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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:

Exploration of Mercury

BepiColombo probes seek answers to Mercury’s iron mystery - Oct. 16, 2018

A pair of probes known as BepiColombo is scheduled to launch from Kourou, French Guiana, on Oct. 20 to explore the planet closest to our sun: Mercury. The European-Japanese mission builds off of the NASA MESSENGER mission and the team aims to gain a better understanding of the hot planet. 

Jonathan Lunine is a professor in the Physical Sciences at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science. Lunine worked for decades on the Saturn Cassini program, was a co-investigator on the Juno space probe orbiting Jupiter, and has testified before Congress on human exploration of Mars. He says Mercury has long puzzled astronomers. 

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

Lunine says:

“Mercury is the mystery planet of the inner solar system — why is it so rich in iron? Is its core partly molten metal? Is it an oddball or our local example of a class of metal-rich planets around many stars? BepiColombo is the next step after the NASA MESSENGER mission to explore Mercury inside and out, and understand how such iron-rich planets form in the cosmos." 

For interviews contact:

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

U.N. report on climate change

U.N. report highlights need for 'human dimension' to tackle climate change - Oct. 8, 2018

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a landmark report on the state of global warming that emphasizes the need for “unprecedented” actions to control climate change and avoid a crisis by 2040.

Karen Pinkus, professor of Italian and comparative literature at Cornell University and faculty fellow in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, has worked for over a decade in the field of environmental humanities with a focus on climate change. She says the U.N.’s report highlights the need for comprehensive action on climate change that accounts for the “human dimension.”

Pinkus says:

“The report confirms what many of us already know. Reforms through democratic political channels or through the courts, energy transitions, shifts in the behaviors of individuals — none of these measures up. None of these addresses the carbon already in the atmosphere now and for millennia to come. Radical change is coming whether we like it or not.

“We need immediate research into how different actions to mitigate the effects of climate change or to remove carbon from the atmosphere might be governed, how they might potentially be bottom up rather than top down, how they could be run by communities and new social organizations.

“This work requires imagination and speculation about every aspect of the future, from how we might work to how we might produce food, to where we would choose to build housing or rebuild housing destroyed by extreme weather events; from immigration policies to the way we raise children.”

For interviews contact:
Jeff Tyson
(607) 793-57697
jeff.tyson@cornell.edu

Nikki Haley Steps Down

Timing in Haley’s departure points to rift with national security advisor - Oct. 10, 2018

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley suddenly resigned from her position in President Donald Trump’s administration this week, sparking speculation around the reason for her departure and future political aspirations.

John Hubbel Weiss, associate professor of history at Cornell University and expert on the history of the UN, says that Haley’s departure could be related to the appointment of John Bolton as the National Security Advisor and his reputation for steamrolling political opponents.

Bio: https://history.cornell.edu/john-hubbel-weiss

Weiss says:

“Haley had done a loyal job of noisily bringing Trump’s positions and demands to the attention of the UN, defending most of them, even the withdrawal from the Paris accord. But the one place they disagreed was Russia, where Haley wasn’t quite ready to participate in Trump’s swallowing of the Putin Kool-Aid on a number of issues.

“There is not much evidence yet that Haley has presidential ambitions except her denial of the fact in interviews. In the ‘Trumpschina’ era denials are always a fair piece of evidence for the opposite. 

“However, there is another consideration. The claim that Haley initially expressed a desire to resign six months ago points toward the time of John Bolton’s appointment as National Security Advisor. The UN Ambassador under Trump (and Obama) was a ‘Cabinet-level’ position. It was not always so, and bureaucratically that rank supposedly puts the UN Ambassador in a difficult position because they cannot be regularly present in Washington, D.C. to represent their interests. But the National Security Advisor has a position outside the Cabinet hierarchy and in practice, is a far more powerful position, and the media has claimed that Bolton steamrolled Haley particularly in arguments over Russia policy.”

 

For interviews contact:

Rachel Rhodes

office: 202-434-8036

cell: 585-732-1877

rer252@cornell.edu  

Pence's China Speech

Pence’s speech plays politics, ‘muddies water’ in China-U.S. relationship - October 4, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence signaled a tougher approach to China this week, delivering a speech in which he is accused China of pursuing “predatory” economic practices, engaging in military aggression toward the United States in the South China Sea and making attempts to sway public opinion of President Donald Trump.

Allen Carlson, associate professor in Cornell University’s Government Department and director of the China and Asia Pacific Studies program, says that all is not right between the U.S. and China, and a comprehensive review of this relationship is pressing.

Bio: https://government.cornell.edu/allen-r-carlson

Carlson says:

“Clearly all is not right between the U.S. and China.  It would be incredibly naïve to think that this is not the case.

“The need for a comprehensive American review of the relationship is pressing.  However, Vice President Pence’s speech today proclaiming that the Chinese do not like President Trump and forwarding still unsubstantiated claims of Chinese meddling in U.S. elections (while the administration continues to downplay documented Russian efforts in the same vein), does not constitute such a review.

 “It is imperative that we take the challenge of Xi’s China seriously, beginning with an urgent focus on his state's mistreatment of the Muslim Uyghur population of Xinjiang, rather than playing politics with the world’s single most important bilateral relationship. Mixing loose talk of election interference and perceived Chinese animosity toward President Trump in with this issue, and the other serious concerns within the relationship, does more to muddy the waters across the Pacific than it does to produce greater clarity within the U.S.-China relationship.”

For interviews contact:

Rachel Rhodes

office: 202-434-8036

cell: 585-732-1877

rer252@cornell.edu