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The people of the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences make news. 

Claire AdidaThe Wrong Way to Stop Terrorism
Claire Adida of Political Science co-writes a piece for Foreign Affairs on what the data show about attacks and immigration: “[T]he key to the United States’ security is the successful integration of a diverse population eager to become productive members of society.”

San Diego Professor Finds Sanctuary Counties Are Safer and Economically Stronger
Political scientist Tom Wong released a report through the Center for America Progress that analyzes the effects of sanctuary policies on crime and the economy. Wide media coverage included the Washington Post, Union-Tribune, NBC San Diego, KPBS, City Lab and CBS News, along with many other outlets. Wong’s previous work on DACA’s positive economic effects was also covered.

Do Regulations Really Kill Jobs?
The Atlantic cites a study of pollution policy in Los Angeles co-authored by Eli Berman of Economics. The study found “no evidence that local air quality regulation substantially reduced employment.”

San Diego Lab Creates Partially Human Pig Embryos
For its coverage on a new study out of the Salk Institute, KPBS reached out to Social Sciences Associate Dean John Evans. A sociologist, Evans said ethical concerns could be raised if cross-species mixing were taken many steps further, but this study didn’t cross the line.

Did Twitter Make Trump the President?
“As the nation inaugurated its first Twitter President,” Education Week writes,  one of their reporters met with Alan Daly of Education Studies to talk about “how the little 140-character messages are bending big politics.”

UC San Diego Leading the Way in Upward Social Mobility
Study reveals campus forges path for low-income students on the road to economic success.

Gentrification Has Virtually No Effect on Homeowners
The risk of displacement falls largely on renters, writes Richard Florida in the Atlantic’s CityLab, covering a recent study by Isaac Martin of Sociology.

Robics Institute imageHow to Make America’s Robots Great Again
The New York Times talks about the future of robotics in the U.S. with Henrik Christensen, director of the Contextual Robotics Institute. Called “one of the most influential robotics researchers in the world,” Christensen also spoke with the Robotic Industries Association. Discussing the U.S. Robotics Roadmap and the campus institute’s role in its vision, he remarked: “UC San Diego has the best cognitive science department in the world. We want to understand how robots can become the best possible complement to humans for work, for independent living. Given that we have a strong engineering department and a strong cogsci, if I put them in the same room, we can do things that you couldn’t do otherwise.”

Trump’s Immigration Order Is Bad Foreign Policy
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies co-director and sociologist David FitzGerald gives a quick lesson on the history of nationality-based immigration bans in this Conversation op-ed, reprinted by Newsweek, U.S. News, UPI and several others.

How the US Immigration System Compares to Japan, Canada and the UK
Sociologist John Skrentny appeared on WBUR’s “Here and Now.” Skrentny, co-director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, discussed what the United States could learn about immigration by looking at other nations.

Feb. 9: The Future of Immigration Reform
David FitzGerald of Sociology and Tom Wong of Political Science join moderator David Lake of Political Science in this American Academy of Arts and Sciences discussion at the UC San Diego Faculty Club. The talk begins at 5 p.m.; RSVP to cmcdermott@amacad.org.

Quarterly ConversationsFeb. 15: Quarterly Conversations in Global Health
Did you know that hunger and malnutrition are still the number one health risk worldwide? Join the Global Health Program in the Great Hall to hear from an interdisciplinary panel of experts on food insecurity from local and global perspectives. The program’s summer work at the Chile Global Health Field School was recently featured on their blog.

Feb. 22: Identities Are Changeable (PDF)
Anthropology and Ethnic Studies are among the co-sponsors of this 2 p.m. conversation with jazz saxophonist Miguel Zenón, a Grammy nominee and a MacArthur and Guggenheim fellow exploring Puerto Rican identity in New York.

Group Begins Circulating Petitions in Hopes of Making California Its Own Nation
“That would set in place another California initiative,” said Thad Kousser of Political Science. “Then you have to add another positive vote and then the rest of the nation would have to decide whether they really want to let California and all its tax dollars, all its sunshine, and all its military bases walk away from the union. All of that looks incredibly improbable right now but it has to start with the first step.” Kousser also spoke with the Christian Science Monitor on the future role of Gov. Gerry Brown, NBC San Diego for their “Politically Speaking” segment, and the Los Angeles Times on presidential incompetence.

IgniteIGNITE @ UC San Diego Conference Aims to Accelerate Innovation
“UC San Diego is the university of the future,” said Vice Chancellor of Research Sandra Brown of Psychology. “IGNITE @ UC San Diego will spur the regional economy by bringing the campus and regional communities together to spark new ideas, share expertise and generate new opportunities for collaboration.”

California Border Town Mayor Says Trump Plan Will Hurt Local Economy
David FitzGerald of Sociology gives an analytical look at immigration and crime rates, saying immigrants are not more likely to commit crime.

Giving Sanctuary to Undocumented Immigrants Doesn’t Threaten Public Safety – It Increases It
“Sanctuary jurisdictions–39 cities and 364 counties across the country have policies that limit local law enforcement’s involvement in enforcing federal immigration laws–increase public safety,” write political scientist Wayne Cornelius and coauthors in this Los Angeles Times op-ed.

Photo by David Brooks/ San Diego Union-TribuneUCSD Class Fails Literacy Test Once Given to Minority Voters
Political Science professor of practice Nathan Fletcher recently gave his students a so-called “literacy test” that black people in the South once had to take to vote. The result? No so good. “The only way I could describe it was devastating,” a student said about taking the test. “You literally heard the gasps. This is a test obviously designed for you to fail.” Also, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s visit to Fletcher’s class was covered by FOX News, Voice of San Diego and Univision.

San Jose Councilman Takes Oath of Office With Captain America Shield
“I think it’s a symbol of what’s positive,” Political Science alumnus Lan Diep said when he was sworn in. “I want to shine a ray of optimism.”

Triton 5KTeam Soc Sci Needs You
Yeah, you! Join the divisional team, Team Soc Sci, in support of student scholarships at the annual Triton 5K on Sunday, April 9. You can run, walk, hop, skip or jump. But you must register first.

Previous News Highlights

San Diego Union-TribuneZeinabu Davis on Using Film to Tell Stories About the Black Experience
The San Diego Union-Tribune interviews Zeinabu Davis of Communication about her latest film, “Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from UCLA,” which highlights a number of fellow filmmakers from the Los Angeles Rebellion movement.

Reimagining the Working Class
Curtis Marez of Ethnic Studies participated in an LA Review of Books roundtable discussion on economic and racial justice in the Age of Trump. Additionally, Marez’s book “Farm Worker Futurism: Speculative Technologies of Resistance” was the inspiration for a Flash Forward podcast on the future of farming, for which he was interviewed.

Sarah CreelMandarin Makes You More Musical?
Mandarin makes you more musical – and at a much earlier age than previously thought. That’s the suggestion of a new study from lead author Sarah Creel of Cognitive Science and co-author Gail Heyman of Psychology. PsychCentral, the UK’s  DailyMail and the Economic Times of India were among outlets covering the study.

Ring-Tailed Lemur Populations Have Crashed by 95 Percent
Scientific American (linked above) and Conservation International blog about research by anthropologist Marni Lafleur, co-director of Lemur Love. Lafleur also published a letter in Nature calling for improvements in the fight against Madagascar’s illegal trade in lemurs.

Impact of UC San Diego Research
UCTV: At Founders Symposium 2016, Christina Gremel of Psychology talks about what it takes to break habits. Gremel’s talk starts at the 14-minute mark.

'The Border Is a Way of Reinforcing Antagonism That Doesn't Exist'
UCSD-Blum Cross-Border Initiative co-directors Teddy Cruz of Visual Arts and Fonna Forman of Political Science want to turn the line between the U.S. and Mexico into a site for creative problem solving, The Atlantic’s City Lab reports.

San Diego’s Public Transit Growth Hits Speed Bump
Economist Mark Jacobsen tells KPBS that, in the long term, good land-use planning is critical to maximizing transit ridership. Meanwhile, manipulating prices is most effective but not popular.

ContrerasContreras, Norbash Appointed AVCs for Faculty Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
UC San Diego professors Frances Contreras of Education Studies and Alexander Norbash have been appointed to serve as associate vice chancellors for Faculty Equity, Diversity and Inclusion beginning January 2017.

What Apple, Google, and Tesla Get Wrong
In conversation with Co.Design, Design Lab director and cognitive scientist Don Norman offers cutting criticism of Silicon Valley's brightest.

An Oil Crisis Is Looming: Welcome to Trump-Putin World
“Geopolitical events have figured very large in questions about oil supply and I think that will continue,” says James Hamilton of Economics in the Daily Beast.

KPBS logoTranscript and Analysis: Obama Addresses the Nation in Farewell Speech
Political scientist Thad Kousser spoke with KPBS about President Obama’s farewell address to the nation and to KPCC about then-President Elect Donald Trump’s first press conference since July. In the Times of San Diego, Kousser was quoted about turning apathy into a political movement.

Why the Republican Plan to Repeal Obamacare Is so Extraordinary
Sociologist Lane Kenworthy, director of the Yankelovich Center at UC San Diego, expressed confidence to the Washington Post’s Wonkblog that the country will eventually offer universal healthcare. “Parts of [Obamacare] will be taken away. Parts of it will be left in place, and other parts will be changed a little bit,” he said.  “It's not going to be a true repeal. It's not like everything goes off the books.”

Getting a Scientific Message Across Means Taking Human Nature into Account
Cognitive Science Ph.D. candidate Rose Hendricks writes in The Conversation about applying the lessons of psychology to science communication. The San Francisco Chronicle and others picked up the piece.

Let's Not Murder the King's English
Linguistics Ph.D. candidate Amanda Ritchart is quoted in an op-ed for the Coachella Valley-based Desert Sun.

Photo credit: the HinduDemystifying a Phantom
The Hindu covers a talk on phantom limb syndrome given by psychologist V.S. Ramachandran, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition.

Obama Looks to His Legacy
An op-ed cites the work of political scientist Gary Jacobson, who argued last year in the journal of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that President Barack Obama will have a permanent effect on the U.S. partisan profile.

YHS Graduate Begins Sign Language Career
Ryan Taylor, a 2015 undergraduate alumnus of Linguistics, has developed a passion for American Sign Language and now works as a sign language facilitator for the Southern Oregon Education Service District.

CSPANC-SPAN Cities Tour: San Diego
Featured videos include: Balboa Park, Dr. Seuss, the city’s naval history, a look at UC San Diego special collections and a conversation with Benjamin Bergen of Cognitive Science.

County Supervisors Need to Start Putting Themselves Last
In this op-ed for Voice of San Diego, Nathan Fletcher of Political Science says it’s time to invest in those families most in need.

What Science Can Tell Us About Trans People’s Brains – and What It Cannot
When Psychology Ph.D. alumna Laura Case was completing her degree, she and a small research team conducted an experiment on eight transgender men and genderqueer individuals, with findings published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Triton magazine
Stories in the current issue of UC San Diego Alumni’s Triton magazine include:

Beauty Behind Bars
Sociology doctoral alumna Laura Pecenco is using art to better serve prison’s true aim of rehabilitation.

Triton magazineMaria Ho Goes All In
As a Communication undergraduate, Maria Ho had to fight her way into her guy friends’ poker night. Now she plays for stakes they could only dream of.

Sign of the Times
In 1967, a handful of Tritons – including Geoff Moyle of Economics – created UC San Diego’s only student newspaper to stand the test of time, the paper now called The UCSD Guardian.

The Worst F&#%ing Words Ever
A Q&A with cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen on his “book-length love letter to profanity.”

Triton magazineNanome Inc.
A visit to The Basement and the team behind Nanome Inc., a virtual reality company created by alumni Keita Funakawa of Economics and Steve McCloskey of Nanoengineering.

Finding Pixar
Sociology alumna Becky Neiman-Cobb helps to bring beloved Disney/Pixar characters to life.

White BacklashThe Year in Reading
In the New York Times’ annual roundup of what notable people have been reading, Francis Fukuyama names among his go-to a book by Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal of Political Science, “White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics.”

Top 100 Articles 2016
Altmetric’s annual list measuring a paper’s public impact includes a study on Facebook and longevity by James Fowler and alumnus Will Hobbs of Political Science. Topping the list is President Barack Obama's JAMA article at no. 1.

The Best Books of 2016
Foreign Affairs names “Aspirational Power: Brazil on the Long Road to Global Influence,” coauthored by David Mares of Political Science, as one of its best books of the year.

Education WeekTeacher Networks: Here, There, and Everywhere
Education Studies chair Alan Daly’s work on tracking network development among teachers is included in this Education Week blog post.

Schools Worry About Campus Tone in Trump Era
Mica Pollock of Education Studies and CREATE was the keynote speaker at a USD conference, the Union-Tribune reports, linking also to Pollock’s most recent piece in the Washington Post.

UC San Diego News CenterToeing the Line: Study Finds Brain Cells that Signal Path of Travel
“We’re describing an entirely new and unexpected form of neural activity,” said senior author Douglas Nitz of Cognitive Science. Ph.D. student Jacob Olson and undergraduate Kanyanat Tongprasearth coauthored the paper published in Nature Neuroscience.

UC San Diego Research Awarded $3.8 Million for Critical, Innovative Work
Interdisciplinary, multi-campus projects led by Thad Kousser of Political Science and Yen Espiritu of Ethnic Studies are part of a larger $17 million grant award from the University of California Office of the President.

Number of UC San Diego Freshman Applications Continue to Rise
The most popular majors chosen by freshman applicants are in social sciences, engineering and biology.

Inside Amazon's Clickworker Platform:  How Half a Million People Are Being Paid Pennies to Train AI
Research by Lilly Irani of Communication, on collective action by Amazon contract workers, or “Turkers,” is included in this extensive TechRepublic cover story.

Robert HorwitzWill Putin Unite the European and American Right?
Robert Horwitz of Communication says in this New Yorker essay that he sees an ideological connection between Putinism and American cultural conservatism.

This Study Could Unlock the Mysteries of Teen Brain Development
The national Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is in STAT. The study’s Coordinating Center is led by Terry Jernigan of Cognitive Science and the Center for Human Development, and Sandra Brown of Psychology.

Swearing Is Scientifically Proven to Help You *%$!ing Deal
Cognitive scientist Benjamin Bergen’s book “What the F” is included in this TIME feature.

How Trump's Deportation Plans Could Damage Our Economy
Research by Tom Wong of Political Science, showing how DACA both helped the lives of the recipients and was good for the U.S. economy, is cited in Mother Jones. The Center for American Progress also includes work by Wong in “Now is the time to continue – not end – DACA.”

The NationHow Donald Trump Will Make America White Again
The Nation cites David FitzGerald of Sociology and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, who describes the thinking among early-20th-century U.S. lawmakers alarmed by the unprecedented waves of poorer, swarthier immigrants coming to the nation at the time. To KPBS, FitzGerald said, “History shows that when we build more walls, it becomes more dangerous to cross.”

Is There Life Beyond the Chargers?
The Union-Tribune looks at all aspects of post-Chargers San Diego, turning to economist Gordon Dahl to discuss his study on domestic violence and football.

UC San Diego's Urban Hub to be Catalyst for Region
“With change, comes opportunity. Understanding that moment – and seizing its promises – is key,” write Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and UCSD Extension dean Mary Walshok of Sociology. Their op-ed appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, announcing the university’s new development located in downtown San Diego.

The Great A.I. Awakening
New York Times Magazine story on Google Translate and machine learning prominently features Geoff Hinton, whose start-up out of the University of Toronto was acquired by Google. Hinton did some of his early research on neural networks at UC San Diego in the late 1970s/early ’80s, working with cognitive scientists and psychologists on campus.

What’s Next for Washington?

UCTV: Days after the November election, prominent UC San Diego faculty including political scientist David Mares took stock of what’s at stake for the incoming administration and the country it will lead.

L.A. Mayor Promises Improved Customer Service at DWP
Steve Erie of Political Science said there are a lot of “gray areas” in proposed customer service plan for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and questioned whether it would change public perceptions.

Timing Is Everything
For the Scholars Strategy Network’s No Jargon podcast, Zoltan Hajnal of Political Science explains how combining national, state, and local election days would boost turnout and reduce disparities in voting and representation. NBC News, meanwhile, ran a piece citing Hajnal’s recent study showing that restrictive voter ID laws depress turnout the most among minority voters  as well as those with less income and education.

It's Not the Weather that Makes Christmas So Deadly
David Phillips of Sociology first pointed out the phenomenon of the holiday season’s increased death rates, now nicknamed the “Merry Christmas Coronary,” the “Happy New Year Heart Attack” or the more reserved “Christmas Holiday Effect,” Washington Post’s Wonkblog reports.

Tom LevyUC San Diego Archaeologist Explores Prehistoric Sites in Indian State for Digital Conservation
Thomas Levy of Anthropology was in south-central India to tour 10 cultural heritage sites across five districts in the new Indian state of Telangana and its capital city, Hyderabad. Levy is looking to a forge cyber-archaeology MOU with the Indian government and his Center for Cyber-Archaeology and Sustainability.

Study: Medicaid Changes Could Cost RI $514M
Research by Jeffrey Clemens of Economics is used in this WPRI Eyewitness News report.

Gas Prices Are Rising Again. What Does that Mean for the Economy?
A 2009 study by James Hamilton of Economics was cited by the Houston Chronicle.

Governor Brown Appoints Four to San Diego County Superior Court
In the coming weeks, Psychology alumna Cynthia Freeland will be sworn into her new role alongside the other lawyers appointed by Governor Brown. The Union-Tribune also reported on the appointments.

Kristina AudenencialKristina Audencial Shines as Anchor for KSWB Fox 5 News
“After graduating high school in Singapore, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of California San Diego,” says alumna Kristina Audencial in this profile feature.

How Robots Will Change the American Workforce
“My own prediction is that kids born today will never get to drive a car. Autonomous, driverless cars are 10, 15 years out,” said Henrik Christensen, head of the Contextual Robotics Institute, a joint endeavor of the Division of Social Sciences and the Jacobs School of Engineering. The comments, made to the Union-Tribune ahead of the institute’s February  forum, caught the attention of Motor Trend, Government Technology, Market Business News and Quartz, among others.

News contacts:

Inga Kiderra

Director of Communications
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Anthony King

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