UW Today

Social science


July 21, 2016

From crop-raiding monkeys to political unrest: UW’s Randy Kyes embarks on 100th field course

Randy Kyes, left, with UW and Indonesian students on Tinjil Island, Indonesia.

A chance meeting with a fellow scientist 27 years ago forever changed Randy Kyes’ life — catapulting him from North Carolina to Indonesia and beyond. As the founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Global Field Study and head of the Division of Global Programs at the Washington National Primate Research Center, Kyes…


July 14, 2016

Study: Perceived threats from police officers, black men predict support for policing reforms

Image of police officer from back

At a time of intense national attention on law enforcement and race, a new University of Washington study suggests that racially based fear plays a role in public support for policing reforms. The research, conducted by UW postdoctoral researcher Allison Skinner and published online July 12 in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology, used a…


July 13, 2016

New UW program aims to foster better education for Native learners

Geri Flett, left, and Launa Phillips, tribal members and teachers in the Wellpinit School District, meet with Warren Seyler, a curriculum consultant for the district.

At meetings with Native American community leaders, educators in the University of Washington’s College of Education repeatedly heard the same question — what can be done to improve educational outcomes among Native learners? Those discussions led to the creation of the UW’s new two-year Native Education Certificate program, which launches in August. The 10-unit curriculum…


June 29, 2016

UW project highlights liability of internet ‘intermediaries’ in developing countries

Internet sign reflected on tile floor

How much liability do website owners and other online service providers have for content posted by other people? If someone posts content on your website that is defamatory, constitutes hate speech, disseminates child pornography or invades someone’s privacy, are you liable? The answers to such questions can be murky in developing countries. And as internet…


June 23, 2016

Law student David Camps thought to be first Cuban resident to attend UW in half a century

Law student David Camps is the first Cuban enrolled at the UW since 1960.

In the fall of 2014, Cuban tour guide David Camps led a group from the University of Washington on a serendipitous bus tour around his native country. The group seemed to ask a lot of questions, but Camps — a former attorney and top diplomat turned tour guide — thought little of it; clients were often curious about…


June 21, 2016

Q&A: Essayist Elissa Washuta on being the Fremont Bridge’s first writer-in-residence, another recent award and her upcoming book

Color photo of essayist and UW alumna Elissa Washuta

The year’s not quite yet half over, but it’s already been an auspicious one for Elissa Washuta. The University of Washington graduate and author of two books, “Starvation Mode” and “My Body is a Book of Rules,” is one of two recipients of the Artist Trust 2016 Arts Innovator Awards, which come with $25,000 in…


June 15, 2016

Falling fish catches could mean malnutrition in the developing world

fishing

The world won’t be able to fish its way to feeding 10 billion people by midcentury, but a shift in management practices could save hundreds of millions of fish-dependent poor from malnutrition, according to a new analysis by researchers at Harvard, the University of Washington and other universities.


June 13, 2016

Success in second language learning linked to genetic and brain measures

students sitting in the quad at UW

A new study by researchers at the University of Washington shows that the final grades that college students received in a second-language class were predicted by a combination of genetic and brain factors.


June 3, 2016

Q&A: Peter Kahn on nature interaction, wildness in cities

photo of peter kahn

University of Washington professor Peter Kahn recently co-authored an opinion piece in the journal Science about the importance of interacting with nature in urban areas. UW Today asked Kahn a few more questions about the broader implications of his work.


Finding connections to nature in cities is key to healthy urban living

baby with sandy feet

The authors of a Science perspective piece discuss the growing tension between an arguably necessary role urban areas play in society and the numbing, even debilitating, aspects of cities that disconnect humans from the natural world.


May 31, 2016

Q&A: CLPP’s Sam Méndez on Washington’s pot industry, why outdoor grows make sense and how marijuana is becoming like wine

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The Cannabis Law and Policy Project, based in the University of Washington School of Law, was formed by professor Sean O’Connor in fall 2014 to be a center for researching regulatory issues around the state’s new legal cannabis industry. The group recently published its first report for the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB),…


May 26, 2016

Documents that Changed the World: Noah Webster’s dictionary, 1828

Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, title page shown here. Webster's work is the subject of an installment of Joe Janes' Documents that Changed the World podcast series.

Joe Janes of the Information School turns the attention of his Documents that Changed the World podcst to Noah Webster and his famous, 70,000-word “American Dictionary of the English language” published in 1828.


May 24, 2016

UW experts develop first method for including migration uncertainty in population projections

Image of earth with black background

Statisticians at the University of Washington have developed the first model for projecting population that factors in the vagaries of migration, a slippery issue that has bedeviled demographers for decades. Their work, published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also provides population projections for all countries worldwide — and…


May 23, 2016

Study shows disparities in treatment for children with traumatic brain injuries

Young boy in brain scanning machine

Children who suffer traumatic brain injuries can face a difficult road to recovery, requiring services such as physical therapy and mental health treatment for months or years to get their young lives back on track. When those children come from low-income households with limited English proficiency, there can be significant barriers in getting them the…


May 19, 2016

Burke Museum breaks ground on new building for Washington state museum

The New Burke

More than 500 people gathered May 18 on the University of Washington campus to celebrate the start of construction on the New Burke Museum. The Burke is Washington’s oldest museum and since 1899 has been the State Museum of Natural History and Culture; soon it will be Washington’s newest museum. Opening in 2019, the New…


May 12, 2016

UW study: state-licensed marijuana canopy enough to satisfy recreational and medical markets

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The amount of marijuana allowed to be grown by state-licensed producers in Washington is enough to satisfy both the medical and recreational marijuana markets, a University of Washington study released today finds. The state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) tasked the UW-based Cannabis Law and Policy Project (CLPP) with calculating the “grow canopy,” or square…


May 11, 2016

UW-led suicide prevention initiative planned for Washington colleges and universities

More than 700 people turned out for the 2016 Huskies Hope & Help walk for suicide prevention and awareness April 30.

The University of Washington is leading a new, four-year collaboration aimed at promoting mental health and preventing suicide at colleges and universities around the state. The initiative is a partnership between Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention — an organization in the UW School of Social Work — and the New York-based Jed Foundation, which focuses…


May 10, 2016

Brain pattern predicts how fast an adult learns a new language

Hello in different languages

Some adults learn a second language better than others, and their secret may involve the rhythms of activity in their brains. New findings by scientists at the University of Washington demonstrate that a five-minute measurement of resting-state brain activity predicted how quickly adults learned a second language. The study, published in the June-July issue of…


May 5, 2016

Two-minute warnings make kids’ ‘screen time’ tantrums worse

picture of child using computer

Giving young children a two-minute warning that “screen time” is about to end makes transitions away from tablets, phones, televisions and other technological devices more painful, a new University of Washington study has found.


April 29, 2016

New UW program aims to create ‘brotherhood’ for male students of color

Joe Lott, a UW associate professor of education, is spearheading the university's new Brotherhood Initiative

For some young men of color, college might seem a world away. To an African-American boy growing up in poverty, a Latino son of migrant farmworkers or a young Native American man living on a remote reservation, the path to post-secondary education can be hard to visualize. And once on campus, the reality can be…


April 25, 2016

Music improves baby brain responses to music and speech

Children playing with musical toys. Isolated on white background

Rock your baby in sync with music and you may wonder how the experience affects her and her developing brain. A new study by scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows that a series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and…


April 20, 2016

4 UW professors elected as fellows in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

nighttime

Four University of Washington professors join 172 other academics as newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the group announced Wednesday.


April 19, 2016

States with punitive justice systems have higher rates of foster care, study finds

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The number of children in foster care across the country is driven not solely by child abuse and neglect, but by states’ varying politics and approaches to social problems, a new University of Washington study finds. States with more punitive criminal justice systems tend to remove children from their homes far more frequently than those…


April 18, 2016

Early analysis of Seattle’s $15 wage law: Effect on prices minimal one year after implementation

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Most Seattle employers in a UW-led study said in 2015 they expected to raise prices on goods and services to compensate for the city’s new $15 per hour minimum wage law — but a year after implementation such increases are not in evidence.


UW to study link between recession-related stress and health in older Americans

Gillian Marshall

The Great Recession devastated millions of Americans financially — but what impacts did that economic stress have on their physical and mental well-being? Gillian Marshall, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Washington Tacoma, wants to answer that question. Marshall was awarded a five-year, $654,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health…


April 13, 2016

UW study aimed at users of both marijuana and tobacco

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If you’re looking to give up marijuana and possibly cigarettes as well, a group of researchers at the University of Washington would like to hear from you. The Innovative Programs Research Group, an organization in the UW School of Social Work, is recruiting people 18 and older for a free marijuana and tobacco treatment trial….


April 8, 2016

UW law students lay groundwork for new state privacy office

UWLawSchool

University of Washington law students played a key role in a law passed last week that aims to better protect privacy and monitor data collection by agencies in the state. House Bill 2875, signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee April 1, establishes the state Office of Privacy and Data Protection. The office will examine…


April 6, 2016

3 University of Washington professors recognized by Guggenheim Foundation

Photo by Katherine Turner.

Three University of Washington professors are among the 178 scholars, artists, and scientists from the U.S. and Canada recognized this year by the Guggenheim Foundation.


April 4, 2016

The Twittersphere does listen to the voice of reason — sometimes

WestJet tweet screenshot

In the maelstrom of information, opinion and conjecture that is Twitter, the voice of truth and reason does occasionally prevail, according to a new study from UW researchers. Tweets from “official accounts” — the government agencies, emergency responders, media or companies at the center of a fast-moving story — can slow the spread of rumors on Twitter and correct misinformation that’s taken on a life of its own.


Bilingual baby brains show increased activity in executive function regions

Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, UW

Many brain studies show that bilingual adults have more activity in areas associated with executive function, a set of mental abilities that includes problem-solving, shifting attention and other desirable cognitive traits. Now new findings reveal that this bilingualism-related difference in brain activity is evident as early as 11 months of age, just as babies are…


April 1, 2016

To be sustainable, conservation needs to consider the human factor

The Salmon Dancer Canoe Family paddles along the shorelines of Swinomish.

The authors of a new paper in Science propose a set of social indicators that can be used to gauge how ecosystem management affects four essential factors in human lives: well-being, values, the ability to act purposefully and inequality. Considering such indicators, they note, serves not only to describe what exists but to define what is important in setting sustainability goals.


March 31, 2016

UW, gun-rights groups come together in new law to prevent suicide

ForefrontOlympiaDay

After her husband ended his life with a bullet in 2011, Jennifer Stuber went to the two Washington stores where he had bought guns to talk with the owners about suicide prevention. That bold move by Stuber, an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, eventually led to the passage of…


March 24, 2016

Study: Most tweets following fall Paris attacks defended Islam, Muslims

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The fall 2015 Paris terrorist attacks sparked heated social media debates about Islam. A researcher now with the UW Information School, with collaborators, analyzed millions of tweets after those attacks and found most tweets actually expressed support for Islam and Muslims.


March 21, 2016

Better safe than sorry: Babies make quick judgments about adults’ anger

Baby looks at people fighting, frightened

Adults often form fast opinions about each other’s personalities, especially when it comes to negative traits. If we see someone argue with another driver over a parking space, for instance, we may assume that person tends to be confrontational. Two new research studies with hundreds of 15-month-old infants demonstrate that babies form similar generalizations about…


March 15, 2016

Medicine, nursing programs top national rankings; dozens more UW programs highly rated

Gerberding Hall on Red Square. Seattle campus, December 26th, 2013. Photo by Katherine B. Turner

For the 22nd time in the past 23 years, the University of Washington ranked as the No. 1 primary care medical school in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Graduate School rankings released Tuesday. The rural medicine and family medicine programs have also led the nation since those rankings began in 1992. In a…


March 11, 2016

Video contest challenges students to creatively define climate change

contest logo

The UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences is hosting its second-annual contest for undergraduate and high school students in Washington to create videos about what climate change means to them, in three minutes or less.


March 9, 2016

Quintard Taylor’s BlackPast.org history site gets redesign, first executive director

Chieko Phillips

BlackPast.org, the online reference guide to African-American history started by University of Washington history professor Quintard Taylor, is getting an executive director — Chieko Phillips — and a website redesign.


March 8, 2016

Family technology rules: What kids expect of parents

family photo

A new UW study is among the first to explore children’s expectations for parents’ technology use — revealing kids’ feelings about fairness and “oversharing,” the most effective types of household technology rules and families’ most common approaches.


February 29, 2016

Doctor, patient expectations differ on fitness and lifestyle tracking

Image of phones with running apps

With apps and activity trackers measuring every step people take, morsel they eat, and each symptom or pain, patients commonly arrive at doctor’s offices armed with self-tracked data. Yet health care providers lack the capacity or tools to review five years of Fitbit logs or instantaneously interpret data patients have been collecting about themselves, according to new UW research.


February 26, 2016

Transgender children supported in their identities show positive mental health

Kristina Olson

Studies of mental health among transgender people in the United States have been consistently grim, showing higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide. But almost nothing is known about the mental health of a new and growing generation of transgender Americans — prepubescent children who are living openly as transgender with the support of their…



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