2017 News


Max Zhang: Local engagement yields ‘real social impact’
December 6, 2017
Engineer Max Zhang makes a concerted effort to improve the world through collaboration. “We as researchers can help community processes by making their needs scientifically driven.”

Sternberg wins 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology
December 5, 2017
Robert Sternberg, professor of human development, has won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Psychology for his concept of “successful intelligence” which includes skills such as analytical reasoning, creative thinking, common sense, and ethical skills.
People with disabilities more likely to be arrested
November 30, 2017
People with disabilities in the study were nearly 44 percent more likely to be arrested by age 28, while those without had a lower probability of arrest, at 30 percent.
There’s some truth in the struggling artist stereotype
November 27, 2017
The struggling artist stereotype isn’t far from the mark in today’s economy, according to a state-funded report by researchers at The Worker Institute at Cornell’s ILR School.
Trevor Pinch examines the line between human and machine in new podcast
November 21, 2017
The boundary between human and machine is not entirely clear, although we often define ourselves by contrasting humans to machines and technology.
Workshop explores ape-human communication
November 21, 2017
A workshop held Oct. 20-21 examined questions related to apes, language and communication, and how researchers can examine and reassess the language of apes.
Myth of race still embedded in scientific research
November 20, 2017
Dorothy Roberts, a scholar from the University of Pennsylvania, talked about race and racism and a more ethical way to study them Nov. 15 at the 2017 ISS Annual Lecture.
Conference examines criminalization of immigrants
November 17, 2017
Researchers from a range of disciplines and institutions gathered in early November to discuss the implications of the criminalization of immigrants.
Kids in tough neighborhoods face joblessness, lower income as adults
November 9, 2017
Steven Alvarado, assistant professor of sociology, conducted the first study that uses national data to examine the effects of a child’s neighborhood on their adulthood economic well-being.
New Initiative Launched to Support Vulnerable Families
October 25, 2017
The Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research has launched a new initiative, Project 2Gen, which aims to tackle the issues faced by vulnerable families by using a two-generational approach. Project 2Gen is led by co-directors Laura Tach and Rachel Dunifon.
Philly’s New Tax on Soda Makes Prices Bubble Up
October 25, 2017

Cawley, professor of policy analysis and management and of economics, investigated the effect of Philadelphia’s soda tax, which was implemented in some Philadelphia International Airport terminals, but not others.
Iscol Lecturer Takes on Trump Immigration Policies
October 20, 2017
On October 18th, Rebecca Heller, co-founder and director of the International Refugee Assistance Project, urged for advocating for the rights of refugees against waves of right-wing populist xenophobia sweeping through the U.S. and Europe.
Chris Barrett Talks Food Aid to D.C. Policymakers
October 20, 2017
Barrett, professor of applied economics and management, presented research focused on U.S. international food aid and assistance policies in Washington, D.C., Oct. 19. The talk was focused on the need for flexibility in food-aid agencies to meet the needs of different local communities.
New Lecture Series Address Connections Between Language and Inequality
October 17, 2017
On October 20th, Michael Degraff, professor of linguistics at MIT, will be presenting his lecture titled “Language, Education, and (In)equality in Haiti: Struggling Through Centuries of Coloniality.” His lecture will focus on the exclusion of local languages in education and how linguistic equality shapes economic and political equality.
Workshop Takes Transdisciplinary Approach to Great Ape Communication
October 17, 2017
On October 20th, Cornell will be hosting a workshop titled “The Eloquence of the Apes.” This conference will focus on evolution of communication in primates; what language brings to apes; and the apes and the humanists. This workshop will be held from 4:30-6:30PM in AD White House.
For Anthropologist, Doll Exchange Is Not Child’s Play
October 16, 2017
Hirokazu Miyazaki, director of the Einaudi Center for International Studies, has been researching the exchange of dolls between American and Japanese schoolchildren during the 1920s. During a period of American xenophobia and harsh immigration laws, this movement was one of the first attempts at “citizen diplomacy.”
Cornell Tech, Cuny Launch Internship for Women in Tech
October 16, 2017
Cornell Tech, CUNY, and the NYC Mayor’s Office have recently launched a new winter internship program for female computer science students in their freshman and sophomore years. Giving these women experience early in their college career will help them bolster their resumes when applying for 10-week summer internships and full-time jobs.
A ‘Playful’ Nobel Prize Winner Laid Groundwork for His Field at Cornell
October 11, 2017
Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences on October 9th. Thaler was previously a member of Cornell’s faculty for 20 years, during which, he began to investigate the new concept of behavioral economics, the bridge between psychology and economics. He gives much credit to Cornell for his prize, stating ” it would be accurate to say that the prize was largely given for work I did in my Cornell years.”
ILR School Research Cited in Supreme Court Case
October 5, 2017
Research by ILR School professor Alexander J.S. Colvin showing that mandatory arbitration is more widespread than previously thought was cited in U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments Oct. 2.
Making Big Data Serve the Little Guy
October 4, 2017
A team of Cornell computer scientists, statisticians and mathematicians has formed the Center for Data Science for Improved Decision-Making to research data management and find ways to make these systems handle data responsibly and use this new resource for the public benefit.
Discrimination More Likely When Resources Are Scarce
October 3, 2017
Amy Krosch, assistant professor of psychology, has conducted several studies to establish the relationship between economic scarcity and discrimination. She found that “Just the mention of scarcity can lead people with little egalitarian motivation to discriminate.”
Research African-American History Oct. 18
October 2, 2017
On October 18, Julieanna Richardson will be leading a session on how to make the most of the HistoryMakers Digital Archive at the Africana Studies and Research Center. Richardson has spent the past 18 years compiling this database that contains oral histories from many prominent African Americans on a wide variety of topics.
Cornell Tech Leverages Academic Links with Cornell

September 28, 2017
The Roosevelt Island campus of Cornell Tech has catalyzed a slew of innovative academic programs that will benefit Cornell students from the Tech campus and from the Ithaca campus, while also deepening the academic partnerships that link Cornell’s New York state campuses.
Community Engagement Initiatives Deliver Reciprocal Benefits
September 28, 2017
On September 27, faculty, staff, and partners of Engaged Cornell held a forum to discuss the success of several community partnerships and answered questions about the implementation of new initiatives.
In this Communication Course, Scientists are the Storytellers
September 18, 2017
Mark Sarvary, a senior lecturer in the department of neurobiology and behavior, has recently launched a new course to help students to learn about and make use of current technologies to communicate their scientific work more effectively.
Study: Binge drinking cuts chance of landing a job by 10 percent
September 15, 2017
Researchers from the Smithers Institute in the ILR School find that heavy drinking decreases the probability that a new college graduate will find a job.
Law Scholars Dissect Trump’s Immigration Actions
September 13, 2017
The Cornell Law School hosted a discussion on September 8 in opposition of the recent changes of immigration policies by President Trump.
Today’s School Failures Have Reconstruction Roots
September 11, 2017
Noliwe Rooks, director of American Studies, has recently published a new book, “Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education.” The book focuses on how school funding and the initiation of new educational procedures are connected to race.
On Twitter, followers don’t let followers spread fake news
September 6, 2017
When Twitter users tweet a false rumor, they are more than twice as likely to accept correction if it comes from a mutual follower compared to a correction from a stranger.
ILR School Research Identifies Ways to Soften Rejection
August 31, 2017
According to a new study by Emily Zitek, assistant professor of organizational behavior, a person tends to feel worse about rejection if that person is rejected in favor of someone else.
New Book Investigates Who Shacks up and Why
August 30, 2017
Sharon Sassler, professor of policy analysis and management, has written a new book “Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships” about couples who enter a cohabitation arrangement rather than a traditional marriage arrangement.
Christopher Wildeman Dark-Skinned Whites Arrested more than those with Lighter Skin
August 29, 2017
Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management, has recently co-authored a study that shows differences in skin color among whites may be socially meaningful, especially in the context of the criminal justice system.
Cognitive Scientist Calls for Integration in Language Sciences
July 31, 2017
Morten Christiansen, professor of psychology, believes that there needs to be less isolation between the researchers who study language processing and evolution in adults and those who study language acquisition.
Fearing Surveillance, Dads with a Record Avoid Kids’ Schools
July 24, 2017

“Dads who have been incarcerated at some point from their child’s birth through age 9 are nearly 50 percent less involved in their child’s education,” according to a new study by Anna Haskins, assistant professor of sociology.
Study: Many Kinds of Happiness Promote Better Health
July 20, 2017
“There are many kinds of happiness, and experiencing a diversity of emotional states might reduce a person’s vulnerability to psychopathology by preventing any one emotion from dominating their emotional life,” says Anthony Ong, professor of human development.
Research Offers New Hope for Gender Equity in STEM Fields
July 17, 2017
New research from Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality suggests that relatively newer STEM fields lack traditional gender norms and stereotypes.
Mouse Tracking May Reveal Ability to Resist Temptation
July 6, 2017
Melissa J. Ferguson, chair of the Department of Psychology, has recently conducted research using computer-mouse tracking in order to measure real-time conflict resolutions during self-control decision-making.
The Social Media Economy Benefits Few, New Book Suggests
June 20, 2017
Brooke Erin Duffy, assistant professor of communication, has recently published a new book, “(Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work,” describing the economic situation of many social media content creators, unable to find paid work.
Hayes, Kinzler Recognized by World Economic Forum
June 20, 2017
Alexander Hayes, assistant professor of astronomy, and Katherine Kinzler, associate professor of psychology and human development, were named Young Scientists 2017 by the World Economic Forum.
Republicans Doubt ‘Global Warming’ more than ‘Climate Change’
June 20, 2017
A recent study by Jonathon Schuldt has shown that “74.4 percent of respondents who identified as Republicans said they believed that climate change is really happening. But only 65.5 percent said they believed in global warming.”
Carpenter Advising Awards Honor Four Faculty
June 16, 2017
Austin Bunn, Ella Maria Diaz, Michael Goldstein, and Irby Lovette have received the Kendall S. Memorial Advising Award for excellence in undergraduate advising.
Atkinson Center Names 2017-18 SSHA Faculty Fellow
June 13, 2017
Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future has named eight social sciences, humanities and arts fellows for the 2017-18 academic year.
Poverty Fighters Find New Ways to Educate and Collaborate
June 6, 2017
The Program Work Team on Poverty and Economic Hardship met to brainstorm ways to eradicate poverty in upstate New York. In the United States, 40 percent of people will be poor at some point during their adult life, they said.
Roberts2 How Fighting Corruption May Impact Brazil
May 29, 2017
Ken Roberts and Tom Pepinsky share their perspectives in New York Times opinion piece. “In any impeachment, there are political and partisan interests. It’s never strictly a legal matter,” said Roberts.
Photo of Professor Jeff Niederdeppe Wording in Surveys Matters More Than You May Think
May 22, 2017
Mention ‘repeal’ and the support for the health care law increases, according to study by Cornell social scientists Jonathon Schuldt and Jeff Niederdeppe.
Julilly Kohler-Hausmann Historian’s Book Traces Rise of Mass Imprisonment
May 22, 2017
A new book, Getting Tough: Welfare and Imprisonment in the 1970s America, by Julilly Kohler-Hausmann on the ISS’ Mass Incarceration project examines how the prison population grew at the same time as politicians eviscerated the welfare system.
Dan Lichter For 1 in 6 Marriages, Spouses are Different Races
May 18, 2017
As the population’s diversity increases so does the opportunity for people to marry someone of a different race or ethnicity, says Daniel T. Lichter, ISS Director.
“You Live Under Fear” – 50,000 Haitian People At Risk Of Deportation
April 25, 2017
On April 20, Trump’s immigration agency recommended an end to the temporary protected status for Haitians who arrived in the U.S. after the 2011 earthquake in Haiti.
The Federal Budget’s Threat to Foreign Policy
April 16, 2017
Tom Pepinsky, associate professor of government, believes that the Trump Administration’s proposal for the 2018 federal budget will “deal a catastrophic blow to the government’s ability to make effective foreign policy for decades to come.”
Conference Explores Inequality, Social Mobility
April 14, 2017
The Center for the Study of Inequality will be hosting the “Social Mobility in an Unequal World: Evidence and Policy Solutions” conference between April 20-22. The purpose of the conference is to discuss new research ideas related to wealth, social mobility, and education.
Eye Expressions Offer a Glimpse into the Evolution of Emotion
April 13, 2017
“The eyes are windows to the soul likely because they are first conduits for sight. Emotional expressive changes around the eye influence how we see, and in turn, this communicates to others how we think and feel.” says Adam Anderson, professor of human development.
On Social Media, Female Entrepreneurs Act Demurely to Thrive
April 3, 2017
“While it’s inspiring that we are seeing a rise in female entrepreneurship in the digital age, these business categories tend to be highly feminized. This means that gender hierarchies and inequalities in the world of work endure,” says Brooke Erin Duffy, assistant professor in the Department of Communication.
Brain Changes in Older Adults Increases Risk for Scams
March 28, 2017
ISS Faculty Fellow Nathan Spreng’s study published in the Journal of Gerontology finds there are biological reasons explaining why older adults are more vulnerable to financial scams.
Photo of Professor Jeff Niederdeppe Seeing the Pros and Cons to Marijuana Legalization
March 8, 2017
“The pro arguments are really practical: ‘Give us money and jobs. Keep our prison from being overcrowded, make law enforcement’s job easier,’” says Jeff Niederdeppe, associate professor in the Department of Communication. “And the con arguments are a little more ideological: ‘This is going to lead to big industry and crime and undermine the fundamental values that make America great.’”
Adam Levine New Online Platform Matches Collaborators
March 2, 2017
ISS Faculty Fellow Adam Levine has launched a new networking site mixing academics, nonprofit organizations, and government entities to create research collaborations.
Even with Robots, People Still Have Value
February 23, 2017
“If the answer to everything is that the only people that have value are the programmers, we might as well give up,” says Louis Hyman, in the New York Times.
Speaking out on Young Adult Novel Heroines
February 21, 2017
Protagonists “are driven by a strict and uncompromising code of right and wrong and they are not afraid to speak up, to dream, and to yearn for more than they currently have,” says Jane Mendle in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
heart candies Chocolates and Roses Spell Love
February 13, 2017
A study co-authored by Vivian Zayas in psychology finds that people associate chocolate with love as Valentine’s Day approaches.
Kim Weeden Gender Gap Found in Ph.D. Fields and in Program Prestige
February 8, 2017
A new study co-authored by Kim Weeden, Chair of the Sociology Department, finds there is a gender gap in admittance to the most prestigious universities, and women are under represented in most prestigious fields.
Donald Trump Why Trump’s Actions are Making Scientists Nervous
February 7, 2017
ISS Faculty Fellow Jane Mendle and David Lodge, director of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, explain the reasons to be alert.