UW News

Social science


April 21, 2021

A growing problem of ‘deepfake geography’: How AI falsifies satellite images

satellite photo of Tacoma using geospatial data from Beijing, with shadows cast from most buildings

Using satellite photos of three cities and drawing upon methods used to manipulate video and audio files, a team of researchers led by the University of Washington set out to identify new ways of detecting fake satellite photos and warn of the dangers of falsified geospatial data.


April 20, 2021

How lessons from past emergencies could improve the pandemic response

bottle of hand sanitizer, gloves and a mask on a table

The federal government, in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, could learn from how the nation responded to Hurricane Katrina, 9/11 and the H1N1 swine flu, a new University of Washington study found.


April 14, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Guggenheim fellowship, Fulbright award, cybersecurity policy advocate

Recent honors and achievements for UW faculty and staff include a Guggenheim fellowship in film history, a Fulbright fellowship for bioethics research in South Africa and membership in a new state cybersecurity team formed by the National Governors Association.


April 9, 2021

Divided America needs ‘new, more viable history’: A talk with Dan Chirot

A root cause of America’s sharp division, UW international studies professor Dan Chirot says, is that the visions of the left and right are based on “drastically different histories.”


March 19, 2021

How white supremacy, racist myths fuel anti-Asian violence

Signs read "hate has no place" and "stop Asian hate"

Linh Thủy Nguyễn, an assistant professor of American ethnic studies at the University of Washington, discusses the recent wave of violence against Asians and Asian Americans, and the history behind it.


March 16, 2021

Relearning normalcy, focusing on the positive: UW psychologist on the vaccine phase of the pandemic

University of Washington psychology professor Jane Simoni discusses how COVID-19 vaccines are gradually spurring the return to normal life, and the role of positive public health messaging.


March 15, 2021

New Stroum Center podcast series ‘Jewish Questions’ explores anti-Semitism, features UW faculty

“Jewish Questions,” a podcast from the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, explores issues of Jewish life, politics, history and culture


March 11, 2021

Mindfulness program in campus dorms, groups improved students’ mental health

Students standing silently, eyes closed, in a yoga or meditation class

Amid a growing mental health crisis among teens and young adults nationwide, a pilot program teaching mindfulness and coping techniques to students at the University of Washington has helped lower stress and improve emotional well-being.


March 10, 2021

Helpful behavior during pandemic tied to recognizing common humanity

Woman gives a box of masks to a donation drive at a UW parking lot.

A new University of Washington study finds that an identification with all humanity, as opposed to identification with a geographic area like a country or town, predicts whether someone will engage in “prosocial” behaviors particular to the pandemic, such as donating extra masks or coming to the aid of a sick person.


March 4, 2021

Can’t solve a riddle? The answer might lie in knowing what doesn’t work

Scrabble tiles forming a word with one tile missing

With the help of about 200 human puzzle-takers, a computer model and functional MRI images, University of Washington researchers have learned more about the processes of reasoning and decision making, pinpointing the brain pathway that springs into action when problem-solving goes south.


February 18, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Polymer Physics Prize, anthropology dissertation award

The Polymer Physics Prize from the American Physical Society and a dissertation award from the Society for American Archaeology.


February 16, 2021

UW books in brief: Historian Anand Yang explores British ‘penal transportation’; world music textbooks by Patricia Shehan Campbell

Historian Anand Yang writes about the British history of shipping of convicted criminals to other continents; and new world music education books from ethnomusicologist Patricia Shehan Campbell.


February 5, 2021

New nationwide survey shows MAGA supporters’ beliefs about the pandemic, the election and the insurrection

New data from the University of Washington, collected just before and after the Capitol riot, reveals fervent Trump voters’ opinions about race, gender, the pandemic and the 2020 election.


February 2, 2021

‘Making Amends’ podcast explores remorse, intention among men at Oregon prison

outside of prison, surrounded by razor-wire fence

“Making Amends,” a new podcast by University of Washington professor Steve Herbert, explores themes of atonement among men incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary.


February 1, 2021

UW books in brief: African American political theory, philosophy and migration, data science for health

Notable recent books written or edited by UW faculty include an exploration of African American political theory, a book on philosophy and migration and a textbook on health data science.


January 26, 2021

Anti-poverty policies can reduce reports of child neglect

parents with young child walking in a park

A University of Washington study analyzes how a state’s refundable Earned Income Tax Credit can lead to fewer reports of child neglect, by reducing the financial stress on families.


January 25, 2021

Ancient food scraps provide clues to past rainfall in Australia’s Northern Territory

palm-like trees on a dry landscape

A new study led by the University of Queensland and involving the University of Washington provides a glimpse into the Australia’s ancient climate and early human occupation.


January 20, 2021

‘Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems,’ co-edited by UW’s Robert Pekkanen, out in paperback, online

"The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems," published in 2018, is coming out in paperback in February from Oxford University Press. The entire book is already available online through UW Libraries.

A book co-edited by Robert Pekkanen of the UW’s Jackson School of International Studies brings together top scholars to study the origins and effects of electoral systems in the United States and other democracies.


January 14, 2021

Evans School Dean Jodi Sandfort: A public university can help redesign public services

woman standing outside campus building

Jodi Sandfort, new dean of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, talks about her views on policy-making, government services, and the role of a public university in facilitating conversation and change.


Sexual harassment claims considered more credible if made by ‘prototypical’ women

A man and woman sitting across a desk. Only their hands are visible, using a tablet and notebook.

A new UW study reveals people’s perceptions that sexual harassment primarily affects young, feminine and conventionally attractive women. Women who fall outside that prototype not only are perceived as unharmed by harassment, but also have a harder time convincing others that they have been harassed.


January 4, 2021

Faculty/staff honors: Distinguished educator, historic preservation planning award — and a film documentary appearance

Ann Bostrom, professor in the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, has received the 2020 Distinguished Educator Award from the Society for Risk Analysis.

Recent honors to and awards for UW faculty and staff members include a documentary film appearance, a distinguished educator award and an honor for historic preservation planning.


December 15, 2020

How to have holidays ‘full of love and connection’ and set goals for 2021

smiling snowman on campus

The COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing guidelines have changed how we celebrate the holidays this year. University of Washington psychologist Jonathan Kanter explains that, by being intentional about how we approach and experience the season, we can find joy, and recognize – even embrace – how we’ve weathered this year.


December 3, 2020

How a police contact by middle school leads to different outcomes for Black, white youth

A new University of Washington study finds that Black youth are more likely than white youth to be treated as “usual suspects” after a first encounter with police, leading to subsequent arrests over time. Even as white young adults report engaging in significantly more illegal behavior, Black young adults face more criminal penalties.


November 30, 2020

Washington nonprofits feel more urgency during this ‘season of giving’

people handing out food at a food bank

Nonprofit organizations throughout Washington state are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, as revenues and volunteering drop but demand for services remains high.


October 29, 2020

Models show how COVID-19 cuts a neighborhood path

A research team led by UC Irvine and the University of Washington has created a new model of how the coronavirus can spread through a community. The model factors in network exposure — whom one interacts with — and demographics to simulate at a more detailed level both where and how quickly the coronavirus could spread through Seattle and 18 other major cities.


October 27, 2020

Vanessa Freije of UW Jackson School explores Mexican politics, journalism in new book ‘Citizens of Scandal’

A talk with Vanessa Freije of the UW Jackson School about her new book, “Citizens of Scandal: Journalism, Secrecy, and the Politics of Reckoning in Mexico.”


October 21, 2020

Pandemic further isolating older adults, as senior services struggle to adapt

older man sitting on park bench with laptop

A new UW study of senior services in Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic reveals providers’ concerns about isolation, and worsening mental and physical health among older adults.


October 20, 2020

UW jumps two spots to No. 8 in US News Best Global Universities ranking

globe

The University of Washington moved up two spots to No. 8 on the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities rankings, released Tuesday. The UW maintained its No. 2 ranking among U.S. public institutions.


October 19, 2020

Conversation about suicide prevention leads to safe gun storage, study finds

visitors approach a booth with volunteers at a park

Research by Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington, from visits to 18 gun shows and other community events around Washington state last year, found that engaging people in a community-based setting, in an empathetic conversation focused on safety, resulted in more people locking up their firearms.


October 16, 2020

New annual book prize named for late UW historian William Rorabaugh

UW history professor William Rorabaugh , who died in spring 2020, has an annual book prize in his name

The national Alcohol and Drugs History Society has established an annual book prize in the name of UW history professor William Rorabaugh, who died this spring, calling him “a pioneer in the social history of alcohol.”


October 15, 2020

For single adults and families alike, higher cost of living in all Washington counties

map of washington showing change in county self sufficiency wage from 2017 to 2020

Cost of living is up in all Washington counties, for families of all sizes, according to the 2020 Self-Sufficiency Standard for Washington State, a report that identifies the amount of income needed to support families of various sizes without additional help from the government, community or other personal resources.


October 12, 2020

UW awarded NIH grant for training in advanced data analytics for behavioral and social sciences

With a grant from the National Institutes of Health, a five-year, $1.8 million training program at the University of Washington will fund 25 academic-year graduate fellowships, develop a new training curriculum and contribute to methodological advances in health research at the intersection of demography and data science.


October 7, 2020

UW books in brief: Children’s books on STEM professionals, a courageous personal memoir — and UW Press looks back at 100

New books by UW faculty members include children’s works profiling STEM researchers and a personal memoir of an immigrant’s journey to freedom. Also, UW Press remembers a century of publishing, and a book on British colonialism is honored.


Turning hotels into emergency shelter as part of COVID-19 response limited spread of coronavirus, improved health and stability

hotel hallway interior

A King County initiative to relocate people from homeless shelters to hotel rooms during the pandemic not only limited the spread of COVID-19, but also improved people’s mental health and well-being, and allowed them to focus on long-term goals.


October 6, 2020

‘Neither Free Nor Fair’: New UW podcast takes on election security in US and abroad

Election security is the theme of a new podcast by James Long, an associate professor of political science at the University of Washington. “Neither Free Nor Fair?” features experts from the UW and elsewhere on topics such as mail-in voting, foreign interference and the role of social media, and resolving disputed elections.


September 22, 2020

Muslims, atheists more likely to face religious discrimination in US

hands holding a candle

A new study led by the University of Washington found that Muslims and atheists in the United States are more likely than those of Christian faiths to experience religious discrimination. Researchers focused on public schools and tested how principals responded to an individual’s expression of religious belief.


September 9, 2020

English Department discusses coronavirus, ‘politics of care’ in ‘Literature, Language, Culture’ podcasts, videos — plus Devin Naar of Sephardic Studies interviewed on two podcasts

The Department of English has introduced its new “Literature, Language, Culture” Dialogue Series, a series of podcasts and YouTube videos — and Devin Naar of Sephardic Studies is interviewed on two podcasts


September 8, 2020

How birth control, girls’ education can slow population growth

baby crib

Education and family planning have long been tied to lower fertility trends. But new research from the University of Washington analyzes those factors to determine, what accelerates a decline in otherwise high-fertility countries.


September 4, 2020

Mask mandates delayed by nearly a month in Republican-led states, UW study finds

Person wearing a face mask with New York City skyline in the background

Political science researchers at the University of Washington examined the factors associated with statewide mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. When controlling for other factors, states with Republican governors delayed imposing broad indoor mask requirements by nearly a month.


UW political science expert on the value of mail-in voting

Jake Grumbach, assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington, answers questions about mail-in voting.



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