IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

July 24, 2020
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

Big News

IUPUI receives $10.5 million from city of Indianapolis to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing

This story has been covered by: The Indianapolis Star, CBS4, The Journal Gazette, RTV6, Inside Indiana Business.

Racial and LGBT bias persists in ridesharing platforms despite mitigation efforts, IU research finds

This story has been covered by: WIBC.

IU Angel Network funds the launch of email templating app Scalero

This story has been covered by: Media Post.

IU Making Headlines


Doctor who recovered from COVID-19 now leads clinical trials to understand it

In the midst of coronavirus-fueled chills, fever and diarrhea, Dr. Chadi Hage stumbled across a request for researchers to lead clinical trials examining COVID-19 -- he applied, and now he's heading two COVID-19 studies. Hage believes that his experience as pulmonologist, and a person who had the coronavirus, makes him well suited for the task. "You become more respectful of the virus and the effect it has on people," Hage, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, told Today. "Having gone through it, I can tell you this is a serious infection for someone who is healthy otherwise and has no underlying medical conditions whatsoever."

Campus Technology

Podcast: How Indiana University is preparing classrooms for blended learning

Right now -- at the time of this recording -- Indiana University is embracing the blended approach. In a statement this past May, President Michael McRobbie said, "We plan to welcome students back to all our campuses, where instruction will be a blend of in-person and online. It will make extensive use of technology while preserving as far as possible the most important elements of the in-person experience." ... My guest, Julie Johnston, is director of learning spaces for the university, so she has been working hard to make classrooms safe for students and faculty. We talked about how the new reality is impacting IU's campuses, the challenges of preparing classrooms for the fall, and technology's role in ensuring a successful teaching and learning experience.

Inside Indiana Business

IUPUI safety institute helps develop testing standards

Researchers at IUPUI's Transportation Active Safety Institute have helped develop technology that could standardize testing for automatic emergency braking systems. The university says the technology was developed and patented in a collaborative effort between IUPUI-TASI and Toyota. It covers the design and standard testing methods behind pedestrian and bicyclist mannequins of different shapes and sizes, simulated highway dividers and guardrails that can be used as impact targets to test AEB systems.

Related stories: Steel Guru, The Brake Report

Inside Indiana Business

IUPUI institute developing reusable face masks

Researchers from IUPUI's Integrated Nanosystems Development Institute say they are using a metal known for its antibacterial properties to make face masks that are safer and more comfortable for daily use. The institute's director, Mangilal Agarwal, and IUPUI Associate Professor Hamid Dalir are using a patented technology developed at the university to manufacture the reusable face masks using copper. The researchers hope to improve filter performance by trapping and disabling airborne virus particles. IUPUI says the reusable masks will offer the same level of protection as N95 masks. “We wondered how we could use our existing technology to turn something used in ancient times, like copper, into protection against COVID-19," said Agarwal. “Any virus sitting on the surface that comes in contact with copper will be killed because of the antiviral properties."

IU Voices in the News

Chicago Tribune

Commentary: The U.S. must not stop investing in scientific research

Written by Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University and chair of the board of directors of the Association of American Universities, and L. Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For decades, most Americans have taken the U.S. lead in science and technology more or less for granted. But it was not inevitable, and it did not develop by chance. Rather, after World War II, the federal government made crucial choices about our research system -- controversial choices at the time -- but choices that helped put us on the road to decades of scientific dominance and economic prosperity. Today, other nations are challenging that dominance as never before, and U.S. leaders need to urgently decide what needs to be done to maintain our strength -- how to build on our past, but not be mired in it.


AUDIO: Managing anxiety and depression

The pandemic has been a stressful time for most of us, and a lot of people experiencing anxiety and depression might be feeling it for the first time. When you're feeling anxious, or depressed, or lethargic, how do you know when to take action? There are unhealthy ways to address mental health, but the correct answer isn't always obvious. We spend the hour talking to mental health experts about what these things feel like, why they happen to us, and what can be done to help. Guests: Edward Hirt, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University; Jacek Kolacz, Assistant Research Scientist, Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, Indiana University; Beth Trammell, Associate Professor of Psychology, Indiana University; Katie Stanton-Nichols, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology, IUPUI.

The New York Times

Coronavirus pods, microschools, tutors: Can parents really solve the education crisis on their own?

Some parents argue that by pulling their kids out of public schools to join pods, they are doing a public service because they leave more resources for kids who stay in school. ... In fact, if students leave public schools to join pods, funding for already starved public schools could drop further. "If dollars follow students, and in many states they do, that can mean that school budgets are directly reduced for each child that is no longer attending," said Jessica Calarco, Ph.D., a sociologist who studies educational inequality at Indiana University. Parents starting pods should ask their school administrators how their departure will affect both short-term and long-term school funding, Dr. Calarco said, and ideally donate any lost funds to the school through the P.T.A. or a school foundation.


AUDIO: How Asian American communities are confronting their complicated history with Black Americans

Ellen Wu, a historian at Indiana University and the author of "The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority," says American society has long defined Asians and African Americans in relation to each other. In her research, she traces that back to the post WWII-era, when U.S. leaders were facing growing questions about racism and equality. She says observers pointed to East Asian immigrant groups as "good" minorities, in order to undermine Black people's demands for equal rights. "But I think most fundamentally, the gains we as a country have made in terms of justice and equality -- we owe them to Black folks doing all the things that they have for generations to make life more livable for themselves and for the rest of us," she said.   

The Bloomington Herald-Times

Opportunities to see Comet NEOWISE fading fast

There are still a few more opportunities to spot the Comet NEOWISE before it fades out of view for about 6,800 years. Caty Pilachowski, professor of astronomy at Indiana University, said the comet made its closest pass to Earth this week. It will become dimmer rapidly over the next few weeks. The best chance to see it is just after sunset. When the sky gets dark, look northwest and try to locate the Big Dipper constellation. Comet NEOWISE should be just below and slightly west of the bowl of the Big Dipper. The comet can be seen with the naked eye, but binoculars can help. Avoid city lights as much as possible and hope it's not too cloudy. Then, enjoy the wonder of an object that has traveled from millions of miles away. "Sometimes we think of ourselves and our world as the center of things," Pilachowski said. "When you see something like this unexpected thing in the night sky, it's a reminder there's a big universe out there and we still have a lot to learn."

The Conversation

What are political parties' platforms -- and do they matter?

Written by Marjorie Hershey, professor emeritus of political science, Indiana University. Political parties' platforms -- their statements of where they stand on issues -- get little respect. President Donald Trump mused recently that he might shrink his party's platform from 66 pages in 2016 to a single page in 2020. Even as far back as 1996, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole claimed he had never read his party's platform. Nor do Democratic Party platforms -- such as the draft released July 22 -- usually make the best-seller list. If Trump wants to slash it, and Dole didn't even read it, why should you care about a party's platform? As a scholar of U.S. party politics, I have seen that party platforms are a vital clue about which groups hold real power in the two major national parties. When they are formally published after the parties' conventions in August, they'll also help you predict what the national government will actually do during the next four years.


Smallpox and other viruses plagued humans much earlier than suspected

Smallpox is only the latest example of a serious infectious disease whose history has been suddenly and substantially rewritten by ancient-DNA analysis in the past decade. ... These findings are shaking up researchers' understanding of how diseases have affected human populations throughout history, says Ann Carmichael, a plague historian at Indiana University in Bloomington. ... Disease historians, meanwhile, are recognizing that they have new questions to answer. "We really need to start over," Carmichael says. The 2011 confirmation that Y. pestis gave rise to the Black Death laid to rest debate over the cause of that pandemic. And because the Black Death strain was very similar to modern Y. pestis, it has led historians to pose a new question: why was plague so much more lethal in the pre-modern world than in the modern one? Co-morbidities and ways of life might partly explain it, but the answer is not yet clear. "Addressing that is a historical question, not a genetic one," she says.

Chalkbeat Indiana

Indiana teachers mull how to encourage students to wear masks, practice social distancing

Instead of punishing students for breaking social distancing rules, teachers could look for ways to give students the social interactions they're seeking, said Joshua Danish, a professor in Indiana University's Learning Sciences Program. Some teachers have floated the idea of "talk times" for students to sit spaced out, without their masks on, and chat with their peers. ... Danish said teachers must demonstrate to students why the safety guidelines are meaningful. Storytime might feature anecdotes about people helping neighbors, and science class might feature lessons on cleanliness and disease spread. "They're much more likely to do things when they're not being watched if there's a really valuable reason," Danish said.

The Independent

To truly overcome anti-black racism, we must also challenge South Asia’s caste system

Last month Hindustan Unilever, the creators of the popular skin-whitening line Fair & Lovely said they would be rebranding the product to "Glow & Lovely" after years of criticism that the brand name promotes colourism. ... But Radhika Parameswaran, a Professor in the Media School at Indiana University, Bloomington, who has studied colourism, tells me that the replacement of 'Fair' to 'Glow' is unlikely to undo thousands of years of prejudice. While Fair & Lovely first hit markets in 1975, skin bleaching has existed in South Asia long before cosmetics appeared, in the form of beauty rituals. These involved using cream of milk, turmeric and lemon juice to lighten the skin of children from a young age. "Even back then, people would say that applying these to your skin would make you 'glow'. I think people know 'glow', along with 'brighten' is a euphemism for skin lightening," says Professor Parameswaran. "So, given how resilient colourism is, I'm not sure 'Glow and Lovely' is going to do much to attack it in any substantive way."

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