Is your crisis line’s suicide-prevention communications effort working well enough? What should you be doing differently? Some help is available through a checklist published earlier this year, writes Prof. Joie Acosta.
Al Qaeda in Syria cut ties with its parent organization to portray itself as a legitimate, capable, and independent force in the Syrian civil war. The group appears dedicated to helping Syrians prevail, writes Prof. Colin Clarke, and now that ISIS has lost its capital in Raqqa, al Qaeda may be the only group viewed as militarily capable of challenging the Assad regime.
China is four years into joint planning and construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, from Kashgar, China to the Pakistani port of Gwadar. Prof. Rafiq Dossani asks, What are the benefits for China and Pakistan and what do they mean for future growth in the region?
Data collection, and our reliance on it, have evolved extremely rapidly. The resulting algorithms have proved invaluable for organizing, evaluating and utilizing information. Our new executive vice dean, Dan Grunfeld, poses the question: How do individuals' rights come in to play, when data about their lives is compiled to create algorithms, and the resulting tools are applied to judge them?
Americans expect affordable coverage for pre-existing conditions, access to routine services, and for the health care system to protect them from financial risk from accidents or illness. As a product designed primarily for risk protection, insurance may not be the most efficient or affordable approach to achieving these objectives, write professors Christine Eibner and Katherine Grace Carman.
The Fair Food Program protects farmworkers while providing corporations with transparency in their supply chains and tremendous brand protection, writes Dean Susan Marquis. It has been widely recognized for improving agricultural working conditions and for changing the culture of America's farm fields.
Personalized learning holds promise as an innovation that can lead to improved educational outcomes for students. But Prof. John Pane writes that implementers should have modest expectations for the magnitude of the benefits, and patience for the full benefits to emerge.
Paying for health care coverage is a challenge for Americans facing rising premiums, deductibles, and copayments. Alum Jodi Liu (cohort '12) and Prof. Christine Eibner say the ACA's tax credits that make marketplace insurance more affordable for lower-income individuals should be extended to middle-income adults aged 50–64.
For many U.S. homeowners, an investment in rooftop solar is becoming a cost-competitive alternative to purchasing grid electricity. But student Benjamin Smith (cohort '15) and professors Nick Burger and Aimee Curtright note that, as demand soars, states are struggling to adapt a 20th-century electrical grid to 21st-century supply and demand, leading to confusion and cost uncertainty.
Californians have a lot to consider when it comes to decriminalizing possession. But professor Beau Kilmer sayd now is the time for a rigorous discussion about removing criminal penalties for drug possession, rather than rushing to judgment in the heat of a future election season.
Deep decarbonization can reduce the risk of climate change, and it offers opportunities to reimagine energy, transportation, and infrastructure. But Prof. Robert Lempert says it could also fail in many ways. Diverse, independent actors need a shared understanding of its complexity and deep uncertainty to design a solution to this challenge.
Despite their differences, the Affordable Care Act and the current proposals to replace it take a similar approach to providing health insurance. Prof. Christine Eibner asks, What might some alternatives look like? And how could they provide coverage to more Americans?
Given the persistent risk of terrorist attacks, it is critical to learn from past incidents to prepare for future ones, writes Prof. Chris Nelson. Medical and nonmedical first responders need more training in basic lifesaving skills. Open communication lines such as a dedicated radio frequency could help responders better coordinate. Disaster drills are also essential.
Without an aggressive long-term strategy for replacing service lines, and collaboration among the water authority, public officials, and residents, lead in Pittsburgh's water will persist, writes Prof. Jordan Fischbach (alum, cohort '04).
Universities are partnering with private companies that have the resources to help them compete in the online learning market and maximize student enrollment. Professors Rita Karam and Charles Goldman consider, do their different missions — providing high-quality education and making a profit — dilute the quality of the courses?
Many American students struggle with the soaring cost of higher education, and for many college-going students, student debt can have severe negative implications. On balance, though, the benefits of a college degree appear to outweigh the costs, writes professor Rafiq Dossani.
The American Health Care Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act allows states to waive benefits that the ACA deemed “essential.” Dropping maternity care coverage, for example, would reduce premiums by 5 percent but increase out-of-pocket spending for new mothers, writes professor Christine Eibner.
Street vendors in Kampala, Uganda, would benefit from infrastructure development, food safety standards, rules of hygiene, and greater focus on healthy products, write student Michele Abbott (cohort '14) and professor Deborah Cohen. The city's growing population also would benefit from increased access to nutritious and affordable foods.
The results of a series of cooking contests in Uganda to promote the use of drought-tolerant, nutritious traditional grains—millet and sorghum—signal that a new food trend may be on the horizon. Student Michele Abbott (cohort '14) and professor Deborah Cohen describe their Pardee Initiative "Superfoods" project in this first of three blog posts.
President Trump's actions have not yet resulted in demonstrable change in environmental conditions or funding, but the groundwork is being laid for unwinding major regulations and diminishing staff within the EPA and other federal agencies with climate-related research in their portfolios, says professor Debra Knopman.
The U.S.-China relationship today may be trending towards greater tension, but the relative stability and overall low level of hostility make the prospect of an accidental escalation to war extremely unlikely, writes professor Timothy Heath.
Data lags and the elimination of the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program complicate estimates of U.S. cocaine consumption. New users who haven't yet developed cocaine dependence are also a factor. Professor Beau Kilmer and alum Gregory Midgette (cohort '09) suggest it may be prudent to start planning for an increase in heavy use even before all of the evidence is in.
The first summit with President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping downplayed contentious issues like Taiwan and the South China Sea. But the differences run deep, writes professor Timothy Heath, and frustration is palpable on both sides. Moreover, the competition for international leadership continues.
California's Department of Motor Vehicles recently proposed new regulations governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Professor Nidhi Kalra asks, will this help retain the state's status as a testing and deployment ground for the technology, and will it make California safer?
America's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership has exacerbated doubts about U.S. international leadership and America's role in Asia. Professor Timothy Heath says future trade agreements could face similar fates until they do a better job outlining how domestic workers can prosper.