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In the Headlines

May 2014

New York Times (May 2)

How Not to Pick Judges
by Maya Sen

empty courtroom chairsROCHESTER — RESEARCH has long shown that female judges vote differently from men on issues of sex discrimination, harassment and sentencing, while black judges vote differently from whites on issues involving civil rights and affirmative action. Maya Sen is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Rochester.

New York Times (May 13)

The Doctor's in - Through Webcam, Smartphone

doctor at computer monitors
"Why can't we provide care to people wherever they are?" asks Dr. Ray Dorsey, a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who is leading a national study of video visits for Parkinson's patients and sees broader appeal. "Think of taking your mom with Alzheimer's to a big urban medical center. Just getting through the parking lot they're disoriented," he adds. "That's the standard of care but is it what we should be doing?"

(Also reported in: Fox News, San Franciso Chronicle, Salon, Seattle Times, The Denver Post, el Nuevo Herald, Albany Times Union, WHEC-TV )

Los Angeles Times (May 13)

With or without a history of concussion, football impacts memory

football player being tackled"We need to know what the long-term consequences are of having a smaller hippocampus," said Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, an emergency physician at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who was not involved in the current research. Bazarian's own research, published last month, suggests that following a season of unconcussed football play at the college level, an individual who steered clear of any blows to the head for period of six months would, on average, continue to show signs of wear and tear in his brain.

(Also reported in: Fox News, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Sun Sentinel )

NPR (May 28)

Research: Children Of Judges May Influence Court Decisions

judge hugs his family(photo credit: flikr photostream of Gov. Neal Abercrombie, rli-IMG_6647-130215,

I was speaking with Maya Sen. She's a political scientist at the University of Rochester and along with Adam Glynn at Harvard, she realized that mother nature was actually conducting a randomized experiment on judges when it came to one factor, the gender of their kids.

New York Times (May 1)

Opera & Classical Music Listings for May 2-8

Carnegie HallThe Mexican tenor Javier Camarena, stepping in for Juan Diego Flrez, who was ill, had a triumph as Don Ramiro, the prince in the Met's revival of this Rossini opera: He received one of the most prolonged and lusty ovations of the season. The popular Mr. Flrez is returning for the final three performances, starting on Friday night. Cinderella is the superb mezzo-soprano. (Tommasini) Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra presents "Merry Mount"(Wednesday). Howard Hanson was the longtime director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, and this excellent ensemble honors him with a rare performance of this vivid, grand opera, based on a Hawthorne story.

Fox News (May 27)

Pregnant women should take iodide supplement, docs say

ultrasound of fetus"Obviously iodine is critical to the fetal and child brain," Dr. Loralei Thornburg said. "Therefore having a diet that's rich in iodine is critical." Thornburg was not involved in making the new recommendation. She is a high-risk pregnancy expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. "Although many women are largely iodine deficient, most women do get iodine in the (form) of food," she told Reuters Health. "This isn't something women should freak out about just yet."

(Also reported in: BabyCenter )

New York Times (May 10)

Can a Hashtag Offer Any Help to Abducted Girls?

truck with Bring Back Our Girls bannerParents of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls are hoping for a miracle. So far, all they have is a hashtag. More than three weeks after Islamic extremists abducted the girls, world outrage is galvanizing Twitter and other social-media sites. People are finally taking it seriously, said Fayokemi Ogunmola a Nigerian-born sophomore at the University of Rochester who leads her campus Pan-African Students Association.

(Also reported in: Gillette News Record,, The Financial Express,, Hindustan Times, Bradenton Herald, Myrtle Beach Sun News )

Time Magazine (May 10)

Good Parenting Skills: 7 Research-Backed Ways to Raise Kids Right

wry mother and daughterI’ve posted about the research behind happy families and solid marriages, but what does science say about good parenting skills? University of Rochester’s Dr. Judith Smetana, a leader in the study of teen disclosure, confirms that, over the long term, “moderate conflict with parents [during adolescence] is associated with better adjustment than either no-conflict or frequent conflict.”

New York Times (April 30)

Tested Out Upstate: Classical’s Future

Two hours into the drive from Buffalo to Albany on the New York State Thruway, you pass Syracuse, a city with dark associations for classical music lovers. But in visits to these three cities and their orchestras in April, brighter skies were visible, too. Though still suffering reduced donations from once-mighty local corporations like Kodak and Xerox, Rochester’s ensemble benefits from a close association with the Eastman School of Music.

BBC Radio (May 13)

Sense of purpose adds years to life

Having a sense of purpose may add years to your life, regardless of what the purpose is, research suggests. Not only does it contribute to healthy aging, but it may also stave off early death, according to a study of 7,000 Americans. To show that purpose predicts longer lives for younger and older adults alike is pretty interesting, and underscores the power of the construct, said co-researcher Nicholas Turiano, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester in New York.

(Also reported in: The Financial Express )