Popular jamgrass outfit Greensky Bluegrass has announced a new batch of additions to their 2019 summer tour schedule.On Monday, the band added nine new shows to their growing summer tour, adding to last week’s announcement of scheduled shows in Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and New York, NY. The new batch of dates include a pair of shows with support from Lil Smokies at the Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, UT on June 27th, and the KettleHouse Amphitheater in Missoula, MT the following evening on June 28th.The band will also make stops throughout the month of July and into August at venues including The Norva in Norfolk, VA (7/17); Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre in Wilmington, NC (7/18); Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC (7/19); Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre in Charlotte, NC (7/20); Salvage Station in Asheville, NC (7/21); MECU Pavilion in Baltimore, MD (8/1); and the Jay Peak Resort in Jay, VT (8/3).Related: Cathead Jam Announces 2019 Lineup: The Revivalists, Umphrey’s McGee, Greensky Bluegrass, MoreThe newly-added dates join previously-announced appearances at major festivals across the country including the band’s own Camp Greensky, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, 4848 Festival, The Peach Music Festival, and more. Greensky Bluegrass is also scheduled to head to Red Rocks Amphitheatre just outside of Denver, CO for a three-night run of shows come September.Pre-sale tickets for the new dates are available now via the band’s tour page on their website. General on-sale for the added summer performances will begin this Friday, March 8th, with exception of the June 27th Salt Lake City concert, which begins on-sale on April 29th.Greensky Bluegrass Summer Tour DatesNewly added dates boldedJune 21 – Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride, COJune 27 – Red Butte Garden – Salt Lake City, UT*June 28 – KettleHouse Amphitheater – Missoula, MT*June 29 – Oregon Zoo Amphitheater – Portland, ORJune 30 – Woodland Park Zoo Amphitheater – Seattle, WAJuly 7 – High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, CAJuly 12–13 – 4848 Festival – Snowshoe, WVJuly 17 – The NorVA – Norfolk, VAJuly 18 – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater – Wilmington, NCJuly 19 – Koka Booth Amphitheatre – Cary, NCJuly 20 – Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre – Charlotte, NCJuly 21 – Salvage Station – Asheville, NCJuly 27 – The Peach Music Festival – Scranton, PAAugust 1 – MECU Pavilion – Baltimore, MDAugust 2 – The Rooftop at Pier 17 – New York, NYAugust 3 – Jay Peak Resort – Jay, VT* w/ The Lil SmokiesView New 2019 Tour Dates
Swimming after eating may be a dubious decision, but a film series about food in a pool? That’s another story.On Monday (Feb. 8) at 6 p.m., Food at 24fps presents a screening of “Tampopo” at the Adams House Pool Theater. This little-known Japanese film from 1985 is widely loved by foodies and focuses on a single mother’s obsessive pursuit of the perfect ramen noodles. Tom Levenson, professor of writing and humanistic studies at MIT, will offer a brief informal introduction to the film.The screening is part of a new semi-regular series about movies that feature food, organized by Harvard students, filmmakers, and food and film lovers from the Cambridge area.The Adams House Pool Theater is an unusual venue for a film series — it was originally a swimming pool, built at the turn of the 20th century when that area of campus housed Harvard’s most affluent students. After an eclectic history throughout the 20th century, the space was converted to a theater in the mid-1990s. Seats fill what was the shallow end of the pool, and a state-of-the-art projector and screen make film screenings possible.The screening is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To learn more and to check out the schedule of upcoming films, go to www.food24fps.com.— Amy Lavoie
When I was younger, I used to hear Harvard stories from a member of the class of 1885. Back then, old graduates of the College who could get to Cambridge on Commencement Day didn’t wait for reunion years to come back to the Yard. They’d just turn up, see old friends, look over the new crop, and have a cup of Commencement punch under the elms. The old man remembered one of those summer days when he was heading for the Square after lunch and crossed paths with a newly graduated senior, who had enjoyed quite a few cups of that punch. As the two men approached each other the younger one thrust out his new diploma and shouted, “Educated, by God.”Even with an honorary Harvard doctorate in my hands, I know enough not to shout that across the Yard, but the University’s generosity does make me bold enough to say that over the course of 19 years on the Supreme Court, I learned some lessons about the Constitution of the United States, and about what judges do when they apply it in deciding cases with constitutional issues. I’m going to draw on that experience in the course of the next few minutes, for it is as a judge that I have been given the honor to speak before you.The occasion for our coming together like this aligns with the approach of two separate events on the judicial side of the national public life: the end of the Supreme Court’s term, with its quickened pace of decisions, and a confirmation proceeding for the latest nominee to fill a seat on the court. We will as a consequence be hearing and discussing a particular sort of criticism that is frequently aimed at the more controversial Supreme Court decisions: criticism that the court is making up the law, that the court is announcing constitutional rules that cannot be found in the Constitution, and that the court is engaging in activism to extend civil liberties. A good many of us, I’m sure a good many of us here, intuitively react that this sort of commentary tends to miss the mark. But we don’t often pause to consider in any detail the conceptions of the Constitution and of constitutional judging that underlie the critical rhetoric, or to compare them with the notions that lie behind our own intuitive responses. I’m going to try to make some of those comparisons this afternoon.The charges of lawmaking and constitutional novelty seem to be based on an impression of the Constitution, and on a template for deciding constitutional claims, that go together something like this. A claim is made in court that the government is entitled to exercise a power, or an individual is entitled to claim the benefit of a right, that is set out in the terms of some particular provision of the Constitution. The claimant quotes the provision and provides evidence of facts that are said to prove the entitlement that is claimed. Once they have been determined, the facts on their face either do or do not support the claim. If they do, the court gives judgment for the claimant; if they don’t, judgment goes to the party contesting the claim. On this view, deciding constitutional cases should be a straightforward exercise of reading fairly and viewing facts objectively.There are, of course, constitutional claims that would be decided just about the way this fair reading model would have it. If one of today’s 21-year-old college graduates claimed a place on the ballot for one of the United States Senate seats open this year, the claim could be disposed of simply by showing the person’s age, quoting the constitutional provision that a senator must be at least 30 years old, and interpreting that requirement to forbid access to the ballot to someone who could not qualify to serve if elected. No one would be apt to respond that lawmaking was going on, or object that the age requirement did not say anything about ballot access. The fair reading model would describe pretty much what would happen. But cases like this do not usually come to court, or at least the Supreme Court. And for the ones that do get there, for the cases that tend to raise the national blood pressure, the fair reading model has only a tenuous connection to reality.Even a moment’s thought is enough to show why it is so unrealistic. The Constitution has a good share of deliberately open-ended guarantees, like rights to due process of law, equal protection of the law, and freedom from unreasonable searches. These provisions cannot be applied like the requirement for 30-year-old senators; they call for more elaborate reasoning to show why very general language applies in some specific cases but not in others, and over time the various examples turn into rules that the Constitution does not mention.But this explanation hardly scratches the surface. The reasons that constitutional judging is not a mere combination of fair reading and simple facts extend way beyond the recognition that constitutions have to have a lot of general language in order to be useful over long stretches of time. Another reason is that the Constitution contains values that may well exist in tension with each other, not in harmony. Yet another reason is that the facts that determine whether a constitutional provision applies may be very different from facts like a person’s age or the amount of the grocery bill; constitutional facts may require judges to understand the meaning that the facts may bear before the judges can figure out what to make of them. And this can be tricky. To show you what I’m getting at, I’ve picked two examples of what can really happen, two stories of two great cases. The two stories won’t, of course, give anything like a complete description either of the Constitution or of judging, but I think they will show how unrealistic the fair reading model can be.The first story is about what the Constitution is like. It’s going to show that the Constitution is no simple contract, not because it uses a certain amount of open-ended language that a contract draftsman would try to avoid, but because its language grants and guarantees many good things, and good things that compete with each other and can never all be realized, all together, all at once.The story is about a case that many of us here remember. It was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States on June 26, 1971, and is known as the Pentagon Papers. The New York Times and the Washington Post had each obtained copies of classified documents prepared and compiled by government officials responsible for conducting the Vietnam War. The newspapers intended to publish some of those documents, and the government sought a court order forbidding the publication.The issue had arisen in great haste, and had traveled from trial courts to the Supreme Court, not over the course of months, but in a matter of days. The time was one of high passion, and the claim made by the United States was the most extreme claim known to the constitutional doctrines of freedom to speak and publish. The government said it was entitled to a prior restraint, an order forbidding publication in the first place, not merely one imposing a penalty for unlawful publication after the words are out. The argument included an exchange between a great lawyer appearing for the government and a great judge, and the colloquy between them was one of those instances of a grain of sand that reveals a universe.The great lawyer for the United States was a man who had spent many Commencement mornings in this Yard. He was Erwin Griswold, dean of the Law School for 21 years, who was serving a stint as solicitor general of the United States. The great judge who questioned the dean that day was Mr. Justice Black, the first of the New Deal justices, whom Justice Cardozo described as having one of the most brilliant legal minds he had ever met with. The constitutional provision on which their exchange centered was the First Amendment, which includes the familiar words that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Although that language by its literal terms forbade Congress from legislating to abridge free expression, the guarantees were understood to bind the whole government, and to limit what the president could ask a court to do. As for the remainder of the provision, though, Justice Black professed to read it literally. When it said there shall be no law allowed, it left no room for any exception; the prohibition against abridging freedom of speech and press was absolute. And in fairness to him, one must say that on their face the First Amendment clauses seem as clear as the requirement for 30-year-old senators, and that no guarantee of the Bill of Rights is more absolute in form.But that was not the end of the matter for Dean Griswold. Notwithstanding the language, he urged the court to say that a restraint would be constitutional when publication threatened irreparable harm to the security of the United States, and he contended there was enough in the record to show just that; he argued that the intended publications would threaten lives, and jeopardize the process of trying to end the war and recover prisoners, and erode the government’s capacity to negotiate with foreign governments and through foreign governments in the future.Justice Black responded that if a court could suppress publication when the risk to the national interest was great enough, the judges would be turned into censors. Dean Griswold said he did not know of any alternative. Justice Black shot back that respecting the First Amendment might be the alternative, and to that, Dean Griswold replied in words I cannot resist quoting:“The problem in this case,” he said, “is the construction of the First Amendment.“Now Mr. Justice, your construction of that is well-known, and I certainly respect it. You say that no law means no law, and that should be obvious. I can only say, Mr. Justice, that to me it is equally obvious that “no law” does not mean “no law,” and I would seek to persuade the Court that that is true.“As Chief Justice Marshall said, so long ago, it is a Constitution we are interpreting….”The government lost the case and the newspapers published, but Dean Griswold won his argument with Justice Black. To show, as he put it, that “no law” did not mean “no law,” Dean Griswold had pointed out that the First Amendment was not the whole Constitution. The Constitution also granted authority to the government to provide for the security of the nation, and authority to the president to manage foreign policy and command the military.And although he failed to convince the court that the capacity to exercise these powers would be seriously affected by publication of the papers, the court did recognize that at some point the authority to govern that Dean Griswold invoked could limit the right to publish. The court did not decide the case on the ground that the words “no law” allowed of no exception and meant that the rights of expression were absolute. The court’s majority decided only that the government had not met a high burden of showing facts that could justify a prior restraint, and particular members of the court spoke of examples that might have turned the case around, to go the other way. Threatened publication of something like the D-Day invasion plans could have been enjoined; Justice Brennan mentioned a publication that would risk a nuclear holocaust in peacetime.Even the First Amendment, then, expressing the value of speech and publication in the terms of a right as paramount as any fundamental right can be, does not quite get to the point of an absolute guarantee. It fails because the Constitution has to be read as a whole, and when it is, other values crop up in potential conflict with an unfettered right to publish, the value of security for the nation and the value of the president’s authority in matters foreign and military. The explicit terms of the Constitution, in other words, can create a conflict of approved values, and the explicit terms of the Constitution do not resolve that conflict when it arises. The guarantee of the right to publish is unconditional in its terms, and in its terms the power of the government to govern is plenary. A choice may have to be made, not because language is vague but because the Constitution embodies the desire of the American people, like most people, to have things both ways. We want order and security, and we want liberty. And we want not only liberty but equality as well. These paired desires of ours can clash, and when they do a court is forced to choose between them, between one constitutional good and another one. The court has to decide which of our approved desires has the better claim, right here, right now, and a court has to do more than read fairly when it makes this kind of choice. And choices like the ones that the justices envisioned in the Papers case make up much of what we call law.Let me ask a rhetorical question. Should the choice and its explanation be called illegitimate law making? Can it be an act beyond the judicial power when a choice must be made and the Constitution has not made it in advance in so many words? You know my answer. So much for the notion that all of constitutional law lies there in the Constitution waiting for a judge to read it fairly.Now let me tell a second story, not one illustrating the tensions within constitutional law, but one showing the subtlety of constitutional facts. Again the story is about a famous case, and a good many of us here remember this one, too: Brown v. Board of Education from 1954, in which the Supreme Court unanimously held that racial segregation in public schools imposed by law was unconstitutional, as violating the guarantee of equal protection of the law.Brown ended the era of separate-but-equal, whose paradigm was the decision in 1896 of the case called Plessy v. Ferguson, where the Supreme Court had held it was no violation of the equal protection guarantee to require black people to ride in a separate railroad car that was physically equal to the car for whites. One argument offered in Plessy was that the separate black car was a badge of inferiority, to which the court majority responded that if black people viewed it that way, the implication was merely a product of their own minds. Sixty years later, Brown held that a segregated school required for black children was inherently unequal.For those whose exclusive norm for constitutional judging is merely fair reading of language applied to facts objectively viewed, Brown must either be flat-out wrong or a very mystifying decision. Those who look to that model are not likely to think that a federal court back in 1896 should have declared legally mandated racial segregation unconstitutional. But if Plessy was not wrong, how is it that Brown came out so differently? The language of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws did not change between 1896 and 1954, and it would be hard to say that the obvious facts on which Plessy was based had changed, either. While Plessy was about railroad cars and Brown was about schools, that distinction was no great difference. Actually, the best clue to the difference between the cases is the dates they were decided, which I think lead to the explanation for their divergent results.As I’ve said elsewhere, the members of the Court in Plessy remembered the day when human slavery was the law in much of the land. To that generation, the formal equality of an identical railroad car meant progress. But the generation in power in 1954 looked at enforced separation without the revolting background of slavery to make it look unexceptional by contrast. As a consequence, the judges of 1954 found a meaning in segregating the races by law that the majority of their predecessors in 1896 did not see. That meaning is not captured by descriptions of physically identical schools or physically identical railroad cars. The meaning of facts arises elsewhere, and its judicial perception turns on the experience of the judges, and on their ability to think from a point of view different from their own. Meaning comes from the capacity to see what is not in some simple, objective sense there on the printed page. And when the judges in 1954 read the record of enforced segregation it carried only one possible meaning: It expressed a judgment of inherent inferiority on the part of the minority race. The judges who understood the meaning that was apparent in 1954 would have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution if they had not held the segregation mandate unconstitutional.Again, a rhetorical question. Did the judges of 1954 cross some limit of legitimacy into law making by stating a conclusion that you will not find written in the Constitution? Was it activism to act based on the current meaning of facts that at a purely objective level were about the same as Plessy’s facts 60 years before? Again, you know my answer. So much for the assumption that facts just lie there waiting for an objective judge to view them.Let me, like the lawyer that I am, sum up the case I’ve tried to present this afternoon. The fair reading model fails to account for what the Constitution actually says, and it fails just as badly to understand what judges have no choice but to do. The Constitution is a pantheon of values, and a lot of hard cases are hard because the Constitution gives no simple rule of decision for the cases in which one of the values is truly at odds with another. Not even its most uncompromising and unconditional language can resolve every potential tension of one provision with another, tension the Constitution’s Framers left to be resolved another day; and another day after that, for our cases can give no answers that fit all conflicts, and no resolutions immune to rethinking when the significance of old facts may have changed in the changing world. These are reasons enough to show how egregiously it misses the point to think of judges in constitutional cases as just sitting there reading constitutional phrases fairly and looking at reported facts objectively to produce their judgments. Judges have to choose between the good things that the Constitution approves, and when they do, they have to choose, not on the basis of measurement, but of meaning.The fair reading model misses that, but it has even more to answer for. Remember that the tensions that are the stuff of judging in so many hard constitutional cases are, after all, the creatures of our aspirations: to value liberty, as well as order, and fairness and equality, as well as liberty. And the very opportunity for conflict between one high value and another reflects our confidence that a way may be found to resolve it when a conflict arises. That is why the simplistic view of the Constitution devalues our aspirations, and attacks that our confidence, and diminishes us. It is a view of judging that means to discourage our tenacity (our sometimes reluctant tenacity) to keep the constitutional promises the nation has made.So, it is tempting to dismiss the critical rhetoric of lawmaking and activism as simply a rejection of too many of the hopes we profess to share as the American people. But there is one thing more. I have to believe that something deeper is involved, and that behind most dreams of a simpler Constitution there lies a basic human hunger for the certainty and control that the fair reading model seems to promise. And who has not felt that same hunger? Is there any one of us who has not lived through moments, or years, of longing for a world without ambiguity, and for the stability of something unchangeable in human institutions? I don’t forget my own longings for certainty, which heartily resisted the pronouncement of Justice Holmes, that certainty generally is illusion and repose is not our destiny.But I have come to understand that he was right, and by the same token I understand that I differ from the critics I’ve described not merely in seeing the patent wisdom of the Brown decision, or in espousing the rule excluding unlawfully seized evidence, or in understanding the scope of habeas corpus. Where I suspect we differ most fundamentally is in my belief that in an indeterminate world I cannot control, it is still possible to live fully in the trust that a way will be found leading through the uncertain future. And to me, the future of the Constitution as the Framers wrote it can be staked only upon that same trust. If we cannot share every intellectual assumption that formed the minds of those who framed the charter, we can still address the constitutional uncertainties the way they must have envisioned, by relying on reason, by respecting all the words the Framers wrote, by facing facts, and by seeking to understand their meaning for living people.That is how a judge lives in a state of trust, and I know of no other way to make good on the aspirations that tell us who we are, and who we mean to be, as the people of the United States.D.H.S.
Harvard’s 2010 annual report of the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR), a subcommittee of the President and Fellows, is now available upon request from the Office for the Committees on Shareholder Responsibility. To obtain a copy, email [email protected] or call the office at 617.495.0985.The report provides a detailed description of the CCSR’s actions on shareholder proposals raising issues of social responsibility that came to vote during the 2010 spring proxy voting season (the period between March and June when most publicly traded corporations hold annual meetings). The CCSR receives advice from the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, a 12-member committee made up of Harvard faculty, students, and alumni.
Trey Grayson, who is completing his second term as secretary of state in Kentucky, has been named director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard University. Grayson will assume his post on Jan. 31.Grayson has garnered praise as one of the nation’s top new political leaders and a “rising star.” He was first elected Kentucky’s secretary of state in 2003 and then re-elected by a wide margin in 2007. He is prohibited by state term limits from running for a third term. Grayson launched a bid for the open U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky in 2010, but was defeated in the Republican primary election. At Harvard, Grayson will succeed former U.S. Sen. John C. Culver (D-IA), who has served as IOP interim director since July 2010.“Trey Grayson is exactly the right person to lead the IOP as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of my father’s presidency,” said Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation president and IOP Senior Advisory Committee interim chair. “He is an inspirational young leader committed to civic engagement, bipartisan cooperation, and civil debate. I look forward to working with him to inspire the next generation to answer President Kennedy’s call to service.”As director, Grayson will be charged with setting the strategic vision and budgetary priorities for the long-term direction and affairs of the institute. He will also oversee the myriad activities of the institute, which include a resident fellows program for individuals from active political life; student programs such as internships in public service, research awards, and special projects; educational seminars for elected officials; conferences designed to bring together academic, political, and governmental leaders; and a yearlong series of lectures in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.
A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers shows that adults who regularly take ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), reduce their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by about one-third compared with nonusers.“There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, so the possibility that ibuprofen, an existing and relatively nontoxic drug, could help protect against the disease is captivating,” said senior author Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH.The study will be published online March 2 in Neurology and is scheduled to appear in the March 8 print issue.Parkinson’s disease, a progressive central nervous system disease occurring generally after age 50, affects at least half a million Americans, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. About 50,000 new cases are reported each year, with the number expected to increase as the U.S. population ages. It is hypothesized that ibuprofen may reduce inflammation in the brain that may contribute to the disease. Prior studies showed a reduced Parkinson’s disease risk among NSAIDS users, but most did not differentiate between ibuprofen and other nonaspirin NSAIDs.In the new study, Ascherio, lead author Xiang Gao, research scientist at HSPH and associate epidemiologist in the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues analyzed data from nearly 99,000 women enrolled in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-based Nurses’ Health Study and more than 37,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The researchers identified 291 cases (156 men and 135 women) of Parkinson’s disease during their six-year follow-up study (1998-2004 in women; 2000-2006 in men). Based on questionnaires, the researchers analyzed the patients’ use of ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), aspirin or aspirin-containing products, other anti-inflammatory pain relievers (e.g., Aleve, Naprosyn), and acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol). (Although not an NSAID, acetaminophen was included because it’s similarly used to treat pain.) Age, smoking, diet, caffeine, and other variables also were considered.“We observed that men and women who used ibuprofen two or more times per week were about 38 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who regularly used aspirin, acetaminophen, or other NSAIDs,” Gao said. “Our findings suggest that ibuprofen could be a potential neuroprotective agent against Parkinson’s disease, however, the exact mechanism is unknown.”These findings raise hope that a readily available, inexpensive drug could help to treat Parkinson’s disease. “Because the loss of brain cells that leads to Parkinson’s disease occurs over a decade or more, a possible explanation of our findings is that use of ibuprofen protects these cells. If so, use of ibuprofen could help slow the disease’s progression,” Gao said.The findings do not mean that people who already have Parkinson’s disease should begin taking ibuprofen, Ascherio said. “Although generally perceived as safe, ibuprofen can have side effects, such as increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Whether this risk is compensated by a slowing of the disease progression should be investigated under rigorous supervision in a randomized clinical trial,” he said.Support for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Intramural Research Program of NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Vahid Tarokh, Perkins Professor of Applied Mathematics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow of Electrical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.Tarokh is among 180 scientists, scholars, and artists chosen this year as Fellows from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants across the United States and Canada.The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation selects candidates on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”Tarokh is the only person selected this year in the field of applied mathematics. The $35,000 fellowship will support his research, which aims to understand the spectral properties and pseudo-randomness of matrices constructed from deterministic structures such as codes, block designs, and graphs.“I’m very grateful to the Guggenheim Foundation for their support,” says Tarokh. “It gives me the opportunity to explore a high-risk idea that may have enormous potential applications.”
Nothing irritates Joyce Chaplin more than business catchphrases like “unprecedented global services” and “now we are a global society.”“There’s a much longer history of people thinking globally than simply the last 20 years,” she said. “These people never had the planetary experience of Magellan’s 35 survivors” back in 1521. Chaplin, the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, is working on a definitive history of circumnavigation, and knows exactly how much precedent these “global services” have, and how long there has been a global society.“I’ve never written anything with such a long history,” she mused of the project, which began, like the journeys of old, by setting out to sea. “I was out on a ship in the Gulf Stream working on my last book about Ben Franklin. I was starting to work on Franklin’s French correspondence, and was stuck out there at sea, so I needed something to keep me going on that project.”To resurrect her French skills, Chaplin had brought with her a French edition of Jules Verne’s novel “Around the World in 80 Days.” The idea fueled by the book stuck.Her new project, a book that will be titled “The Whole World Round,” covers the history of circumnavigation from “Magellan the explorer to Magellan the GPS.”“I intend it as an environmental history of how people have been doing something on a planetary scale. This is the oldest global activity, and it really opens up questions about the human place in the globe.”Chaplin has organized her book into three parts, each encapsulating a period in the history of circumnavigation. The first part is called “Fear,” and Chaplin begins her history with Ferdinand Magellan. It was the first around-the-world expedition, although Magellan himself died in the Philippines. Chaplin calls him “the most famous man who never went around the world.”Other sailors kept trying after Magellan, but, according to Chaplin, “Most of the time, you lost most of your men. The death rates on these early trips are amazing. It was incredibly dangerous.”And it was an expensive, dangerous business at that.“This was not a prestigious thing to do until the 18th century,” said Chaplin. “It’s a big gambit, and it costs a lot, so usually it was the ‘losers’ who were trying to go around the world: those countries that already had the big empires were all set. You would only go around the world if you were desperate, essentially. They were trying to sneak up on each other through the back door. When Magellan did it, it was because the Spanish were trying to sneak up on the Portuguese spice trade. Going around the world became a way to invade, spy, and steal a trade route.”The second part of the book, called “Confidence,” recounts how the idea of going around the world, and the ability to do so, changed dramatically. By the late 18th century, according to Chaplin, death rates were down. “People now think they have command of the planet. There were better itineraries, better equipment, better ships, and people now survive the trip.”The people making the trip changed drastically as well. “Now, it’s a casual thing to do. The ability to go around the world was closely married to the idea of imperialism. Now it was the winners, not the losers, who had the money and resources, who made the trip.”The last part of the book, working up to our age of relatively easy travel, is called “Doubt.” At this point, from the 19th century up until the present, people have begun realizing there’s a big tradeoff in being able to “conquer the planet.”“There is doubt that an easy command of the planet is at our fingertips anymore; we have new, fantastically dangerous ways of circumnavigation that reflect the death rates of old. Look at the development of aviation and space travel. We see the same or similar failure rates as in the early modern period. Furthermore, we’re using the planet’s resources in this venture. Is it at all sustainable?”During this era, people began to look for surrogates to make the dangerous trips for them. “Up until the end of the 18th century, humans were the first surrogates. People would actually capture pilots and make them navigate the route first to see if it could be done. Later we used animals, like when the Soviets sent up the dog, Lika, into space.” The present-day circumnavigators are satellites that Chaplin describes as being “cheerful robot surrogates.”“Our last chapter would have to be a permanent post on the moon,” said Chaplin of how much things have changed. Even then, she is quick to point out that “We’ve never done anything but go around the world. Even going to the moon, we were still in the Earth’s orbit. We are bound to the planet, and we need to ask why this is, and what would happen if we go beyond it.”
“We are about to light the Yule Log,” intoned House Master Diana Eck to the gathering of more than 400 Lowellians at the annual Yule Dinner.“This is the time of year rich with sacred and secular observances. But these rites we observe tonight take us back to the ancient pagan soil beneath so many traditions: bringing greens into homes at midwinter, kindling lights and fires at the darkest time of year, and feasting at table with loved ones,” said Eck, who is also Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society and a member of the Divinity School faculty. “So deeply did New England’s Puritans resist the celebrations of this season that Increase Mather and his kin prohibited it and levied a 5 shilling fine against anyone found celebrating in this manner.”The diners were served by white-coated staff members who carved up roasts, replenished platters, and catered to special requests. Then, House masters at the high table summoned those same servers to the stage. One by one, they came forward, were praised for their steadfast contributions to the quality of House life, and were given gifts and hugs. Several were moved to tears, as they basked in the applause of the entire dining hall, and then returned the gesture, with givers and receivers applauding each other, in the true spirit of the holiday season. Sing, sing! Ryan Solis ’12 (from left), Zavier Catoe ’12, and Harvard Divinity School Professor Leila Ahmed join other revelers in singing carols before the annual Yule Dinner. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer Seasonal delights Stephen Murphy ’13 (left) and Preston Han ’13 help themselves to cookies and Bûche de Noël after the Yule Dinner at Lowell House. Mulling things over Lowell House members gather by the tree for hot cider and cookies before the annual Yule Dinner in the dining hall. Yuletide rhapsody House Masters Dorothy Austin (left) and Diana Eck extend a joyous welcome to the gathered throng. Logging tradition What a log The Yule log burns in the dining room fireplace. Keep on loggin’ Lawrence Cripe ’13 and Briana Jackucewicz ’13 carry the Yule log into the dining room. Some like it hot Christine Hurd ’13 stands by the Yule log in the fireplace. “I’m from Texas,” Hurd says, “and I like it hot!” Giving spirit Mark Farrell is congratulated by House Masters Diana Eck and Dorothy Austin after he and other kitchen staff received gifts and acknowledgement for their contributions to Lowell House. Well-deserved Kitchen staff Liliana Lopes (left) smiles through her tears as she and Filomena Costa react to applause after receiving gifts and acknowledgement for their contributions to the quality of life at Lowell House.
Read Full Story Conducting research projects among mothers and infants in Brazil in the mid-2000s, Paola Gilsanz got to see firsthand the effects of health inequalities. She saw that, all too often, good health was elusive if you were poor, lacking education, or didn’t have access to adequate care.Gilsanz is now on track to graduate with a Ph.D. in social epidemiology—which focuses on societal factors that affect health—from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in May 2014. “The reward is great,” she said. “I can use the tools of public health I’ve learned at HSPH to help others.”Gilsanz is currently at work on her dissertation, which is focused on the association between depressive symptoms and risk of stroke. She hopes her research will provide clues to if and how depressive symptoms physiologically impact health. “A lot of research has been done on stroke before depression,” she said, “but I’m looking at it in the other way. I hope to improve our understanding of how emotions like stress or depressive symptoms can also have physical health repercussions.”