In a paper recently published by the Journal of Economic History, Professor Philip Pardy and his co-author explore the slowing growth of agricultural productivity in the United States. The study explores technological advances that led to a surge in farm productivity in the late 20th century, then examines potential explanations for the slowdown in growth that followed. Prof. Pardy is the Director of the International Science and Technology Practice and Policy Center, a Consortium member center. Read the full article here.
The Climate Intervention Biology Working Group, which includes Prof. Jessica Hellmann, Director of the Institute on the Environment, recently published a research brief on the potential ecological effects of solar radiation modification (SRM). In theory, SRM technology could be used to reflect sunlight away from the earth in order to combat global warming. The paper addresses knowledge gaps pertaining to both positive and negative ecological impacts of SRM technology. Additional information is available on the Institute for the Environment website; the paper was published in the April 2021 issue of Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. The Institute on the Environment is a Consortium member center.
Prof. Douglas Yee, Director of the Masonic Cancer Center, recently spoke to the University of Minnesota’s Discovery magazine about progress in the fight against cancer since the National Cancer Act was signed in 1971. Dr. Yee describes research led by the Masonic Cancer Center and how the next ten years will transform cancer treatment and research. The Masonic Cancer Center is a Consortium member center. Read the article here.
The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute is hosting a webinar series that highlights the gastronomic knowledge of Indigenous women chefs. Webinars feature recipes, cooking demonstrations and commentary from nationally recognized chefs. The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives institute is a Consortium member center. View recordings of past webinars and register for an upcoming webinar on the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives website.
Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) and Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota, was recently profiled by the Star Tribune. “Osterholm has long used his position to inform and influence. He alerted Congress to the dangers of a viral pandemic that would overwhelm hospitals, kill millions and devastate the global economy back in 2005….” Dr. Osterholm is an international authority on COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases. CIDRAP is a member center in the Consortium on Law and Values and Dr. Osterholm has been a leader in the Consortium’s COVID Controversies webinar series. Read the article on the Star Tribune website and listen to Dr. Osterholm’s podcast.
The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute is currently seeking applications for two funding opportunities. The University Faculty Research Grant Program supports new interdisciplinary research with potential for growth. Research teams must include members from at least three distinct disciplines. The Graduate and Professional Research Grant Program funds student research related to interdisciplinary learning in food, agriculture, and human health. Deadlines are in April and May. The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives institute is a Consortium member center. Read more about the funding opportunities here.
Dr. Stephen Thomas spoke to Minnesota Public Radio’s Kerri Miller about how COVID’s disproportionate effect on Black Americans and other communities of color is rooted in a history of maltreatment and inequitable access to healthcare. Dr. Thomas is Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity and was a keynote speaker for “Conducting Research in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ethics in an Emergency,” the University’s annual Research Ethics webinar, which took place March 3. View a video of Dr. Thomas’s keynote session here. Listen to his interview with Keri Miller on the MPR website here.
Professor Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota Law School has been awarded the Early Career Scholars Medal by the American Law Institute (ALI). According to Judge Diane P. Wood, who serves as the chair of the selection committee, “Francis has been a pioneer in establishing the interdisciplinary field of law and neuroscience. His research has helped lead to the better administration of justice in areas such as criminal and elder law, and it has been essential in developing tools to improve the legal system through the responsible use of neuroscientific evidence and neurotechnology.” Prof. Shen is a principal investigator for Highly Portable and Cloud-Enabled Neuroimaging Research: Confronting Ethics Challenges in Field Research with New Populations, a NIH-funded grant based in the Consortium on Law and Values, and is an affiliate faculty member of the Consortium. Read more here.
Prof. Stephen Thomas, PhD, Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland, spoke to CIDRAP News about efforts to increase COVID vaccination uptake in the African American community. Read the full article here. Dr. Thomas will be a featured speaker at “Conducting Research in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ethics in an Emergency,” the Consortium’s annual research ethics webinar. The webinar takes place Wednesday, March 3 from 9:00am - 1:30pm Central time. Register now to attend.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota Genomics Center are analyzing wastewater samples in an effort to track the spread of COVID variants. This gives scientists and policy-makers another tool to track the spread COVID variants, in addition to clinical testing. The Star Tribune reports, “Kenny Beckman, director of the U Genomics Center, said a long-term goal is to develop a way to rule out the presence of newer strains.” The Genomics Center is a Consortium member center. Read more about their efforts here.