Robert Walter has a busy winter ahead of him, as Mike Gordon’s five-piece recently announced an upcoming 2019 winter tour, set to begin on Friday, March 8th at Atlanta, GA’s Variety Playhouse and run throughout the majority of the month.Mike Gordon and his band will begin the East Coast tour on Friday, March 8th at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse before makings stops at Asheville, NC’s The Orange Peel on March 9th and Nashville, TN’s The Basement East on March 10th. The tour will continue March 12th with a performance at Charleston, SC’s Charleston Music Hall before the band heads north with stops at Rocky Mount, VA’s Harvester Performance Center (March 13th); Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club (March 15th); Asbury Park, NJ’s Asbury Lanes (March 16th); Jersey City, NJ’s White Eagle Hall (March 17th); and Buffalo, NY’s Town Ballroom(March 19th). Mike Gordon and his band will wrap up the tour with a special four-night run at Cambridge, MA’s The Sinclair from Thursday, March 21st through Sunday, March 24th.For more information on Robert Walter’s upcoming shows and ticketing information, head to his website here. Robert Walter has announced a new lineup for his 20th Congress’ 2019 Northeastern run, which will include guitarist Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead/ WOLF!), drummer John Kimock (Mike Gordon), and bassist Marc Friedman.The quartet will begin their upcoming run of shows at Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground on January 30th, followed by a trio of shows in support of Umphrey’s McGee. Robert Walter’s 20th Congress will join UM as support at New Haven, CT’s College Street Music Hall (January 31st); Albany, NY’s Palace Theatre (February 1st); and Portland, ME’s State Theatre (February 2nd).
Live Trax Vol. 47 Tracklist1. One Sweet World2. Best of What’s Around3. Jimi Thing4. Crash Into Me5. Lie In Our Graves6. Seek Up7. Two Step8. #419. Leave Me Praying10. Say Goodbye11. Ants Marching12. Tripping Billies13. Lover Lay Down14. So Much To Say15. Too Much16. Drive in, Drive OutView Album Tracklisting Dave Matthews Band continues to roll out live releases as part of their ongoing Live Trax archival series. The latest upcoming release will feature the live recording from the band’s performance at the Meadows Music Theatre in Hartford, CT back on June 8th, 1997, which featured guest performances from Béla Fleck and his Flecktones bandmate and future DMB saxophonist, Jeff Coffin.The band’s 1997 concert in Hartford that evening came during the summer tour in support of their 1996 Crash LP, which would go on to become their best-selling studio album. In addition to featuring a vibrant mix of DMB fan favorites including “Jimi Thing”, “Crash Into Me”, and “Ants Marching”, the performance marked the first time Coffin shared the stage with his future bandmates DMB, as Béla Fleck and the Flecktones were the show’s support act on that part of the tour. The performance that night also featured the tour debuts of “One Sweet World” and “The Best Of What’s Around”, and the first-ever full band version of “Leave Me Praying”, according to JamBase. Coffin’s DMB debut came during the performance of “#41”, eight songs into the show.Related: Dave Matthews Band’s New “Live Trax Vol. 40” To Feature James Brown Collab ShowDave Matthews and company recently shared their summer 2019 tour schedule, which is set to begin with a show in Pensacola, FL on April 30th. The band is scheduled to make headlining appearances at Sea.Hear.Now and Beale Street Music Festivals later this year as well. The band also recently shared their entire Live In Central Park concert from 2003 for fans to enjoy for free on YouTube. Fans can click here for tickets to the band’s upcoming summer tour.Fans can also click here to preorder Live Trax Vol. 47. The album is scheduled to ship on or around March 27th, with all downloads becoming available via email two days later on March 29th.
Read Full Story As part of the Harvard College General Education course Science of the Physical Universe 24: “Introduction to Technology & Society,” students and members of the Harvard community are invited to check out market ready alternative vehicle technologies in automobiles that are presently being sold.Day & Time: Wed, Feb. 15, 1-2:30 p.m.Location: In front of Maxwell Dworkin (33 Oxford Street)Cars on display will include the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Ford Fusion Hybrid.Representatives will be there to answer any questions.
Harvard is many things to many people, which suits outgoing Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) President Ellen Gordon Reeves, A.B. ’83, Ed.M. ’86, just fine. Indeed, her focus over the past year has been getting alumni around the globe to “share their Harvard” and examine the many elements that compose one’s personal Harvard experience — and how that experience is applied after graduation. “It was beyond inspiring,” says Reeves, “to hear how alumni and club leaders all over the world are using their degrees from across the University to combat poverty in their countries, provide educational opportunities, write their constitutions, and boost their local economies.”Reeves’ turn at the HAA helm, which coincided with Harvard’s yearlong 375th anniversary celebration, has been filled with highlights. Last fall, Reeves and HAA Executive Director Jack Reardon, A.B. ’60, led the 375th alumni parade through the streets of Cambridge. She has since joined Harvard Club leaders and other alumni for 375th celebrations and meetings in Washington, New Jersey, and Houston; coming up next are New York and her hometown of Providence, R.I. She has traveled to Warsaw, Cartagena, Colombia, and Paris, and participated in 375th events in Mumbai and New Delhi with Harvard President and Lincoln Professor of History Drew Faust. “If I thought I loved being involved with Harvard before,” says Reeves, an author and teacher, “this year only deepened my attachment and commitment to the HAA and to the University. It’s easy to forget what an extraordinary influence Harvard and its president have on the world until you see it firsthand, far away from home.” (You can read more about Reeves’ year as HAA president on her blog.)Reeves is leaving the HAA in good hands as she prepares to pass the baton to Carl Muller, A.B. ’73, J.D. ’76, M.B.A. ’76, a two-time Harvard parent. Muller, a lawyer in Greenville, S.C., wants to encourage alumni to explore their Harvard “past, present, and future” during his tenure, a goal that seems especially apropos on the heels of Harvard’s 375th birthday. “For our alumni, their years at Harvard were among the best of their lives,” Muller says. “My goal is to stir those memories and honor those whose foresight and devotion over the centuries created this great gift for us and the world.”Muller’s past work with the HAA includes chairing the nominating committee, helping to revise the HAA constitution, and strategic planning as a member of the executive committee. Those efforts, along with Reeves’ initiatives, have propelled the HAA to extraordinary growth as University-wide alumni engagement opportunities increase, in the U.S. and abroad. The success is a testament to strong alumni volunteer leadership and the dedication of Reardon’s HAA team, led by Deputy Executive Director Philip Lovejoy.“I’m so excited for Carl because I’m sure he has no idea just how much fun is in store for him next year,” Reeves says. “Beneath that bow tie and soft-spoken Southern charm lie an incisive legal and literary mind and a terrific sense of humor — complemented by an affinity for great barbecue.”“Ellen is living proof that Einstein was right,” Muller says. “Matter and energy are interchangeable. The energy in Ellen Reeves is mind-boggling. She has done 10 years’ worth of work for Harvard in just one.”
Newly confirmed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Tuesday pledged action on climate change during the Obama administration’s remaining years, saying the concern is as much economic as it is environmental.“Climate change will not be resolved overnight, but it will be engaged over the next three years; that I can promise you,” McCarthy said during her speech at Harvard Law School (HLS).McCarthy, confirmed to head the federal agency on July 19 after a bruising Senate review process, decried what she called a “false choice” between environmental health and economic health presented by those who oppose regulation. She pointed to the U.S. economy’s growth over the decades since landmark environmental regulations were passed in the early 1970s, and held up clean air and brownfield cleanup programs, both administered by the EPA, as examples.“Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please? It’s not a choice between the health of our children and the health of the economy.” — Gina McCarthyBetween 1970 and 2011, air pollution emissions fell 68 percent in this country, even as the gross domestic product rose 212 percent and the population increased 52 percent. In addition, Clean Air Act programs prevented 205,000 premature deaths and 18 million childhood respiratory illnesses between 1970 and 1990, she said. Total private-sector jobs increased 88 percent. Overall, she said, every dollar invested under the Clean Air Act has borne $30 in benefits.“Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please?” McCarthy said. “For too long, we’ve been focused on this false choice. It’s not a choice between the health of our children and the health of the economy.”McCarthy also held up the cleanup of brownfields — polluted urban lots that are often former factory or industrial sites — as another way that government anti-pollution action has benefited the economy. Since 1995, government-sponsored brownfield cleanups have returned 41,500 acres to development, generating 93,000 jobs and leveraging $20.8 billion in economic development, she said. Each dollar spent on the EPA’s brownfield cleanup program, McCarthy said, leads to between $17 and $18 in public and private funds for cleanup and development.“This is how you use federal dollars to advance the public interest. That is what EPA is all about,” McCarthy said. “The EPA is having substantive positive impact on the lives of everyday people all across the United States, and we’re doing so in a way that not only doesn’t slow the economy, but in many ways that spark economic growth.”McCarthy delivered her comments before 300 people gathered at Wasserstein Hall. Dean Martha Minow introduced the talk, billed as McCarthy’s first public policy speech since she was confirmed. The session was hosted by the Law School’s Environmental Law Program.The event had something of a homecoming feel, as McCarthy, who was raised in Boston, was introduced by her daughter, Maggie McCarey. The new EPA chief previously worked as an environmental administrator for several Massachusetts governors, including Mitt Romney, and also served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection before moving to the EPA as an assistant administrator in 2009.McCarthy’s confirmation process became a lightning rod for Republican disapproval of the Obama administration’s decision to pursue climate-change action through regulatory rather than legislative means. Under that strategy, the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide as it does other pollutants and move ahead with some actions without approval from Congress.McCarthy was subjected to intense questioning by Republican senators, and was called back to the Senate 70 times over a 136-day confirmation period during which she answered more than 1,000 questions. House Republicans have expressed their own disapproval of the agency’s activities, proposing cutting the EPA budget by a third.“Getting confirmed two weeks ago, it was truly the honor of a lifetime,” McCarthy said. “And that, I think, is a very good thing because I swear it took two lifetimes to get confirmed.”Though much of the spotlight has been on the federal government, McCarthy said that it rarely leads in promulgating regulations. Instead, she said, it embraces effective examples set by an array of state and local governments, nonprofits, universities, businesses, and individuals.In response to a question on the controversial proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, McCarthy described her role as that of a mediator who tries to get all sides to work out their differences.“It’s not supposed to be easy; it’s supposed to be hard,” she said.McCarthy cited the devastating impact of Superstorm Sandy as an example of how environmental issues are at their core economic ones.“I’m quite sure following Hurricane Sandy, no one looked at that hurricane as an environmental challenge; they looked at it as an economic devastation,” McCarthy said. “Climate change isn’t an environmental issue. It’s a fundamental economic challenge for us. It’s a fundamental challenge internationally, and we need to embrace that challenge.”McCarthy said the agency is committed to working in partnership with diverse groups to clean up the U.S. energy system in a way that not only lowers emissions from climate-changing greenhouse gases, but that also stimulates the economy.“Today, the truth is that we need to embrace cutting carbon pollution as a way to spark business innovation. We need to cut carbon pollution to grow jobs. We need to cut carbon pollution to strengthen the economy,” McCarthy said. “Head-on. That’s how we need to deal with this issue.”EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Address at HLS Less than two weeks after being confirmed by the Senate as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Gina McCarthy delivered an inaugural address at Harvard Law School on Tuesday.
The Minerva Academy on Tuesday named Eric Mazur the first winner of the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education. In announcing the $500,000 award, the academy specifically noted Mazur’s development of “peer instruction,” an innovative teaching method that incorporates interactive pedagogy into the classroom and has been recognized worldwide for driving dramatic improvements in learning outcomes.Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Area Dean for Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The Minerva Prize recognizes one faculty member from any institution worldwide who has made a significant impact on student learning experiences through extraordinary innovation in higher education.“Members of the academy unanimously and enthusiastically agreed on the selection of Dr. Mazur as the first recipient of the Minerva Prize,” said Roger Kornberg, a Nobel laureate and the governor of the Minerva Academy. “His development of the peer-instruction teaching methodology, now broadly adopted, embodies the innovation in teaching excellence that the Minerva Prize was conceived to recognize and promote. We are pleased to bestow this honor upon an individual who has contributed so greatly to the advancement of teaching and with such passion for improving student learning outcomes.”The academy considered a large number of nominations. The three primary criteria in selecting the winner were the innovation itself; its impact on students, faculty, and institutions around the world; and how the innovation has inspired both faculty and students to achieve better learning experiences more generally.More than 20 years ago, Mazur developed peer instruction as an alternative to the lecture-driven class. In peer instruction, the instructor “flips” the classroom, engaging students in interactive discussions about the subject material. Students prepare for class by either reading or watching videos covering the content. Classroom time is devoted to deepening the understanding of the material from the pre-class assignment. Presentations by the professor are interspersed with conceptual questions designed to expose common difficulties in understanding the material. Students are given a few minutes to think about the question and formulate their answers; they then discuss their answers in groups of three to four, attempting to reach consensus on a viable answer.Two decades of research support the effectiveness of peer instruction across disciplines.The methodology has been covered in nearly 1,500 papers in peer-reviewed journals and in numerous books. Mazur’s “Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual” (1997) has been translated into four languages.“Eric Mazur’s innovative thinking has been disruptive in the best sense of the word,” said Dean Cherry A. Murray of SEAS. “He has used a scientist’s mindset to formulate and perfect a new approach to teaching that complements what we already know about how students learn. That’s catching on internationally because it prepares graduates to engage with difficult problems beyond the classroom walls.”Mazur will receive the prize at an academy gathering in October.For more, click here.
Read Full Story Pardis Sabeti has been a leader in the effort to analyze Ebola’s genetic code and track its mutations. Sabeti, who is an associate professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard School of Public Health, associate professor, Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and senior associate member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, recently spoke to The New Yorker about her research over the summer tracing the origins of the virus — as her collaborators and co-authors in West Africa were succumbing to the disease.In the article, published October 27, 2014, Sabeti said, “This virus is not a single entity. Now we have an entry into what the virus is doing, and now we can recognize what we are battling with at every point in time.”Read The New Yorker article: The Ebola warsRead a Harvard Gazette article: Ebola genomes sequencedSabeti will give a talk titled Genomic surveillance of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, at HSPH on October 30, the first in a series sponsored by the Office of the Dean.
They have been a scourge for thousands of years, responsible for the spread of lethal diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, and, much less urgently, a threat to barbecues around the globe.What if there was a way to render humans invisible to mosquitoes?The notion isn’t as far-fetched as it might sound, say researchers who have identified a key genetic variation that helps mosquitoes “smell” humans. The study, which is described in a Nov. 13 paper in Nature, could open the door to new strategies to ward off the pesky insects.The work was led by Leslie B. Vosshall at Rockefeller University in New York and Carolyn McBride, an assistant professor at Princeton. Felix Baier, now a graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard, was also part of the team.“What’s emerging from this is a picture of exactly how mosquitoes are navigating their environment to locate humans, and in the end, we may able to use that knowledge to fine-tune a line of attack that distracts their preference for humans altogether,” Baier said.The gene researchers identified, Or4, encodes for receptors that detect sulcatone, a compound emitted at unusually high levels by humans. By varying the sensitivity and expression level of that gene, Baier said, ancient mosquitoes were able to zero in on a new food source — humans.As recently as 100,000 years ago, mosquitoes fed exclusively on animals, largely because there simply weren’t enough humans to make them worth targeting. But as humans spread around the globe, mosquitoes followed, hungrily.While animal- and human-preferring mosquitoes have diverged over thousands of years, the two can still be interbred, a fact Baier and colleagues exploited to examine how their genomes differ.“What we did first was to take the two different types of mosquito and look at their antennae, which is their most important smell organ,” Baier said. “We reasoned that there should be differences in the number and type of genes that are expressed there, and that was true. We found a huge list of genes that differed in their expression between the two types of mosquitoes — 959 in all.”To pare the list, Baier and colleagues bred the two types of mosquitoes to create hybrids, then bred the hybrids to create a second generation.“When you do that the genome gets reshuffled,” Baier said. “Just by chance, some mosquitoes in the second generation will have the gene that attracts them to humans, and some will have the gene that attracts them to animals. We subject those mosquitoes to behavioral tests to identify one from another, and then sequence the genes in their antennae again.”The team reduced the original pool of nearly 1,000 possibilities down to just 46, a list far more manageable, but still too large to identify candidate genes for further study.“We next compared the two lists of genes. If we found that a particular gene was upregulated in the human-preferring hybrids, we then looked to see if it was upregulated in the human-preferring parental strain as well,” Baier said. “If it wasn’t, we reasoned it was unlikely to be the gene responsible for the preference to bite humans.”By identifying genes that were different in similar ways in both the parental and the hybrid strains, the team was able to produce a list of just 14 genes that might be responsible for helping mosquitoes identify humans. The team then cut the list even further by looking at the identity of those genes — and found that two of them encoded odorant receptors.“We felt that odorant receptors in the antennae were the most likely to underlie this behavioral difference, because changing the input to the system is an easy way to change the behavior,” Baier said. “We then decided to look more deeply into one gene because it was very highly expressed — in fact, it was the second most highly-expressed odorant receptor in the antenna of human-preferring mosquitoes overall.”With their target identified, the team set about finding what the odorant receptor detects. The process is relatively simple in fruit flies, Baier said: Researchers bombard the insect with various compounds while monitoring the activity of particular neurons. When the receptors detect certain compounds, they cause neurons to fire. By tracking those neural patterns, researchers can determine which compounds the receptors detect.“But because these are mosquitoes and not model organisms like the fruit fly, we had to use a different strategy,” Baier said. That strategy was to transplant the Or4 gene from the mosquito into fruit flies, and then record their neural activity as they were confronted with different molecules.The receptor detects sulcatone, the researchers found.“Humans emit it much more than any of the other animals we tested,” Baier said. “And that makes sense — it’s something a mosquito could use to distinguish between human and other mammals.”The researchers said it could be possible to interrupt the process somehow, whether by attacking the genetic pathway or developing a compound that binds to the sulcatone receptors. Doing so would effectively render mosquitoes “blind” to humans.“Obviously, doing that is not trivial, but this opens the possibility of looking into it,” Baier said. “Of course, mosquitoes would still be able to locate humans through other cues, but they would probably have a harder time to prefer biting humans. The importance of this is that we’re learning more about the architecture of the olfactory system in mosquitoes in general, and how that mediates the recognition of humans.”
Read Full Story The Miami Herald’s meticulously researched “Innocents Lost” series, which examines the deaths of hundreds of children in Florida, has won the 2014 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism.The Herald’s I-Team explored how 477 children died over a six year period, victims not only of abusive or neglectful caregivers but of Florida’s flawed child welfare system. The deaths occurred as the state reduced the number of children in foster care at the same time it cut services for troubled families.The series was the result of a year’s worth of reporting and multiple lawsuits to obtain state death records. After the publication of the series, the reporters continued to update their online database, which now includes the stories of some 535 young victims. The Herald also hosted a town hall meeting to allow stakeholders, including judges, social workers, parents and teachers, to discuss their concerns.The Herald’s reports have led to a number of important reforms to state law and policy. The Florida Legislature allocated nearly $50 million to improve child protection services and began the most comprehensive revision of child welfare statutes in its history.The $20,000 Bingham Prize will be presented to The Miami Herald on May 7, 2015, at the Nieman Foundation.The Worth Bingham Prize honors investigative reporting of stories of national significance where the public interest is being ill-served. Worth Bingham, a 1954 Harvard University graduate, achieved prominence as an investigative journalist and was vice president and assistant to the publisher for the Louisville Courier-Journal.
The benefits of staying active as we age are striking. In addition to keeping the body strong, regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, blood pressure, stroke, and some cancers, experts say. It can even improve cognitive function.But if keeping the body moving is so good for us, why do so many adults who played sports when they were young stop doing so? The reasons, according to a new study, include a lack of time, interest, or access, in addition to health issues. The study also found a clear gender and income gap.A panel of experts gathered at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) on Thursday to discuss the findings and explore ways to keep adults in the game.The new poll, conducted by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard Chan School, interviewed 2,506 adults over the age of 18. It found that the majority of those who had played sports when they were younger no longer did, with a significant drop-off coming after age 26. (The poll did find that about half of those surveyed said they exercised regularly, including by walking or weightlifting.)Graphic by Georgia BellasThe study revealed that while 40 percent of 18- to 21-year-olds, and 41 percent of 22- to 25-year-olds, play sports, only 26 percent of 26- to 49-year-olds do so, and just 20 percent of adults 50 and over.Somewhat surprisingly, their own lack of participation did little to quell parents’ enthusiasm for their children’s engagement with sports. In the poll, 89 percent of parents with a middle or high school-aged child said their child benefitted greatly from playing sports, which improves mental and physical health, discipline, dedication, and social skills.“The poll sums up the question: Is there some way to bridge a gap between the enthusiasm of the power of [sports] for health and other reasons for children, [and getting adults] to carry on after age 26?” said Robert Blendon, the Richard L. Menschel Professor at HSPH and a lead author on the report.Blendon said about half of the adults surveyed indicated they no longer play sports because of a health problem, a lack of interest, or inconvenience. “So we’ve switched from all the advantages [for] kids,” said Blendon, “to all the disadvantages for me.”,For panelist Caitlin Cahow ’08, a former member of the U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team and a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, one way forward is to help young people understand that lessons learned on the field or in the ice rink can offer “tools and skills necessary to succeed in life” beyond the pitch or hockey arena. Encouraging children to embrace a healthy lifestyle, one that includes sports participation and good nutrition as a norm, sets the stage for them to pursue those practices later in life, she said.“I believe that I truly benefitted from the physical, social, and emotional self-confidence that you get through playing sports,” she said, “and personally I’ve found that to be an incredible advantage as I’ve moved on to face other challenges in my life beyond sports.”Three factors help explain the report’s findings that men are more than twice as likely as women to say they play sports, according to Elizabeth Matzkin, surgical director of women’s musculoskeletal health and an orthopedic surgeon at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital: many older women didn’t have the same access to the range of sports that girls do today; women tend to “put themselves at the bottom of the list” behind the needs of their jobs, their spouses, and their children; and the rising number of overuse injuries in younger and younger children.“About 3.5 million youths are presented to a physician or an emergency department due to a sports-related injury per year. … Even though we are very good at getting people back to playing, those injuries can lead to problems down the road,” said Matzkin.Graphic by Georgia BellasShe cited tears of the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, an injury that is eight times more common in female athletes. A 13-year-old who suffers such a tear, said Matzkin, will likely have arthritis in that knee by the time she hits her 30s.Educating parents and coaches about the dangers of having a child specialize too early in one sport year-round is an important part of curbing overuse injuries, said Matzkin, and hopefully will lead to women playing sports longer.“Youth bodies are not meant to specialize at a young age.”Access to free and safe sports teams and facilities is also important in getting and keeping people of every age involved in sports, said Ed Foster-Simeon, president and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, soccer’s charitable arm in this country.Foster-Simeon argued that one reason for the income disparity reported in the poll — which found that lower-wage earners were less than half as likely to play sports than adults with higher incomes — is the lack of free programs and safe places to play in many low-income communities.Millions of children, he added, “don’t have the opportunity to play.”He urged the adoption of initiatives like his foundation’s Soccer for Success, a free after-school program in which coaches use small-sided soccer games to help promote healthy lifestyles.“Coaches are among the most influential people whom children encounter,” he said, and “leveraging that engagement is an opportunity. It’s more than just fun and games.”