Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

September-October 2016

Letters

Readers comment on Harvard and slavery, scientists and sex, final clubs, Seamus Heaney, and more

President Faust on Harvard Divinity School's bicentennial

How Harvard might better explain itself to faculty, friends, and the world at large

A distinctive Harvard Magazine voice remembered

Welcoming an accomplished new editorial colleague

The College Pump

Robert M. Pennoyer, age 19, on duty in 1944

Robert M. Pennoyer, age 19, on duty in 1944

Photograph courtesy of Robert M. Pennoyer

A member of the class of 1946 on the horrors, and humor, of World War II.

Treasure

Common thistle (Cirsium vulgare) found in an open pasture in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, in 1921

Image courtesy of the Harvard University Herbaria

Digitized herbaria collections data allow researchers to predict future plant ranges.

In this Issue

Illustration by Andrew MacGregor

Colson Whitehead ’91 plays for higher stakes in his new novel.

Illustration by Adam Niklewicz

Making the case for charter schools and other choice options to boost educational performance

George Bucknam Dorr on the Beachcroft Path on Huguenot Head

George Bucknam Dorr on the Beachcroft Path on Huguenot Head

Photograph courtesy of Friends of Acadia and the National Park Service and NPS/Archive

Brief life of a persistent conservationist: 1853-1944

As Jerry Mitrovica demonstrates, the weight of ice sheets in polar regions can actually flatten the earth’s rocky mantle, altering the speed of the planet’s rotation and changing sea levels.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Connecting climate change to the planet’s shifting crust

Nancy Rosenblum in her Greenwich Village apartment building

Nancy Rosenblum in her Greenwich Village apartment building

Portrait by Robert Adam Mayer

Nancy Rosenblum studies neighbors and the power of proximity.

Letters

Readers comment on Harvard and slavery, scientists and sex, final clubs, Seamus Heaney, and more

President Faust on Harvard Divinity School's bicentennial

How Harvard might better explain itself to faculty, friends, and the world at large

A distinctive Harvard Magazine voice remembered

Welcoming an accomplished new editorial colleague

Right Now

Illustration by Wesley Bedrosian

Evolution shaped humans to rest—and to run only when absolutely necessary.

A 3-D printer “draws” a coiled antenna in the air. What allows the printer to work this way is a laser that hardens an “ink” of silver nanoparticles as they emerge from the nozzle.

A 3-D printer “draws” a coiled antenna in the air. What allows the printer to work this way is a laser that hardens an “ink” of silver nanoparticles as they emerge from the nozzle.

Image courtesy of Mark Skylar-Scott

A new kind of 3-D printer forms wires in midair.

Anthony Jack is interested in diversity among low-income students.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Sociologist Anthony Jack studies two types of low-income students.

Harvard Squared

The Saugus Iron Works sits on a tidal basin about a 10-minute drive off Interstate 95. 

Photograph courtesy of the National Park Service

The Saugus Iron Works highlights early U.S. industrial history

Workers flood the cranberry bog, then collect and bag the berries that float to the top. 

Photograph by Andrew W. Griffith/A.D. Maekpeace Company

Learn how New England’s iconic berries are cultivated at this annual event.

Harold Edgerton captured the interface between art and science, as in his photograph of a bullet passing through an apple. 

Image courtesy of the Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum highlights “Science in Motion” in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Figureheads, like this 1970s reproduction, often adorned fire stations in the 1800s.
Photograph by Harvard Magazine/JC

Children and adults alike are drawn to this eclectic array of firefighting artifacts.

Sevan’s Murat and Nuran Chavushian hold up a batch of feta.

Photograph by Stu Rosner

Ethnic markets serve up a world of food.

John Harvard's Journal

Assembling the Harvard Life Lab, on Western Avenue, at the edge of the Business School campus

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Harvard's sweeping building boom.

Michael Brenner

Photograph by Stu Rosner

Applied mathematician Michael Brenner on not knowing anything

An existing frame home begins its transformation into the new Winthrop House faculty dean’s residence.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Three projects in, some physical and financial assessments

Illustration by Mark Steele

From the pages of the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and Harvard Magazine

Douglas Elmendorf

Douglas Elmendorf

Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

New HKS dean Douglas Elmendorf talks progressive policy and economics.

“P” with Mary surrounded by 12 stars, from Richard de Saint-Laurent, De laudibus beatae Mariae virginis, late 1200s

Courtesy of Wellesley College

Little-known treasures from Houghton Library and other collections

Advocate editors playing to the camera circa 1900-1910

Courtesy of Harvard University Archives

The Harvard Advocate turns 150.

Chao Center

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Chao Center, a Law School alumnus as vice-presidential nominee, sexual-assault lexicon, Gen Ed transition, and more

Photograph by Harvard Magazine/JB

Continuing challenges to undergraduate-admissions policies, and diversifying faculties

The magazine’s Berta Greenwald Ledecky Undergraduate Fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year will be Matthew Browne ’17 and Lily Scherlis ’18.

Photograph by Stu Rosner

The magazine's Ledecky Fellows provide an undergraduate perspective.

Illustration by Scott Laumann

The Undergraduate bears witness for a friend.

Anne Cheng

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Anne Cheng anchors Harvard's new golf prowess.

Montage

Could Science Prove There’s a God? (2014) is part of artist Judith Brodsky's ongoing series about science and philosophy, The Twenty Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century.

Image courtesy of Judith Brodsky

From the beginning, artist and advocate Judith Brodsky felt “pulls in different directions.”

Composer Nicholas Britell has written scores for films including MoonlightA Tale of Love and Darkness, and The Seventh Fire. He is also a pianist and producer (most recently of Whiplash, by Damien Chazelle ’07).

Courtesy of Nicholas Britell

A film composer's career, from annotating Sneakers to doing “archaeology” for 12 Years a Slave

Autumn harvest: a honeybee on Solidago gigantea (goldenrod)

Photograph by Helga R. Heilmann

Thomas D. Seeley on the craft and science of bee hunting

Melanerpes lewis, Meriwether Lewis’s woodpecker, in the MCZ’s collections

Photograph by Mark Sloan/Courtesy of the Museum of Comparative Zoology/Harvard University

Recent books with Harvard connections

Joseph Finder at Boston Athenaeum

Joseph Finder at the Boston Athenaeum, a membership library. The private investigator hero of his Nick Heller series is also based in the city, where Finder lives with his family.

Photograph by Stu Rosner

Joseph Finder makes technology the texture of his new thriller, Guilty Minds.

Illustration by James Steinberg

A focused briefing on degree-attainment, democracy, and economic opportunity

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

Alumni

Posing with a tool of the trade, Alcorn can revel in her job’s reflection of film noir.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Boston-based private investigator Sarah Alcorn is “a bit of an oddball in this business.”

Martin J. Grasso Jr.

Photograph by Jim Harrison

President Martin J. Grasso boosts alumni volunteerism.

The Harvard Club of Boston’s renovated Harvard Hall foyer

Photograph by Richard Mandelkorn/The Harvard Club of Boston

The Harvard Club of Boston’s makeover, and new president

(From left) Annalee Perez ’17 and Brittany Wang ’17
Courtesy of the Harvard Alumni Association

The Aloian Memorial Scholars contribute to House life.

Harvard Alumni Association awards honor volunteer service to the University.

Paul Zeitz visiting with Proof School students last fall

A private San Francisco middle school and high school nurture a passion for numbers.

The College Pump

Robert M. Pennoyer, age 19, on duty in 1944

Robert M. Pennoyer, age 19, on duty in 1944

Photograph courtesy of Robert M. Pennoyer

A member of the class of 1946 on the horrors, and humor, of World War II.

Treasure

Common thistle (Cirsium vulgare) found in an open pasture in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, in 1921

Image courtesy of the Harvard University Herbaria

Digitized herbaria collections data allow researchers to predict future plant ranges.