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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:

Martian Weather Report

Imagine the feel’ of Martian winds — InSight reports weather from red planet  - Feb. 19, 2019

Beginning today, NASA’s InSight lander will provide daily weather reports from Mars, showcasing temperature, air pressure and wind on the red planet.

Don Banfield is a research scientist at Cornell University and science lead for InSight’s Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem, a suite of meteorological sensors on the landers deck. Banfield is available for interviews about Martian weather.

Bio: https://research.astro.cornell.edu/don-banfield

Banfield says:

“We have a modest understanding of the weather and climate on Mars, but the un-precedented continuous and precise meteorological measurements from the InSight lander have helped solidify that understanding as well as discover some new behaviors that we’re still working to understand.

“Sharing the weather results from InSight helps to bring everyone along as we explore Mars with the InSight lander. Not only can you see what it looks like if you were on Mars from the imaging, but you can also try to imagine the feel of the moderate winds from the Northwest (over your shoulder), and the rush of a passing dust devil swirling past you.”

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

NYC Schools Report

Culprits of segregation missing from NYC school report  - Feb. 12, 2019

On Tuesday, an advisory panel on school integration and equity in New York City released a report – Making the Grade – suggesting that city government pursue policies that would address segregation in NYC’s public school system. Noliwe Rooks, a professor of American studies at Cornell University and author of the book “Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and The End of Public Education,” says that the report does not sufficiently account for entrenched racism and opportunity hoarding on the part of privileged, white parents.

Bio: https://africana.cornell.edu/noliwe-rooks 

Rooks says:

“What jumps out is the ways the report urges ‘voluntary integration’ and how it avoids taking seriously the resistance of privileged and white parents to any and all talk of meaningful integration. 

“Their resistance is not new, but goes back to the era immediately preceding Brown v. Board when one of the largest civil rights marches was actually against talk of racially integrating schools and reaches to the city’s very recent past.

“The language of the report chooses to repeatedly use the term ‘diversity’ to describe its work and does not mention how entrenched racism, poverty or opportunity hoarding on the part of the wealthy are the underlying issues that allow for New York City schools to look as they do. Casting a broad net that includes disability, learning differences, all ‘races’, language and the ubiquitous ‘diverse’, means that success at the level of individual schools can leave racial and economic educational realities of New York City schools in place while claiming they are now integrated. 

“As a nation, we have rarely believed that poor children of color should be educated in the same ways as are wealthy children, or actually with children who are white and wealthy. If you cannot clearly name the problem, you cannot solve it.” 

For interviews contact:

Gillian Smith

Office: 607-254-6235

Cell: 607-882-0327

Gillian.Smith@cornell.edu

Green New Deal

Without ‘bold’ funding strategies, Green New Deal likely to fade - Feb. 7, 2019

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey introduced an outline defining their Green New Deal on Thursday.

Elizabeth Sanders, professor of government at Cornell University who studies American political development, says a Green New Deal could succeed, but will likely dissipate without risk-takers and creative funding solutions.

Bio: https://government.cornell.edu/elizabeth-sanders

Sanders says:

"Several prominent Democrats are speaking unabashedly about raising taxes to fund a Green New Deal, but the billionaire class of Democratic donors who backed Obama and Clinton will resist that. One way around their opposition, of course, is to return to the public funding system abandoned by Barack Obama when he decided to turn instead to Wall Street for his 2008-12 campaigns, a decision continued by Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Democrats could also work hard to repeal the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision as a part of reinvigorating small donations.

"Many 2018 Democratic progressives would support these moves. But one must go farther to fund expensive new health, education, and infrastructure projects when the U.S. debt level is already quite high.

"Logical places to look for additional funds would be in the Defense Budget, which is huge. But military cuts might be hard for Democrats intent on opposing all of Donald Trump’s foreign policy, including withdrawal from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Cutting health care costs with new drug, fee-for service, and hospital pricing regimes will also raise hackles from powerful interests, but in his State of the Union speech, the president endorsed lower drug prices and other, unspecified measures to cut health care costs.

"The central purpose of the Green New Deal is to create an agenda that can build a working class-middle class coalition based on real economic and environmental benefits, avoiding a divisive program centered on identity issues like immigration and abortion rights. But without bold fundraising initiatives, and taking on risks with well-healed former allies, chances for a new New Deal will probably fade."

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

Trump's Next North Korea Summit

Trump’s dovish North Korea posture unlikely to affect his ratings - Feb. 6, 2019

North Korea dominated the foreign policy section of Trump’s address to the nation, on Tuesday, with the announcement of a new summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam at the end of the month. 

Sarah Kreps, professor of government at Cornell University, is an expert on international conflict. Her recent research focuses on how matters of foreign policy affect Trump’s approval rating. She says that compared to a Democrat, Trump faces less political risk as he negotiates with North Korea. 

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

Kreps says: 

“Trump’s State of the Union assertion that we would be in a war with North Korea had he not been elected is sheer speculation unmoored from reality. Trump campaigned and started his presidency on what Hillary Clinton rightfully referred to as ‘cavalier’ threats toward North Korea.

“Nonetheless, anyone who claims an interest in avoiding nuclear war should commend his overtures to North Korea. We are better off than a year ago when we seemed to be playing a game of brinksmanship with them. My research — with Cornell colleagues Elizabeth Sanders and Kenneth Schultz — does show that Trump may have some partisan advantages when it comes to these types of negotiations and agreements. 

“When Democrats try to make a deal, Republicans have incentives to attack it as a sign of weakness. The attack may work because it’s consistent with the party brand as being more dovish. When a Republican makes a deal, most fellow Republicans will back him for partisan reasons, and Democrats can criticize but the charge of being too soft is unlikely to stick. 

“This does not guarantee success, and few people think that North Korea will actually denuclearize because its nuclear weapons are the only international leverage it has, but Trump is less vulnerable — compared to a Democrat — to the political risks of negotiating with Kim.” 

For interviews contact:
Rebecca Valli
office: 202-434-8049
cell: 607-793-1025
rv234@cornell.edu