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The College of Arts and Sciences' communications office works closely with Cornell's Media Relations Office. As the College's representatives to media, we connect faculty experts and thought leaders to local, regional, national and international media organizations. 

Contacts:

Linda Glaser, Publicist

o: 607-255-8942    c: 973-650-8172    lbg37@cornell.edu

Tricia Barry, Communications Director

o: 607-255-7165    c: 607-377-6596    triciabarry@cornell.edu

 

Current press statements from Arts & Sciences faculty:

Maduro Assassination Attempt

'Shock-and-awe': The risks posed by rudimentary weaponized drones - August 6th, 2018

Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura survived an apparent assassination attempt carried out by drones on Saturday, Aug. 4 while speaking to a crowd in the capital city of Caracas.

Sarah Kreps, professor of government and international relations at Cornell University, is the author of two books on drone warfare, “Drones: What Everyone Needs to Know” and “Drone Warfare”. She says that drones like those Venezuelan authorities say were used to target Maduro are less lethal than other assassination methods, but are accessible and effective at terrorizing both civilians and political leaders.

Bio:  http://government.cornell.edu/sarah-kreps

Kreps says:

“Drone experts have long warned of the possibility that drones could be used for political assassination. All individuals or groups need to pull this off is a rudimentary drone they can buy online and some explosives.

“Skeptics would say that there are more lethal alternatives for targeting a political leader, like semi-automatic guns, because drones bought online have a low payload, meaning that they generally unable to carry large quantities of explosives.

“But terrorist groups in the Middle East have used low payload drones—some booby-trapped, others armed with grenades—to kill adversaries on the battlefield.  They exploit the element of surprise and do not need to kill many people to be disruptive.

“When it comes to civilians and political leaders, the effects of drone use are potentially even more significant: almost an infinite number of ‘soft targets’ and a psychological shock-and-awe that can terrorize the population regardless of how many people are actually killed or wounded.”
 

For interviews contact:
Rachel Rhodes
office: 202-434-8036
cell: 585-732-1877
rer252@cornell.edu  

Liquid Water on Mars

Red planet and ‘ocean world’? Lake on Mars boosts potential for life - July 25, 2018

Researchers using radar scans have discovered evidence of a salty, liquid reservoir below Mars’ south pole — a discovery with implications in the hunt for extraterrestrial life, according to a Cornell University astrophysicist.

Jonathan Lunine is the director of the Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science at Cornell University and has served on a number of advisory and strategic planning committees for NASA. He says a lake under the Martian pole makes the dusty planet an “ocean world.”

Bio: https://astro.cornell.edu/jonathan-lunine

Lunine says:

“This is a great discovery by the MARSIS radar developed in Italy. The possibility of a liquid water lake under the polar cap of Mars makes the red planet another ‘ocean world’, in which liquid water exists below a layer of ice. Other ocean worlds include Europa, Titan, and Enceladus, among others.

“While ancient Mars may have had surface seas or an ocean, the possibility of an ocean under the ice cap—combined with the discovery of organic molecules at Gail crater by Curiosity—raises the possibility of microbial life existing on Mars at the present time.” 

For interviews contact:
Jeff Tyson
Office: (607) 255-7701
Cell: (607) 793-5769
jeff.tyson@cornell.edu 

Parker Solar Probe

‘New era’ of Sun exploration nears as NASA’s Parker Solar Probe preps for launch - July 25, 2018

NASA’s first mission to fly directly into our sun’s atmosphere, Parker Solar Probe, is scheduled to launch between Aug. 6 and 19.

Jonathan Lunine is the director of the Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science at Cornell University and has served on a number of advisory and strategic planning committees for NASA. He expects the probe will unveil incredible detail of the dynamic solar atmosphere.

Bio: https://astro.cornell.edu/jonathan-lunine

Lunine says:

“I hope for a successful launch which will open up a new era in the exploration of our nearest star, the Sun.

“Parker Solar Probe will pass within four million miles of the Sun – that's almost eight times closer to the Sun than the orbit of Mercury – and provide incredible detail on the dynamic solar atmosphere.

“Parker Solar Probe will fly closer to the Sun than the distance at which even close-in exoplanets orbit their own Suns, giving us unprecedented information on the kinds of environments these planets experience.”

For interviews contact:
Jeff Tyson
Office: (607) 255-7701
Cell: (607) 793-5769
jeff.tyson@cornell.edu 

Space Force

‘Buzzwords and bureaucracy’: Space Force announcement sparks political feuds - June 19, 2018

President Trump ordered the creation of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the military on Monday, raising questions around America’s future role beyond our atmosphere and sparking feuds amongst politicians over the need for a new military branch.

Barry Strauss is a military and naval historian and a professor in humanistic studies at Cornell University. He says that while Space Force is a catchy term, the U.S. needs “free and open debate” over what’s best for the country’s military, national security and space presence.

Bio: http://history.cornell.edu/barry-stuart-strauss

Strauss says:

“With his usual flair for communications, President Trump has framed the question of the future of U.S. policy in space in two words: Space Force. With their usual tone deafness, Washington’s politicians and administrators have responded with a turf battle.

“Most of us don’t care what governmental hat America’s space warriors wear or what jazzy name they have but rather we care about what they do – and whether they should exist in the first place. What the public needs is a free and open debate about the good of the nation and the world when it comes to the military and space. I hope we get that, rather than buzzwords and bureaucracy.”

For interviews contact:
Jeff Tyson
Office: (607) 255-7701
Cell: (607) 793-5769
jeff.tyson@cornell.edu