Nation & World

All Nation & World

  • Surgeon describes horrors that ensue when rape is a ‘weapon of war’

    Denis Mukwege, a recent visitor to Harvard, is slow-spoken, weary, and grave. And well he might be. For nearly a decade, Mukwege has been doctor to thousands of women raped in the course of a long civil war in south central Africa — in effect, that continent’s World War II — which has so far claimed 4 million lives.

  • Sachs insists new technologies essential

    Jeffrey Sachs, the internationally renowned economist, returned to his alma mater Monday (April 14) to give his prescription for saving the world. Sustainable development, he said, is the “central challenge of our time.”

  • Money spent on others can buy happiness

    New research by one Harvard scholar implies that happiness can be found by spending money on others. Michael Norton, assistant professor of business administration in the marketing unit at the Harvard Business School (HBS), conducted a series of studies with his colleagues Elizabeth Dunn and Lara Aknin at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

  • Botswana-Harvard Partnership

    The BHP, under the direction of Dr. Max Essex, focuses on research into a cure for HIV/AIDS.

  • Film insists U.S. educational system is in critical condition

    Last month Bill Gates warned Congress that the United States is dangerously close to losing its competitive edge due to a serious shortage of scientists and engineers. The problem required in part, said the Microsoft founder, a revamping of the country’s educational system.

  • Zoellick wants to ‘retool’ the World Bank

    World Bank President Robert Zoellick reiterated his call to retool the organization to better meet the new set of development challenges across the globe during a discussion Thursday night (April 3) at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School.

  • Stilgoe predicts the return of railroad

    The golden age of the railroad ended in the mid-20th century, when Americans switched from Pullman cars to Chevys and eventually 747 jetliners. Yet, to John R. Stilgoe, Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Graduate School of Design, trains are anything but passé. Based on analyses of real estate investment patterns along railroad corridors, Stilgoe predicts that trains will once again play a key role in shaping American life.

  • Seminar calls Iraq conflict America’s first ‘credit card war’

    The five-year-old Iraq conflict is America’s first “credit card war.” And like anyone who has run up a huge credit card bill knows, a credit card debt can turn into a crushing burden with long-term consequences. This, too, will be a legacy of the Iraq War.

  • ‘To whom much is given …’

    Melinda Gates is likely the happiest woman alive. That is, if a recent study, co-conducted by a Harvard Business School (HBS) scholar, is any indication — it shows that people who spend money on others are happier than those who spend it on themselves.

  • Hospital brings hope to Haiti

    A hospital opened in January where a year earlier cows grazed. There were banners and bands that bright day in the tiny community of Lacolline, Haiti.

  • From Law School to Business School — evolution of the case method

    On a recent Wednesday morning, 90 high achievers from around the world prepared to get down to cases. Their professor buzzed through the classroom like a worker bee. Armed with large, multicolored pieces of chalk, he organized his notes, copied pastel-coded facts and figures on the blackboard, and set up a film screen. Soon his students would be equally hard at work, but in a strictly cerebral way.

  • Web of care

    Lake Peligre fills the valley floor, its dark blue waters a relief to the eye after hours winding through central Haiti’s hot, treeless hills on the dusty, potholed road that passes for National Route 3.

  • Public interest lawyers come home to HLS

    Last weekend (March 13-15), current and future lawyers at Harvard Law School (HLS) discussed how to change the world. The first “Celebration of Public Interest” at HLS brought together hundreds of the School’s alumni involved in public service careers to discuss their work, share their stories, and engage with the next generation of lawyers considering public interest professions. More than 700 people attended the event.

  • ‘Baby College’ and beyond

    Geoffrey Canada — author, educator, psychologist, motivator, poet, black belt, sometime comedian, and founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone — spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about 300 in the packed Ames Courtroom in Austin Hall last week (March 12).

  • The Holy Land comes to Florida as a theme park

    Little did a Harvard scholar who studies sacred spaces imagine that she would find the Holy Land in Florida. Several years ago, while chatting with her niece, a resident of the Sunshine State, Joan Branham, visiting associate professor of women’s studies and early Christianity and Judaism and acting director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School (HDS), learned about Florida’s newest theme park, one with a divine foundation.

  • Wisse explores mutations of Jewish power

    If the Jewish rebellion led to a diaspora that lasted millennia, it also prompted a sea change in the nature of Judaism, said Ruth R. Wisse, Harvard College Professor and Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature. An energetic commentator on Jewish culture, Wisse delivered a Humanities Center lecture this week (March 17) summarizing her new book, “Jews and Power” (Nextbook/Schoken, 2007).

  • Haiti: Maternal mortality

    A serious lack of healthcare infrastructure and an absence of reliable transportation leave Haitian women with few places to safely give birth.

  • Haiti: Dr. Louise, a higher purpose

    An assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and infectious disease specialist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Louise Ivers works through the nonprofit organization Partners In Health.

  • Haiti: Malnutrition

    In Haiti, malnutrition is the most serious threat to pediatric health.

  • Where the intellectual and spiritual intersect

    Kevin Madigan wishes he could have saved Anne Frank. Today, he repeatedly saves her memory. Madigan, professor of the history of Christianity at Harvard Divinity School (HDS), teaches the College freshman seminar “The Holocaust, History and Reaction,” which addresses the Jewish genocide through the study of a variety of texts, literature, and film. The course offers students a historical perspective on the Holocaust, and examines religious and theological reactions to the tragedy.

  • Can corporations police themselves effectively?

    On the surface, one might argue, it looks like the business world is headed in a decidedly socially conscious direction. Coffee giant Starbucks supports fair prices for its coffee growers. Wal-Mart, the department store dynasty, has instituted a number of measures to lighten its environmental footprint. Companies everywhere tout their eco-friendly products and packaging, and public awareness and support for such trends continue to grow.

  • Provost’s Fund for technology seeks proposals

    The Office of the Provost makes funds available to faculty for University projects that promise to alter and improve teaching and learning through the use of technology. The Provost’s Instructional Technology Fund is made up of two funds: the Innovation Fund and the Content Fund. The Innovation Fund is for large-scale projects that propose to introduce a novel approach to teaching and learning using information technology. The Content Fund is aimed toward creating online content for educational purposes.

  • Panel assesses the ‘power of unreasonable people’

    There’s a desire for change, especially among the young, “a spirit sweeping across this country and indeed across the world,” said David Gergen, professor of public service at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (HKS) and director of its Center for Public Leadership. Gergen’s remarks at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum opened a panel discussion Monday (March 3) on social entrepreneurship and the power of what he called “unreasonable people.”

  • Consumers want to do the right thing

    A majority of consumers want to do the right thing. That is, in numerous studies, consumers say that they are willing to pay more for products produced under good working conditions, rather than those that come from sweatshops. But what consumers say and what they actually do when they pull out their wallets at the cash register is not as clear.

  • ‘Dirty Work’

    As reports of the subprime mortgage meltdown continue, an exhibition on view through March 16 in Gund Hall Gallery highlights a real estate crisis of an altogether different sort. A third of the world’s city dwellers — 1 billion people — live in shantytowns.

  • Victor Cha looks at Olympic politics

    Victor Cha, director of Asian affairs on the National Security Council from 2004 to 2007 and a former Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard, returned to campus last week (Feb. 14) to talk about the surprisingly forceful “soft power” of sport in the realm of international relations and diplomacy.

  • Calderón cites nation’s progress

    The election that put Felipe Calderón Hinojosa into office as the president of Mexico was a real squeaker — the closest vote in the modern history of his country. It took a couple of months for the federal electoral tribunal to certify him as the winner. Even then his chief opponent wouldn’t concede. An hour before Calderón’s swearing in, leftist opposition lawmakers were throwing punches and even chairs in the legislative chamber, in an attempt to block his inauguration. The whole brawl was carried live on television across Mexico. But that was then. This is now.

  • Security chief cautions against complacency

    If Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was politically wounded by his department’s response to Hurricane Katrina, he showed no sign of it during his forceful lecture Feb. 6 at the Kennedy School of Government.