times, it’s best to have them sooner than later, said Brian Carpenter, a psychologist who studies family relations in later life at Washington University in St.
Even a cursory glance at today’s headlines reveals a deep inability to get along. From politics, to religion, to social issues, extreme positions may play well with a political base, but do little to further substantive conversation and real change. How do we get back to forming meaningful relationships that can move toward common ground despite our deep ideological differences? The answer lies in a confident pluralism, said an expert on law and religion at Washington University in St. Louis
Following the death of Michael Brown a year ago this August, one of the key issues to emerge was a critical examination of the municipal court system in the individual communities that make up St. Louis County. Many of the courts were accused of not working primarily for justice, but as a way to raise funds for municipalities. Three faculty members from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, all of whom are involved in court reform efforts, express their thoughts on the reform process.
A new study in JAMA Psychiatry shows that therapy provided via telephone for older adults in rural areas is effective in treating anxiety disorder. In an accompanying editorial, Eric J. Lenze, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, wrote that the health-care system lacks the capacity to help the growing elderly population and that relying too heavily on sedative medications isn’t the answer.
A new study, published July 20 in JAMA Pediatrics, provides even more compelling evidence that growing up in poverty has detrimental effects on the brain. In an accompanying editorial, child psychiatrist Joan L. Luby, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, writes that “early childhood interventions to support a nurturing environment for these children must now become our top public health priority for the good of all.”
Appearing March 12 before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, associate director of the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis, urged U.S. senators to create long-term asset-building policies and to use such “golden moments” as tax time to urge Americans to save.
Why do so many of us cry at the movies? Why do we flinch when Rocky Balboa takes a punch? What’s really happening in our brains as we immerse ourselves in the lives being acted out on screen? These are the questions that Washington University in St. Louis neuroscientist Jeffrey M. Zacks, PhD, explores in his new book, “Flicker: Your Brain on Movies.”
Over the past several decades, Michael Kinch of Washington University in St. Louis says, the pharmaceutical industry has managed to dismantle itself. “It’s done a really efficient job of it,” he said. In a provocative series of articles and interviews, Kinch, the director of the Center for Research Innovation in Business at the university, has been describing the history of this dismantling and its implications for the future of medicine. The inescapable conclusion is that “The process by which drugs are discovered and developed will be fundamentally different in the future,” he says.
Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case is the corporate equivalent of the road to Damascus, says Elizabeth Sepper, JD, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. "Many more corporations will find religion to opt out of regulation that affects their bottom line,” Sepper says. “Before Hobby Lobby, businesses lost claims to fire pregnant women, refuse to promote non-Christians, discriminate against gays, and pay below the minimum wage. “After Hobby Lobby, they seem likely to succeed."
A recent interdisciplinary conference that led to the publication of a special issue of PNAS on domestication raised more questions than it answered. Washington University in St. Louis scientists Fiona Marshall and Ken Olsen, who participated in the conference and contributed to the special issue, discuss some of the key questions that have been raised about this pivotal event in human history.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in the McCutcheon v. FEC decision, removed the cap on the number and amount of donations a person can give during political campaigns. Gregory Magarian, JD, election law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, says that this decision will have a major impact on campaigns – a much bigger impact than the earlier Citizens United campaign finance decision. This decision “marks then end of campaign finance regulation as we know it,” says Magarian.
Is the American Dream slipping away? Maybe, says Mark R. Rank, PhD, one of the country’s foremost experts on inequality and social justice. “More than at any time in our past,” Rank says, “there are serious questions regarding the American Dream and its applicability to everyday people.” Rank's new book, “Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes” (Oxford University Press 2014) is released.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule this spring on whether prayers before town hall meetings violate the First Amendment clause that prohibits the establishment of religion. John Inazu, a First Amendment expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, highlights one dimension of the litigation often unaddressed by commentators: what he calls the “mistakes of the past, present and future” adopted by proponents of legislative prayer.
3.5 out of 12 – That is the score the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave President Obama’s highly anticipated address on NSA spying last week. And while lauding Obama for recognizing the dangers of government surveillance and the importance of discussing it, Washington University in St. Louis privacy law expert Neil Richards agrees that the president did not quite go far enough to protect individual privacy.
“The House leadership’s procedural excuses for blocking a vote on critical immigration reform make little sense,” says Stephen Legomsky, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis and the recent Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security. In that position he worked intensively with White House and DHS officials and played a major role on comprehensive immigration reform. “It’s now been 7 months since the Senate passed a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. Speaker Boehner should allow the people’s elected representatives in the House to consider it without further delay,” Legomsky argues.
Anti-abortion groups are well known for demonstrating and sidewalk counseling at women’s reproductive health facilities, but a Massachusetts statute criminalizes even peaceful expression on public sidewalks near these clinics. An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case will determine the constitutionality of Massachusetts’ selective exclusion law, which applies only to streets and sidewalks near reproductive health-care facilities. “If Massachusetts can close off the sidewalks surrounding reproductive health centers to peaceful expressive activity, then the government can prohibit expression in a wide range of circumstances,” says John Inazu, JD, First Amendment expert and associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.
As encrypted email services like Lavabit shut their doors, the importance of email privacy becomes even more clear writes Neil Richards, JD, privacy law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, in a recent CNN opinion piece. “E-mail privacy matters because our intellectual privacy matters,” he says.
The Supreme Court today struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and rejected a challenge to a lower court ruling that invalidated California’s ban on same-sex marriage, known as Proposition 8. Gregory Magarian, JD, constitutional law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, says that the immediate effects of these decisions for same-sex couples will be profound. “The demise of DOMA means that the federal government must treat same-sex couples, legally married under state laws, just like opposite-sex married couples for purposes of federal benefits, tax status, etc,” he says. “The nullification of Proposition 8 appears to make marriage available to same-sex couples in the nation’s largest state, under a prior marriage law that Proposition 8 had purported to invalidate.”
The Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder effectively kills the most successful weapon our nation has ever produced against racial discrimination in voting, says constitutional and election law expert Gregory Magarian, JD, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. He says the Court’s decision reflects a victory for two big ideas: state power, at the expense of racial justice; and judicial power, at the expense of democracy.
In the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics decision, the Supreme Court unanimously held that naturally occurring DNA sequences are “products of nature” and therefore cannot be patented.
The Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion in Bowman v. Monsanto holds that farmers who lawfully obtain Monsanto’s patented, genetically modified soybeans do not have a right to plant those soybeans and grow a new crop of soybeans without Monsanto’s permission. “The Court closed a potential loophole in Monsanto’s long-standing business model, prevents Monsanto’s customers from setting up ‘farm-factories’ for producing soybeans that could be sold in competition with Monsanto’s soybeans, and it enables Monsanto to continue to earn a reasonable profit on its patented technology,” says Kevin Collins, JD, patent law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis
As Germany prepares to enact quotas that will mandate quotas for female participation on major corporate boards, the United States is feeling the pressure to improve board diversity, says Hillary A. Sale, JD, corporate governance expert and professor of law at Washington University School of Law.
On Thursday, April 11, the Senate voted to roll back the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act, limiting the web-based publication of government employees’ personal financial information. This action comes in response to a federal court ruling that such publication violated employees’ right to privacy and a critical report by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). “The court recognized that the federal employees have a legitimate right to privacy regarding their personal financial information and ruled that the federal government failed to identify a compelling government interest that would justify posting that personal information on the internet,” says Kathleen Clark, JD, government ethics expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.
On April 15, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, a case that could answer the question, “Under what conditions, if any, are isolated human genes patentable?” Kevin Emerson Collins, JD, patent law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, believes that layered uncertainties make this case an unusually difficult case in which to predict the outcome.
A group of some of the country’s top scholars in First Amendment law recently gathered at Washington University in St. Louis to discuss pressing challenges being faced by the first of our Bill of Rights. Three issues rose to the top of the list for Washington University’s first amendment experts: free expression in a digital age; impaired political debate; and weakened rights of groups.
Ronald M. Levin, JD, administrative law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, recently testified on the REINS Act before the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. “Under the REINS Act, the dysfunction that now afflicts Congress in the enactment of laws would spread to the implementation of the laws,” he says.
The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates recently adopted a resolution recommending that the federal government expand its protections against conflicts of interest among government contractors. The resolution was based in part on a report Kathleen Clark, JD, ethics expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, wrote for the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS).“In recent decades, the federal government has greatly expanded its use of contractors to perform services, and spends hundreds of billions on services every year,” Clark writes. “While an extensive array of ethics statutes and rules regulate government employees to ensure that they make decisions in the interest of the government rather than a private interest, only a few of these restrictions apply to contractor personnel.”
The widespread flu reports are a harsh reminder of the importance of influenza vaccines. This is particularly true for healthcare workers, says Elizabeth Sepper, JD, health law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “One-third of healthcare providers fail to protect themselves, their patients, and the public from influenza.” Sepper says that it is time for a national flu vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
Panera Bread Co. has rolled out a new “hidden menu” featuring protein-rich power foods. While this kind of marketing may make big fans of the chain feel special, it also increases the likelihood that the hidden items fail to take off, says a marketing expert at Washington University in St. Louis.
As Barak Obama prepares for his second inaugural address Monday, Jan. 21, he faces a nation still bitterly divided over his “legitimacy,” suggests Wayne Fields, PhD, an expert on the history of presidential rhetoric and speechmaking at Washington University in St. Louis.
Corporations’ religious freedom claims against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate miss a “basic fact of health economics: health insurance, like wages, is compensation that belongs to the employee,” says Elizabeth Sepper, JD, health law expert and associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. Sepper is featured in the current Harvard Law Bill of Health blog.
Robert Bork was a major figure in the history of American law, and of the Supreme Court, says Neil Richards, JD, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis and former law clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. “There is a great irony to Bork’s death this week, a day after the House of Representatives voted to relax the privacy protections in the so-called “Bork Bill,” the federal law that protects the privacy of our video records.”
Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, is director of the CDC-funded Center for Violence and Injury Protection. She responds to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
While many may see “taking Christ out of Christmas” as a recent phenomenon, the roots of secular Christmas celebrations and commercialization go deep into American history, says Anne Blankenship, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate at the John C. Danforth Center for Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.