• Commander Cady Coleman '83, astronaut and accomplished flautist; International Space Station

    Photo: NASA

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  • "Higgs at Last," commentary by David Kaiser, head of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, in the London Review of Books.

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  • Novel research by MIT economists Arnaud Costinot and Dave Donaldson supports David Ricardo’s famous 1817 hypothesis that countries specialize in the products they make well.

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Said and Done for June/July 2012

Digest of MIT humanities, arts and social sciences

Said and Done is the monthly, photo-rich publication from MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, integrating feature articles with news, research and events to give you a distilled overview of the school's endeavors. For the complete edition, visit Said and Done. A few of this month's highlights include:

Celebrating MIT SHASS graduates | 2012 Commencement photo gallery
Photographs of graduates with families, friends and professors.
Photo gallery

Following the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, MIT SHASS experts were in demand to assess the decision and to discuss the future of American health reform. Here are some highlights:

Health Economist Jonathan Gruber on the Affordable Care Act
An architect of both the national and Massachusetts health care plans, Jon Gruber has been extensively interviewed by the national and international media, before and after the Supreme Court decision. Here are a few of his informative videos:

Political Scientist Andrea Campbell on the Affordable Care Act
MIT political scientist Andrea Campbell (whose work was cited in Justice Ginsberg's opinion) interprets the court's health care decision and reflects on its implications.
Story at MIT News

Flutes in Space
Like many MIT scientists and engineers, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman '83 also loves the arts. Recently Commander Coleman, circling Earth aboard the International Space Station, performed a flute duet with Ian Anderson, who was back on Earth. This first-ever Earth-Space duet was to honor Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on the 50th anniversary of his flight circling the Earth.

Public Understanding of Science
Warmest congratulations to our MIT colleagues in physics on the evidence of a particle with characteristics of the postulated Higgs boson, a particle thought to underlie the origins of mass. As part of the MIT SHASS mission to advance the public understanding of science, here are two helpful works: a video primer on the Higgs boson; and a commentary by David Kaiser, Head of the MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

Research Portfolio
Research is the engine for the school's capacity to help meet the world's great challenges. To name just a few areas of impact, MIT SHASS research helps alleviate poverty, safeguard elections, steer economies, understand the past and present, inform health policy, articulate morality, assess the impact of new technologies, understand human language and create new forms at the juncture of art and science.
Research Portfolio

Co-Designers: Cultures of Computer Simulation in Architecture
In a new book, STS Postdoctoral Associate Yanni Loukissas reveals how "big data" from computer simulations influenced the design of the Sydney Opera House — and continues to change decision-making roles in architecture, government, and corporate endeavors. His book explores what it means to be an architect — or an engineer working on building design — in today's computing-saturated world.
Story by Peter Dizikes for MIT News

How to increase access to safe water
Research by J-PAL affiliates has shown that a point-of-collection water chlorination system, in combination with encouragement from community promoters, can dramatically increase access to safe water compared to marketing bottled chlorine through retail outlets. Evidence from their studies has contributed to the scale-up of the Chlorine Dispenser System reaching over 400,000 people in Kenya and 20,000 people in Haiti, with plans to expand the program to at least two additional countries by 2014.
Full story at J-PAL

The research of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences appears principally in the form of books and publications, and music and theater productions. These gems of the School provide new knowledge and analysis, innovation and insight, guidance for policy, and nourishment for lives.
Take a look

Congratulations to the 2012 SHASS Infinite Mile Award Recipients
This year the School was delighted to honor the contributions of the following members of the MIT SHASS Staff: Caroline Fickett, Center for International Studies; Jessica Dennis, Music and Theater Arts; Lynne Levine, Center for International Studies; Diana Gallagher, Political Science; David Sears,Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; and Rebecca Shepardson, Comparative Media Studies.
More on the awards | photo gallery

Said and Done | June/July 2012 | complete edition online

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Topics: Architecture, Arts, Astronauts, Awards, honors and fellowships, Books and authors, Economics, Faculty, Health care, Humanities, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E), Music, NASA, Policy, Social sciences, Students, Water


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