Blog Posts by Pardee RAND Faculty

  • How to Increase Participation in Workplace Health and Wellbeing Initiatives

    May 10, 2018

    Christian Van Stolk

    Many employers are actively looking at ways to improve health and wellbeing in their workplaces. Prof. Chris van Stolk writes that increasing employee participation in health and wellness programs requires strategies to address health risks, engagement with staff, and buy-in and support from management.

  • The Human Side of Artificial Intelligence: Q&A with Prof. Osonde Osoba

    May 1, 2018

    Prof. Osonde Osoba has been exploring AI since age 15. He says it's less about the intelligence and more about being able to capture how humans think. He is developing AI to improve planning and is also studying fairness in algorithmic decisionmaking in insurance pricing and criminal justice.

  • Gaza on the Brink

    Mar 9, 2018

    Shira Efron

    The combined risk of violence and pandemic in Gaza makes this small coastal enclave a ticking time bomb, writes Prof. Shira Efron (alum, cohort '11). While neither Israel nor the U.S. has the solutions to all of Gaza's water and health woes, the United States' decision to withhold funding to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency could only make things worse.

  • Open Science and a Culture of Health: You Two Should Talk

    By working together, writes Prof. Sean Grant, the Culture of Health and Open Science movements could increase their potential to accelerate the use of scientific evidence to address impediments to population health and collective well-being.

  • The Long Game on Infrastructure

    Feb 20, 2018

    Debra Knopman, Martin Wachs

    The Trump administration recently announced its Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America. But with its lack of new federal funding, write Profs. Debra Knopman and Martin Wachs, the plan may not be the best path to fixing America's most serious regional, national and long-term problems.

  • Where Will ISIS Seek to Establish Its Next Safe Haven?

    Many of ISIS's surviving fighters will seek out new battlefields to continue waging jihad, writes Prof. Colin Clarke. By coordinating with its allies around the globe, the U.S. could work to help alleviate the conditions that lead states to fail, making them less appealing as sanctuaries where terrorists can rest, rearm, and recuperate.

  • How Will Cannabis Legalization Affect Alcohol Consumption?

    How will legalization of recreational marijuana affect alcohol consumption? Will drinking go down because people substitute cannabis for alcohol? Or will drinking go up because cannabis and alcohol complement each other? Prof. Beau Kilmer says these questions have important implications.

  • The Diminishing Role of Facts in American Public Life

    Prof. Jennifer Kavanagh and RAND president Michael Rich write that, without agreement about objective facts and a common understanding of and respect for data and analytical interpretations of those data, it becomes nearly impossible to have the types of meaningful policy debates that form the foundation of democracy.

  • How Federal Policy Could Help Water and Wastewater Utilities

    Jan 16, 2018

    Debra Knopman, David Catt

    The federal government could address the root causes of infrastructure problems more effectively than just spending money with the hope that it might do some good, write student David Catt (cohort '16) and Prof. Debra Knopman. A better approach might be to devote scarce resources to fixing what actually isn't working well in the nation's approach to managing, funding and financing infrastructure.

  • How the Pentagon Should Deter Cyber Attacks

    As cyber aggression gets worse and more brazen, writes Prof. Christopher Paul, the U.S. must figure out how to deter foreign actors in cyberspace as effectively as it does in nuclear and conventional warfare. He proposes five steps the Pentagon can take.

  • Fake Voices Will Become Worryingly Accurate

    New technology can convincingly fake the human voice and create security nightmares, writes Prof. Bill Welser. Considering the widespread distrust of the media, institutions and expert gatekeepers, audio fakery could be more than disruptive. It could start wars.

  • Why Political Risks May Dampen World Economies in 2018

    The world economy has reached its strongest point since the global financial crisis a decade ago, writes Prof. Howard Shatz. But rising political risks may cloud prospects in 2018 and perhaps beyond.

  • Book Review: 'Eye Corps: Coming of Age at the DMZ'

    Jan 5, 2018

    Dan Grunfeld

    In reviewing a book his mentor wrote about coming of age in Vietnam, Executive Vice Dean Dan Grunfeld says the story is "powerful, thoughtful and engaging. ... The hard and expensive lessons of Walker's youth led to a big-hearted life, full of wisdom and generosity that touched so many."

  • Where Is Assad Getting His Fighters from?

    The Assad regime's defense against insurgents in Syria's ongoing civil war is being provided by forces imported from Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as Lebanon and Iraq, writes Prof. Colin Clarke. Most of these fighters are being trained and equipped by Iran. Could this network of foreign fighters help Iran establish a greater presence beyond the Middle East?

  • Jerusalem Embassy Move Sparks Turkey-Israel War of Words

    Jan 2, 2018

    Shira Efron

    President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has exacerbated tensions between Turkey and Israel, writes Prof. Shira Efron (alum, cohort '11). Economic interests had provided incentives for thawing relations in June 2016, but separating economic interests from political differences is harder today given the mistrust between Ankara and Jerusalem.

  • What the World Can Learn from Chile's Obesity-Control Strategies

    Nearly 30 years into the ongoing global epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases, Chile has taken the lead in identifying and implementing obesity-control strategies that could prove to be the beginning of the end of the epidemic, writes Prof. Deborah Cohen. The country's success on this front can serve as a lesson plan other countries could follow.

  • Justice for Florida Farmworkers: Q&A with Dean Susan Marquis

    Dec 15, 2017

    In her new book, Dean Susan Marquis takes readers inside the fight in Florida tomato fields. She traces the history and victories of a grassroots group of farmworkers and community leaders who wrested better wages and working conditions from major tomato growers and their corporate buyers.

  • All for One and One for All: Toward a Coordinated EU Approach on Returnees

    To combat the threat posed by returning fighters, EU intelligence and police agencies will need to coordinate to find potential terrorists before they are able to conduct attacks in Europe. Prof. Colin Clarke says the return of dangerous foreign fighters to European soil should be motivation enough for an overarching review of each country’s vulnerabilities.

  • Drones Could Deliver Change to Africa

    Nov 17, 2017

    Shira Efron

    Drones have potential on the African continent to transform urban and rural infrastructure and enhance agricultural productivity, writes Prof. Shira Efron (alum, cohort '11). But deployment of drones in Africa still faces technological, economic, social, and legal and regulatory challenges.

  • America Is Great at Fighting Terrorism, but Terror Is Alive and Well

    When terrorists adopt a strategy of pure terror, it is challenging to prevent attacks like those seen in Nice, Columbus, London, Barcelona, or New York. Instead, writes Prof. Henry Willis, strategies are needed to counter terrorism's ultimate aim, to instill fear, and to remove some of the incentives of those who might be motivated to conduct them.

  • The Looming Pension Crisis

    Nov 8, 2017

    Dan Grunfeld

    California leads the nation in pension underfunding. The state government has $464.4 billion in unfunded liabilities — the difference between resources that will be available in the state's pension fund and what will be owed to retiring employees. Executive Vice Dean Dan Grunfeld explains that, as dire as the problem is now, it could double over the next 12 years.

  • Recovering from a Nuclear Attack on a U.S. City

    Nov 7, 2017

    David A. Shlapak

    Responding after a nuclear attack will require having planned and prepared for problems that are very different than those encountered after hurricanes and earthquakes, writes Prof. David Shlapak. U.S. cities are inadequately prepared to handle a disaster of this magnitude.

  • The Long-Term Budget Shortfall and National Security: A Problem the U.S. Should Stop Avoiding

    Bold promises and even actions that balance the budget for the short term should not mask the fact that the U.S. government has failed to face its long-term budget problems. Without changes, writes. Prof Howard Shatz, the ability to pay for many functions — including defense — will rely wholly on borrowed money.

  • New York Terror Attack: Can Vehicle Attacks Be Prevented?

    The recent vehicle attack in Manhattan was the deadliest terror attack on New York since 9/11. Preventing every attack is unrealistic, writes Prof. Colin Clarke, but with increased vigilance, cooperation with law enforcement, and intelligence sharing, citizens can help mitigate the threat of terrorism.

  • Candy Out of Sight, Out of Mind

    CVS is cutting back on candy at the cash register, making junk food less visible and “healthier” snacks easier to find. Any move that nudges consumers toward healthier choices should be applauded, writes Prof. Deborah Cohen, but CVS could take the lead as a retailer and do away with junk food displays by the cash register altogether.