Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

July-August 2011

Letters

The meaning of life, diabetes, Gandhi, burlesque

The College Pump

The U.S. Postal Service on June 16 issued a first-class stamp honoring botanist Asa Gray. A natural history professor, Gray also founded the Harvard Summer School 140 years ago. The stamp shows plants that he studied as well as the words <i>Shortia galacifolia</i> in his own hand. The story of his epic quest for that plant is told at http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/838.pdf.

Undercover training during World War II, and more on varsity ties

Treasure

Dysfunctional sink with body parts

In this Issue

Dining out is surging—yet there are reservations.

Mary and Bernard Berenson in the garden of her mother’s country house near Fernhurst, England, 1898

Brief life of a Renaissance scholar: 1864-1945

Elkhorn coral, Carysfort Reef South,  Florida, 2010

The world's most fragile marine ecosystems are in decline.

Electricity from towering turbines: wind-energy farm in Ethridge, Montana

Reducing our dependence on imported oil—while addressing the threat of climate change

Disruptive change comes to American higher education

Letters

The meaning of life, diabetes, Gandhi, burlesque

Right Now

Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt traces the influence of Lucretius, through De Rerum Natura, on modern thought.

Shelly F. Greenfield

Studying the differences in addiction and recovery between men and women

George Whitesides and colleagues have discovered that they can extinguish a flame by pushing it off its fuel source, using an electric field that emanates from the tip of a wire.

Harvard scientists have discovered how to extinguish flames by pushing them off their fuel source with an electric field.

New England Regional

Wilcox Park

Forays within two hours’ drive of Boston

Do-it-yourself cuneiform at the Peabody Museum’s Wonders of Writing family event

Summer happenings at and around Harvard

Meals are served at two communal tables in the restored barn.

Conviviality, slow food, and the freshest herbs around

John Harvard's Journal

Graduate School of Arts and  Sciences marshal Knatokie Marie Ford celebrates her Ph.D. in biological and biomedical sciences.

Highlights from Harvard's 360th Commencement

The 2011 honorary-degree recipients. Back row from left: John G.A. Pocock, Provost Steven Hyman, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, President Drew Faust, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, David Satcher, and Plácido Domingo. Front row from left: Dudley Herschbach, Rosalind Krauss, and James R. Houghton. Not pictured: The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The honorary-degree recipients of 2011

President Drew Faust

A sampling of Commencement week speeches

An omnium-gatherum of notes and statistics, vital and otherwise

All hail the retiring provost, Steven E. Hyman.

Human touches within Commencement's pomp

Alan M. Garber

An experienced Stanford administrator, an expert on health policy and economics, returns to take a big job at his alma mater.

Peter Der Manuelian

Meet Harvard's resident Egyptologist.

From left to right: Lawrence S. Bacow, Susan L. Graham, and Joseph J. O'Donnell

New members enlarge the Harvard Corporation

Faculty consulting for the Qaddafi government prompts a debate on academic principles.

Headlines from Harvard's history

The psychology professor returns to Harvard, but not to teaching.

Arrivals, appointments, awards

An <i>Atta sexdens</i> forager shears off a fragment.

In two new books, E.O. Wilson and his coauthors introduce pioneer myrmecologist José Celestino Mutis, and the ants that are "the most complex socially of all animals, except for humans."

Barbara J. Grosz

Radcliffe Institute's dean steps down, FAS's fitter fisc, renovation for Old Quincy, J-term update, and other Harvard news

Student and mentor:  Darja Djordjevic and Arthur Kleinman

A student's tribute to medical anthropologist Arthur Kleinman

A senior ponders cultural capital, socioeconomic realities, and career choices.

At the Eastern Sprints in Worcester, Harvard’s heavyweights celebrate their win.

A stellar spring for men's crew

Montage

Cerf today with characters from <i>Between the Lions</i>

With sound, image, and word, Chris Cerf teaches the basics.

Arthur Phillips

A con man, his son, and a fiction on two levels

Sarah Hicks conducting the Minnesota Orchestra

Conductor Sarah Hicks spans Prokofiev and the Police.

Thomas Paine

Historian Sophia Rosenfeld examines the origins of politicians' appeals to "common sense."

Nancy Koehn reviews Louis Hyman's Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink.

Recent books with Harvard connections

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

Alumni

Carl Schoonover

Carl Schoonover ’06 merges science and aesthetics.

Marjorie Thomas and Donald F. Brown

Marjorie Thomas '42 and Donald F. Brown '30 led the alumni parade on Commencement afternoon.

From left to right: Richard Wall Lyman, Nell Irvin Painter, Heisuke Hironaka, and Jeffrey Alan Hoffman

Four scholars whose contributions to society were fostered at Harvard

The newly elected members of the Board of Overseers and new directors of the Harvard Alumni Association

From left to right: Albert Carnesale, Frances Fergusson, and Peter Malkin

For outstanding service to the University, a Commencement afternoon thank-you

Four new graduates head back to school—in the other Cambridge

A record-breaking fiftieth-reunion total is one among many contributions.

Janny Scott '77 introduces Barack Obama's mother to a wider audience.

Summer events hosted by Shared Interest Groups

Harvard alumni may sign in to view class notes and obituaries.

The College Pump

The U.S. Postal Service on June 16 issued a first-class stamp honoring botanist Asa Gray. A natural history professor, Gray also founded the Harvard Summer School 140 years ago. The stamp shows plants that he studied as well as the words <i>Shortia galacifolia</i> in his own hand. The story of his epic quest for that plant is told at http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/838.pdf.

Undercover training during World War II, and more on varsity ties

Treasure

Dysfunctional sink with body parts