Announcements

Bacow, named Harvard president, meets the press

Bacow, named Harvard president, meets the press

February 11, 2018

There came a moment last fall when Bill Lee just had to ask.

Lee, the Harvard Corporation’s senior fellow, chaired the search committee tasked with finding a successor for Harvard President Drew Faust, who will step down in June after 11 years at the University’s helm.

The committee presided over a process that was broadly consultative, sending out 375,000 emails seeking comments and suggestions, and speaking with hundreds of alumni, students, and higher-education leaders. Advisory committees were convened representing each of the campus’ main stakeholders: faculty, students, and...

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Harvard names Lawrence S. Bacow as 29th president

Harvard names Lawrence S. Bacow as 29th president

February 11, 2018

Lawrence S. Bacow, one of the most experienced and respected leaders in American higher education, will become the 29th president of Harvard University on July 1.

Currently the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership, Bacow served with distinction for 10 years as President of Tufts University, where he was known for his dedication to expanding student opportunity, fostering innovation in education and research, enhancing collaboration across schools and disciplines, and...

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In aerodynamic performance, sharkskin model offers more lift, less drag

February 6, 2018

To build more aerodynamic machines, researchers are drawing inspiration from an unlikely source: the ocean.

A team of evolutionary biologists and engineers at Harvard University, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of South Carolina, has shed light on a decades-old mystery about sharkskin and, in the process, demonstrated a new, bioinspired structure that could improve the aerodynamic performance of planes, wind turbines, drones, and cars.

The research is published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface...

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Film series spotlights the feminine power in fables and folk tales

Film series spotlights the feminine power in fables and folk tales

February 6, 2018

Witches and plucky girls, princesses and vampires: In fairy tales, at least, females have power. While feminism has long mined fables and folk tales for both archetypes and answers, filmmakers have done the same to create arresting heroines and villains, along with strong characters who straddle the line.

Citing these tales as “magic mirrors” for our unseen selves, Katie B. Kohn, a doctoral candidate in film and visual studies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, has curated a film series...

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Harvard makes climate pledge to end fossil fuel use

Harvard makes climate pledge to end fossil fuel use

February 6, 2018

A new Harvard University climate action plan, announced by Harvard President Drew Faust today, clears an ambitious path forward to shift campus operations further away from fossil fuels. The plan includes two significant science-based targets to reduce emissions dramatically: a long-term goal to be fossil-fuel-free by 2050, and a short-term one to be fossil-fuel-neutral by 2026.

The plan builds on Harvard’s...

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Harvard students develop admissions guide

Harvard students develop admissions guide

January 23, 2018

As a high school sophomore in Cloquet, Minn., Luke Heine had two conversations that would change the direction of his life. First, as he stood in line at McDonald’s, a friend told him he should look into financial aid in the Ivy League, something he hadn’t even known existed. Then, months later, a fellow weight-lifter in the school gym told him he should prepare for the ACT college-admissions test to increase his odds of acceptance.

“I thought that studying for the ACT was cheating, but he said that most people do it, and I studied and raised my scores, and that brought me here,” said...

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Harvard grad student explores climate change through design and art

Harvard grad student explores climate change through design and art

January 22, 2018

Ask Joanne Cheung why she studies the way people conceptualize climate change and she’ll tell you, “I’m a designer. It’s part of the job to think about the future.”

Cheung, a master’s of architecture student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, makes a passionate case for integrating climate change into art and design. She believes they have a special capacity to shape how people see, which can in turn effect how they act on climate.

“This is a hard truth. Why aren’t we...

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A volume control for the brain 

A volume control for the brain 

January 22, 2018

With so many sights, sounds, smells, and other stimuli, the brain is flooded by the moment. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the background?

Part of the answer, says Catherine Dulac, the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, may lie with oxytocin.

Though popularly known as the “love hormone,” Dulac and a team of researchers found evidence that oxytocin plays a crucial role in helping the brain process a wide array of social...

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Science photos capture world in different light

Science photos capture world in different light

January 19, 2018

Images captured by Harvard researchers often blur the boundary between art and science. From high-powered microscopes to technology that can render biological tissue transparent, new tools are revealing the world in unexpected and compelling ways, expanding our understanding while showcasing unique beauty.

You can see the world in a biofilm, or the universe in a neural network. Jellyfish, seahorses, and turtles fluoresce in the ocean depths, while deadly...

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Side benefits of Roux-en-Y intrigue Harvard scientists

Side benefits of Roux-en-Y intrigue Harvard scientists

January 17, 2018

Nima Saeidi, an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of the Center for Engineering in Medicine, had started down one career path when a lecture on Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery redirected him.

The MGH lecture outlined not just the procedure’s striking effectiveness for weight loss — averaging 40 percent — but also its promise against diabetes,...

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