IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

January 29, 2021
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

$37.6M grant awarded to develop innovative COVID-19 treatment

This story has been covered by: Inside Indiana Business (includes audio), Inside Indiana Business.

IU Making Headlines

Indianapolis Recorder

New study: More than a quarter of Black Hoosiers stranded in food deserts

Without access to fresh foods, people can face serious health problems. And a new study from SAVI at IUPUI's Polis Center shows more than a quarter of Black Hoosiers live in food deserts -- low-income areas without easy access to a supermarket. "We wanted to answer the question: What would be the chances, if you move to this area, that you would be living far from a grocery store," said Unai Miguel Andres, a mapping and data analyst who handled the research. The study, created for Side Effects Public Media and the Indianapolis Recorder, highlights problem areas across the state. They include large swaths in Gary, along the shores of Lake Michigan, as well as parts of Posey, Greene and Crawford counties farther south.

IU Voices in the News


Federal regulators look into Reddit plan that skyrocketed GameStop stock

A social media thread has caused quite the disruption on Wall Street. It's a Reddit thread that is believed to have caused a falling company's stock to be up 788% over the past five trading days and made many small investors thousands of dollars. GameStop shares have gone from $17 earlier in January at one point to reaching $350 a share over the past week. The rise started online and has become a war between hedge funds and trading apps. A subgroup called "Wall Street Bets" seems to target short sellers. The subgroup shows thousands of people cultivating a plan to drive up the price of GameStop shares. "Retail investors and specifically young investors have outfoxed many Wall Street professionals," said Chuck Trzcinka, a finance professor at Indiana University and a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission employee.

The Washington Post

Russia arrested opposition leader Navalny. Widespread protests reveal the cracks in Putin's support

Regina Smyth, professor of political science, Indiana University: "Since 2011, when he labeled the ruling party, United Russia, the Party of Crooks and Thieves, Navalny has continuously redefined electoral competition. This week's events demonstrated his growing influence as Russia's fall 2021 elections approach. After the coronavirus pandemic began, Navalny's messaging extended opposition rhetoric beyond calls for democracy and rights protections to highlight the Kremlin's lack of responsiveness in the face of growing societal demands. Navalny's latest video exposé, linking Putin's lavish lifestyle to Kremlin refusals to improve everyday life, encompasses a new 2021 campaign platform that echoes existing social concerns."

USA Today

'I have cried. I have begged. I have yelled': Couples clash over COVID

Jessica Calarco, a professor of sociology at Indiana University, surveyed Indiana mothers as part of a Pandemic Parenting Study and found nearly 40 percent of respondents report increases in pandemic-related frustrations with their partners. Those frustrations were twice as common among mothers with partners who were less supportive of steps they took to reduce COVID-19 risks. "Women are being gaslit in some cases by their partners, with women being the ones who are reading the science and listening to the experts, taking in this information, making informed decisions for their family's health, and then having those decisions undermined by partners who refuse to wear masks or who tell women that they are crazy, or that they are being driven by emotion and overly fearful about the pandemic," she said. 

The Indianapolis Star

Indiana's militia wave is 'disturbingly similar' to past fringe group activity

Several surveys over the years have revealed a burgeoning anxiety about the dwindling numbers of white Americans, who have consistently favored Republican candidates since 1964, said Marjorie Hershey, professor emerita of political science at Indiana University Bloomington. The proportion of white people in America, she said, has declined more in the last 20 years than at any other time in the last century. "It's happening. And it's perfectly understandable that demographic change affects people's attitudes differently, and that for some people it's fearsome," Hershey said. "We're a tribal organism." And lacking formal power at the policy-making table, some people are attracted to militia groups where they can assert themselves in other ways, including on the streets. "The way that they function basically is through fear," Hershey said. "If you can constrain the people who are at the table, because they are afraid of violence being used against them, then maybe you might get some of them to change their responses in negotiating policy."

Indianapolis Business Journal

Indiana parent sues education board over virtual funding in the pandemic

The lawsuit claims the rule fully funding schools exceeds the state board's rulemaking authority, goes beyond the scope of the governor's emergency order, and violates the equal protection provisions of the U.S. and Indiana constitutions. But one legal expert said the plaintiffs are unlikely to prevail. "My guess is this lawsuit will be quickly dismissed," said Brad Desnoyer, an associate professor at Indiana University's McKinney School of Law (at IUPUI). It made sense for the board to maintain funding for schools that would have faced a funding cliff because those campuses still had fixed costs for maintaining buildings, he said. Fully virtual schools simply don't have the same expenses. For the courts to overturn an agency rule, it must be considered "arbitrary and capricious," Desnoyer said. "This is not an arbitrary rule. This decision was made to keep our schools funded," Desnoyer said. "What she's asking for is so detrimental to the students of Indiana that I don't see it happening."

The Christian Science Monitor

Teaching the Capitol riot is tricky. Especially if the teacher was there.

While teachers are held to a heightened standard as role models, they're also "often held to a heightened standard as Americans," says Janet Decker, associate professor at the Indiana University School of Education. ... Educators shouldn't shy away from teaching these events, says Professor Decker from Indiana University. "We need more civics education, not only for teachers and school employees, but also for students, so that people understand the limitations to their freedom of speech rights," she says.

The Conversation

A universal influenza vaccine may be one step closer, bringing long-lasting protection against flu

Written by Patricia L. Foster, professor emerita of biology, Indiana University. A bad year for flu can mean tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. Getting vaccinated can protect you from influenza, but you have to get the shot every year to catch up with the changing virus and to top up the short-lived immunity the vaccine provides. The vaccine's effectiveness also depends on correct predictions about which strains will be most common in a given season. For these reasons, a one-and-done universal vaccine that would provide lasting immunity over multiple flu seasons and protect against a variety of strains has been a long-term goal for scientists.

The Conversation

Do COVID-19 travel bans work? Here's what happened when US restricted travel from China and Italy

Written by Jeff Prince, professor and chair of business economics and public policy, and Daniel Simon, associate professor of public affairs, Indiana University. The coronavirus was still a far-away problem in Wuhan when U.S. President Donald Trump announced a ban on travel from China in late January 2020. Six weeks later, as the coronavirus ravaged Italy, Trump closed travel from Europe. These travel bans were highly controversial. Some people argued that they were unnecessary restrictions on travel. Others said they came too late. As New York's COVID-19 case numbers shot upward, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the U.S. had "closed the front door with the China ban … but we left the back door wide open," because the virus had already spread to other countries. One big question remains: Once the virus was in the U.S., how much impact did international travel actually have on COVID-19 cases and deaths?

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