IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

December 10, 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.

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Sojourners

Christian nationalists much more likely to reject vaccine, new study finds

As a COVID-19 vaccine gets closer to a public rollout, public health experts and policymakers in the United States are likely to encounter a big cultural barrier: Christian nationalism. Americans who embrace Christian nationalism will be much more likely to abstain from a coronavirus vaccine, according to a study published Monday by sociologists Andrew L. Whitehead and Samuel L. Perry. The results are further indication of a country deeply polarized over more than just politics. The coronavirus, too, has become a source of partisan and cultural divide. “Christian nationalism is consistently one of the strongest predictors of anti-vaccine attitudes," Whitehead, who is co-director of the Association of Religion Data Archives and professor of sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, told Sojourners. “Around 20 percent of Americans strongly embrace Christian nationalism."

Health Day

Heart palpitations can be common during menopause

An older woman's heart races and flutters. Is it a sign of cardiovascular problems or is it maybe a symptom of menopause? New research shows that the palpitations are a distressing problem for roughly 25% of women during menopause, but those feelings of a pounding heart or skipped heartbeat have been the subject of very little research, said study author Janet Carpenter. She's an associate dean of research at Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis. "We're not really sure what they are. We're not sure if they really need a cardiac workup when they're experiencing the palpitations, and that is something that we hope to learn a little bit more about," Carpenter said. The purpose of Carpenter's study was to investigate menopausal palpitation distress in women by analyzing data from clinical trials on menopausal health.

The Times of Northwest Indiana

'Changed forever': Educators predict some coronavirus-driven shifts in instruction here to stay

Some changes in teaching brought on by the coronavirus pandemic could be here to stay. Northwest Indiana educators discussed this and other efforts to respond to challenges of the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday in Indiana University Northwest's autumn Chancellor's Commission for Community Engagement meeting. The panelists spoke to an audience of more than 60 educators, business professionals and community leaders in the virtual forum entitled, "K-12 Virtual Learning, COVID-19 and Student Success." ... The Wednesday forum, one of IUN's regular series of engagement meetings convened twice a year, was new IUN Chancellor Ken Iwama's first. Iwama gave an overview of his own work connecting high school aged students with higher education opportunities while at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, and briefly introduced the challenges presented both in K-12 and higher education during the pandemic. "We're at a critical juncture," Iwama said, noting the relationship between gaps in high schoolers' academic performance this year and applications to college.

IU Voices in the News

The Washington Post

Politicians say the middle class gets a bad deal from the U.S. tax system. They're (kind of) wrong.

America's well-chronicled, rising health-care costs have caused a quiet sea change in the tax burden of the middle class. Kosali Simon, at Indiana University's O'Neill School, studies the economics of health care and co-wrote an earlier paper about little-noticed middle-class tax benefits, explaining the many ways in which rising health-care costs can change the middle-class tax burden. ... Also, it's not clear to most Americans the degree to which they benefit from all the increases in health-care costs, Simon said. "Advances in medical technology and lifesaving care are all good things," Simon said. "We value greatly the fact that we expect to get better and live these days even if we fall sick or get hurt in serious ways, because of all that. Of course, the problem is, we don't know how to identify which of those treatments really helped us and what parts of those bills were things that could have been cut down without much harm."

Science

Human 'stuff' now outweighs all life on Earth

The new research "helps us solidify the evidence of our impact on the planet," says Josh Tewksbury, director of Future Earth, a network of sustainability scientists. But, he says, "It doesn’t help us on the details of what to do about it." ... And location matters, too. The concrete in a dam has a much bigger environmental impact than the same amount of concrete in a city. Eduardo Brondizio, an environmental anthropologist at Indiana University, Bloomington, points out that in developing countries, where cities lack adequate housing, sewage treatment plants, and other infrastructure, a dearth of human materials is unjust and environmentally damaging. "It’s not that infrastructure per se is bad," he says. "It’s how we do infrastructure that is the problem."

Poughkeepsie Journal

Campaign contributions could have gone a long way to help COVID-struck communities

The U.S. Supreme Court, in its eminent wisdom, has said it violates the First Amendment to limit how much money anyone can spend on an election. Money, they say, is speech and corporations have the same rights as people. I disagree. We need that money for better things than bumper stickers. "Many nonprofits are in trouble," says Amir Pasic, Dean of Indiana University's (Lilly Family) School of Philanthropy at (IUPUI). 

Times Union

Unaffiliated voters grew 22 percent in New York since 2015

Elizabeth Bennion, a political science professor at Indiana University South Bend, cautioned against concluding that voters registering as independents represents a repudiation of the major parties. According to an ongoing Gallup survey of party affiliation, 38 percent of Americans identify as independent as of early November, while the remainder are split around 30 percent each for the two major parties. But, when self-proclaimed independent voters are pressed to say whether they are Democratic or Republican leaning, partisanship becomes clearer. "We know across the board the number of people claiming to be independents has risen but a caveat applies," Bennion said. "Even when people feel disgusted with the parties and say they are independent, political scientists will generally identify them as closet partisans or partisan-leaners."

Tech Republic

VIDEO: AI is not yet perfect, but it's on the rise and getting better with computer vision

TechRepublic's Karen Roby spoke with David Crandall, assistant professor of computer science at Indiana University, about artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision, and the effects of the pandemic on higher education. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. David Crandall: I'm a computer scientist, and I work on the algorithms, the technologies underneath AI. And I work, specifically, in machine learning and computer vision. Computer vision is the area that tries to get cameras that are able to see the world in the way that people do, and that, then, could power a lot of different AI technologies, from robotics to autonomous vehicles, to many other things.

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