Jeff Palmer grew up taking long walks with his father in the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma. Palmer’s father, a linguist and a native Kiowa speaker, told him ancient Kiowa stories about the granite-capped peaks and rolling hills around them.
Nicholas Sturgeon, Susan Linn Sage Professor Emeritus in the Sage School of Philosophy and an expert in the foundations of ethics, died Aug. 24 of complications from Parkinson’s disease at a local hospice. He was 77.
Sturgeon was a professor in the Department of Philosophy, in the College of Arts and Sciences, from 1967 until his retirement in 2013.
Historian Barry Strauss, who specializes in ancient and military history, notes that plagues and epidemics have often been linked to wars. The current pandemic will accelerate the use of computer models and big data in the field of history; however, he says, COVID-19 has taught us that models are only as good as the assumptions on which they’re based.
In February, Longsha Liu ’21 was well aware that COVID-19 was coursing through China and around the world.
His mother had been giving him regular updates about the virus’s spread in China, where most of his immediate family live – including his 77-year old grandmother, who continued to practice as a physician.
Rachel Beatty Riedl, an expert in international studies, says Africa is the first place to look for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, given Africa’s success in dealing with the Ebola virus.
Historian Lawrence Glickman says the simultaneous public health disaster and economic meltdown may lead us to rethink the country’s values. However, “given … how rare it is for fundamental transformations to happen, my money would be on this pandemic not fundamentally altering our basic structures of society,” he says.
Political scientist Gustavo A. Flores-Macías compares the economic consequences of COVID-19 to the 2008-09 recession. The pandemic, he says, will result in a poorer and more unequal U.S. society, and it highlights the importance of solutions that require collaboration across borders.
Interdisciplinary scholar Noliwe Rooks discusses how people curate their home spaces, now that much of work and school is conducted from home via video conferencing. The pandemic has also underlined our need for human contact, she says. Rooks is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Jamila Michener, assistant professor of government in the College of Arts and Sciences, discusses COVID-19 and potential changes in the role of the federal government. The pandemic may prompt people to re-examine investments in institutions, such as the public health system, on which we now rely, she says. Disinvestments in these institutions include the steady closure of rural hospitals for the past five years, she says.
An engineer-turned-sociologist whose career has been defined by interdisciplinary thinking is now leading a Cornell center that brings together economists and sociologists, from across campus and around the world.