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December 20, 2011

Office of Media Relations
Darlene Trew Crist, Director

Courtney Coelho, Editor
(401) 863-7287

The Providence Journal    20 December 2011
Professor brings personal experience to prisoner rehab class
For the past 13 years, Ross Cheit, associate professor of political science, has taught a weekly ethics class to convicted sex offenders serving sentences at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston. Cheit shares with the inmates his own experience of being molested as a child and leads discussions that he hopes will provide the sex offenders with a framework for making good decisions. “When they start, they think they have it all figured out. The answers are all so clear to them – until they start talking. They’re forced to think and communicate. To debate and see the other’s point of view,” Cheit says.

Democracy Now!   16 December 2011
Costs of war are not just monetary
Catherine Lutz, the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Family Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, and co-director of the Costs of War project, talks about the impact of the U.S. invasion and occupation in Iraq following the recent troop withdrawal. "The costs have really been staggering," Lutz says. "We know that Congress appropriated $800 billion over the years for the Iraq War. But the true costs, of course, go much farther than that, starting with the people of Iraq, who have lost lives in the hundreds of thousands."

USA Today   18 December 2011
The effects of newspaper endorsements on voters
Iowa’s largest and most influential paper, the Des Moines Register, recently announced its public endorsement of presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Brian Knight, professor of economics, who has studied the effects of such endorsements, says that they do matter, to an extent: "Voters do pay attention but endorsements don’t influence all voters. They’re more likely to impact more moderate readers who could go either way in an election."

R&D Magazine   19 December 2011
Novel device removes heavy metals from water
Engineers at Brown have developed a system that cleanly and efficiently removes trace heavy metals from water. In experiments, the researchers showed the system reduced cadmium, copper, and nickel concentrations, returning contaminated water to near or below federally acceptable standards. The technique is scalable and has viable commercial applications, especially in the environmental remediation and metal recovery fields.

Financial Times   19 December 2011
Success of India’s lower class remains unclear
India recently launched its first venture capital fund investing solely in enterprises owned by those at the bottom of the caste system, known as Dalits. Ashutosh Varshney, professor of political science, says that it remains to be seen whether Dalit entrepreneurs will find success: “The evidence shows that as India’s economy has grown the middle castes have benefited considerably, but so far most Dalits have not.”

CNBC   20 December 2011
The smell of shopping
Retailers are increasingly using ambient scents to induce shoppers to stay longer and spend more. They also utilize fragrance to tap into memory and emotion to strengthen brand identity. Rachel Herz, adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, says that while scent can elicit an emotional response, there’s no way to guarantee a universally positive reaction: “Once an association with an odor is formed it can stay with you for life."
Full report online:

The Daily Beast   19 December 2011
Early admission, tuition continue to be worries for students
Acceptance rates for early admission are lower than last year at colleges and universities around the country, according to recent reports. Brown accepted around 20 percent of early-admission applicants. Jim Miller, dean of admissions, says the affordability of college is a concern for many students: “People wonder how they are going to manage to pay for four years. Just a few years ago they could be confident about home equity loans or an intergenerational transfer; in short, help from grandparents. That is no longer the case.”

Prevention   18 December 2011
The positive and negative side effects of smoking cessation
It’s common for people who are quitting smoking to experience a loss of concentration as they go through nicotine withdrawals, according to Christopher Kahler, professor of behavioral and social sciences. Still, he says the mental boost most people get from quitting more than makes up for such a side effect. “There’s a lot of psychological benefit to it,” Kahler says.

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