blog posts Why is the NFL team in Washington, D.C., changing its name? Jul 21, 2020 9:00 am1619 views The NFL team in the nation’s capital will no longer be the Redskins. It’s the highest-profile retirement of an American Indian name by a sports team in decades, says Jay Rosenstein, an Illinois professor of media and cinema studies. His documentary on the use of American Indian mascots in sports aired in 1997 and he has closely followed the issue since. Can Major League Baseball owners, players avoid another work stoppage? Jul 20, 2020 8:00 am839 views A coronavirus-abbreviated Major League Baseball season will open amid the backdrop of significant labor tension between owners and players, says U. of I. labor historian Daniel A. Gilbert. Where does the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stand? Jun 30, 2020 7:45 am709 views Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its favor, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program remains a stopgap measure at best. The permanent fix is a comprehensive immigration bill that looks something like the former DREAM Act, says Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the U. of I. College of Law. Why are familiar brands with Black images getting a rethink? Jun 29, 2020 8:00 am2943 views At least one familiar brand is being retired and others are getting a rethink due to their use of Black images. Illinois advertising professor Jason Chambers explains why. How will public spaces change as result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Jun 17, 2020 8:45 am3178 views Pandemics have changed our physical spaces throughout history, but changes made as a result of COVID-19 may not be long-lasting, says Illinois architecture professor Benjamin Bross. What can police trainers learn from the current crisis? Jun 17, 2020 8:15 am981 views Police reform is on the national agenda in response to the choking death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in late May – and many other such incidents before and since. Police Training Institute director Michael Schlosser weighed in on the current crisis. Based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the PTI trains dozens of police departments across the state of Illinois. Schlosser spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates. Why the calls for defunding police? Jun 11, 2020 2:00 pm2606 views Calls for defunding or even abolishing the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death may sound radical to many, but the idea is not new, says A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Is it possible to overcome our biases in the face of conflict? Jun 4, 2020 2:30 pm3801 views Our biases, conscious and unconscious, influence how we process news of events like the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, and the media plays an important part in forming and reinforcing those biases, says Travis Dixon, a professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Will movie theaters survive COVID-19? May 27, 2020 9:30 am1580 views Summer is normally a season for blockbusters, but movie theaters will have special challenges this year, starting with a gamble on a few July releases. Derek Long, a professor of media and cinema studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, looks at the present and future of the business. What effect will COVID-19 have on end-of-life and retirement issues? May 14, 2020 8:00 am1019 views The continued spread of COVID-19 ought to prompt adults to start seriously thinking about end-of-life issues such as writing a will, said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor and elder law expert Richard L. Kaplan. Will live broadcasts of oral arguments be a permanent fixture at the Supreme Court? May 6, 2020 8:00 am464 views The Supreme Court’s livestream of its oral arguments is likely a temporary measure due to COVID-19, said Jason Mazzone, the Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor of Law and the director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History, and Law at the College of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Making a homemade COVID mask? Study explains best fabric choices May 1, 2020 9:45 am35766 views Health authorities believe COVID-19 spreads by the transmission of respiratory droplets, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends homemade cloth face coverings for use in public spaces. Starting today, Illinois joins many other states in requiring people to wear masks while out. However, initial uncertainty regarding the masks’ effectiveness in reducing exhaled droplets leaves some people unsure or skeptical of their usefulness during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Mechanical science and engineering professor Taher Saif spoke with News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian about a study that he and his graduate students, Onur Aydin and Bashar Emon, performed on the effectiveness of common household fabrics for use in homemade masks. Could Legionnaires' bacteria lurk in idled buildings? Apr 29, 2020 2:00 pm1161 views Many businesses are closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and some building managers have shut off water and air conditioning to conserve resources. Unfortunately, warmth and lack of clean water flow can contribute to the growth of potentially dangerous microbes, including the bacteria that contribute to Legionnaires’ disease. Illinois Sustainable Technology Center chemist and industrial water treatment specialist Jeremy Overmann spoke with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the problem and potential solutions. What effect will COVID-19 have on consumer bankruptcies? Apr 29, 2020 8:15 am3915 views Most households struggle financially for two to five years before filing for bankruptcy, making a pandemic-related surge in consumer bankruptcy filings unlikely, said University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign law professor Robert M. Lawless, a leading consumer credit and bankruptcy expert. Are bats to blame for the coronavirus crisis? Apr 24, 2020 8:15 am3076 views Horseshoe bats in China are a natural wildlife reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses. Some health experts think wildlife markets – specifically in Wuhan, China – led to the spillover of the new coronavirus into human populations. Though not confirmed, the hypothesis has given bats around the world a bad rap, and public fears of exposure to bats are on the rise. Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife biologist Tara Hohoff, the project coordinator of the Illinois Bat Conservation Program, spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about bat biology and conservation, and the flying mammals’ role in human health. What's new with the plague? More than you might think Apr 23, 2020 10:00 am2670 views Pandemics of the past are getting new attention, among them the plague of the 14th century. Known as the Black Death, it was medieval, European, bubonic and spread by rats – at least that’s what most of us think. Much of that needs adjustment, however, in large part due to discoveries of the past decade, says Carol Symes, a professor of medieval history at Illinois. What drives us to blame the marginalized for epidemics? Apr 16, 2020 9:15 am2801 views There’s a long history of scapegoating marginalized people in epidemics, and of seeing difference in the way those of different races respond to disease, says Rana Hogarth, a U. of I. professor who studies the history of both medicine and race, and the connections between. How can researchers predict social behavior during pandemics to enhance public health policies? Apr 14, 2020 8:45 am826 views Eunice E. Santos, the dean of the School of Information Sciences, studies how computational models can help explain social behaviors and the factors that influence decision-making during pandemics. What messages best influence public health behavior? Apr 8, 2020 7:45 am661 views Dolores Albarracín, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has spent much of her career studying how people respond to public health messages asking them to change their behavior. She speaks about the special challenges of the present moment. How should we talk about our relative risk for COVID-19? Apr 7, 2020 9:30 am1336 views A key message coming through about COVID-19 is that older folks face much greater danger, but what does that suggest to the young? Cabral Bigman, a communication professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, talks about the challenge of “social comparison frames” in an epidemic. How to foster children’s learning while sheltering at home Apr 6, 2020 8:30 am1911 views Parents sheltering at home with their kids sometimes struggle to foster their children’s continued engagement with learning. Eva Pomerantz, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studies the factors that promote children’s motivation and achievement at school. She spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about her research on the topic and her own efforts to keep her children academically engaged while at home. Is it safe to fly during the coronavirus pandemic? Apr 1, 2020 8:00 am17402 views Sheldon H. Jacobson discusses the risks of air travel during the pandemic and what preventive measures airports and passengers can take. Can relationships flourish through tech alone? Mar 31, 2020 8:45 am780 views Technology can be our friend in sustaining relationships now lacking in face time due to COVID-19, but it depends on how we use it, says John Caughlin, a communication professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. What challenges are professors and college students facing with the migration of classes online? Mar 26, 2020 8:00 am3767 views School of Information Sciences instructor Melissa Wong offers suggestions for how professors and college students can adapt to online learning. What protections do no-show workers have during a pandemic? Mar 26, 2020 6:45 am7263 views The U.S. government can take measures to ensure that essential workers such as health care workers report to their jobs, but forced labor isn’t allowed under the Constitution, says U. of I. labor expert Michael LeRoy. Could the social distancing of COVID-19 revolutionize online learning and higher education? Mar 25, 2020 9:00 am3578 views Professors Mary Kalantzis and Bill Cope, who teach only online courses and develop learning technologies, discuss the potential impact of social distancing on postsecondary distance learning. How can parents help children cope with COVID-19 disruptions? Mar 23, 2020 2:30 pm1272 views Professor of human development and family studies Kelly Tu discusses ways parents can help children cope with the changes and uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. What do Russians hope to gain from U.S. elections interference? Mar 12, 2020 10:15 am7214 views Russia is trying to sow disruption and division around the U.S. presidential election in order to promote its own geopolitical interests. Is the US ready for the 2020 census? And what's at stake for Illinois? Mar 10, 2020 10:15 am954 views A demographer who’s followed the 2020 census praises outreach and education efforts, but also raises concerns about budget delays and testing – and notes that though the count in Illinois can be challenging, it needs to be accurate to avoid losing “a lot of green” in the form of federal dollars. Does lack of paid sick time make US susceptible to global health crisis? Mar 9, 2020 8:30 am1389 views Lack of paid sick time makes the U.S. acutely susceptible to a global health crises like COVID-19, and is part of the larger problem of tying health care to employment, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno. Why does the census matter? What are the challenges this time? Mar 2, 2020 10:00 am642 views The 2020 census kicks into high gear this month with information arriving in millions of mailboxes. A professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who also chairs a U.S. Census Bureau advisory committee explains why the census matters and describes challenges in making it work. What are the novel coronavirus health risks? Feb 28, 2020 9:45 am4086 views The novel coronavirus that first broke out in Wuhan, China in late 2019 has now spread to 111 countries. As the first case of possible community spread has been reported in the United States, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discusses how the virus spreads and what makes it a public health concern. Are there alternatives to declining, disappearing newspapers? Jan 30, 2020 2:00 pm1658 views As many newspapers decline and disappear – highlighted by two Chicago Tribune reporters recently sounding the alarm about a perceived threat to the Trib – a journalism professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign touts the growth and viability of nonprofits and other alternatives. Targeted ads are coming to mainstream media. Should we care? Jan 27, 2020 10:30 am1815 views Targeted advertising is coming to mainstream media, says an Illinois professor of digital media, bringing concerns about equality, division and “total surveillance.” What is the coronavirus spreading across the globe? Jan 23, 2020 10:30 am4441 views The first case of a novel strain of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States. Virologist Leyi Wang, a professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, discussed the outbreak of the new strain with News Bureau biomedical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg Touchstone. Would modifying payment of the earned income tax credit help struggling families? Jan 23, 2020 9:30 am305 views Receiving the earned income tax credit in installments rather than a lump sum benefitted more than 500 families living in Chicago public housing, U. of I. researcher Karen Kramer's team found in a new study. The US used a drone to kill an Iranian general. What might be the consequences? Jan 9, 2020 8:45 am2133 views An expert on the growing role of drones in warfare and terrorism discusses the implications of the recent killing of Iranian general Qassim Suleimani in a Q&A. What do we really know about poverty? Dec 16, 2019 9:45 am1045 views The holidays are a time we focus on those in need and heap scorn on the Scrooges and Mr. Potters who don’t. But how well do we understand poverty, in either the U.S. or globally? Illinois sociologist Brian Dill addresses some misconceptions. What’s in the global carbon budget? Dec 9, 2019 1:45 pm662 views The Global Carbon Project recently released its 2019 annual report, giving decision-makers access to data on atmospheric carbon concentrations, emissions and trends. Illinois atmospheric scientist Atul Jain is among the many scientists worldwide who contributed data to the report. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Jain about this year’s findings. US politics aside, what's the bigger picture in Ukraine? Dec 4, 2019 11:45 am409 views There’s more happening in Ukraine than just U.S. politics. A U. of I. professor talks about how the country is dealing with a long-term war and its consequences. Will anything ever change for the Kurds? Nov 7, 2019 12:00 pm1497 views A U. of I. specialist on Middle Eastern politics explains why Kurds often feel they have “no friends but the mountains,” why they’re a political threat to Turkey’s president and motivations for the recent Turkish attack on the Kurds in Syria. Will hiding 'like' counts and other numbers improve social media? Oct 31, 2019 8:00 am1572 views Social media companies are experimenting with hiding metrics on their platforms – something University of Illinois art professor Ben Grosser has been exploring since 2012 with his Demetricator projects. Could cannabis be a pain relief alternative to opioids? Oct 25, 2019 1:15 pm1357 views The Opioid Alternative Pilot Project offers medical cannabis as a pain-relief option for those looking to avoid or reduce opioid use, said Julie Bobitt, the director of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program at Illinois. Impeachment is underway: So who makes the rules? Oct 17, 2019 9:30 am887 views An impeachment investigation may be based in charges of wrongdoing, but it’s still a political process, says Illinois political science professor Gisela Sin. Even the design of rules and procedures is done strategically and with an eye on the outcome. What’s behind surge in unaccompanied minors crossing southern U.S. border? Oct 17, 2019 8:30 am1136 views The surge in unaccompanied children seeking refuge across the U.S. border can be attributed to poverty, natural disasters and the rise of gang recruitment in their home countries. But the biggest factor is that their countries of origin – Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico – are effectively as violent as war zones, says Lauren R. Aronson, an associate clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Illinois College of Law. What explains the persistence of Hong Kong protest? Oct 1, 2019 1:30 pm1292 views Hong Kong’s nearly four-month protest is only the latest in a series, all centered on concerns about retaining freedoms and gaining the right to choose the city’s leadership, says University of Illinois history professor Poshek Fu, a Hong Kong native and specialist on modern China. The current protest movement is notable, however, for its social media-driven, guerrillalike tactics, its longevity and the international attention it has received. How are Illinois birds faring? Sep 24, 2019 8:00 am3198 views According to a new study reported in the journal Science, bird populations in North America have experienced a troubling decline in the past five decades. The scientists estimate the continent has lost close to 3 billion birds, roughly 29% of their total numbers in 1970. Senior wildlife ecologist Thomas J. Benson of the Illinois Natural History Survey discusses the status of birds in Illinois with News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates. Benson leads the Critical Trends Assessment Program, which monitors the biological condition of the state’s forests, wetlands and grasslands, and collects data on plants, birds and arthropods. What’s at stake in auto workers strike? Sep 24, 2019 8:00 am270 views The strike of more than 47,000 auto workers is a way of recouping some of what union members lost during the Great Recession, says Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois and the director of the Labor Education Program in Chicago. Would changes to capital gains taxes spur the economy? Sep 4, 2019 9:00 am1794 views Indexing capital gains to inflation could be a simple fix to stimulate a teetering economy, but several significant implementation hurdles remain, said Richard L. Kaplan, an internationally recognized expert on U.S. tax policy and the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law at Illinois. Would cutting payroll taxes help prevent recession? Aug 26, 2019 8:30 am1036 views Cutting the payroll tax could represent the middle-class tax cut that President Trump campaigned on – although changes would need to go through the legislative process and any economic stimulus likely wouldn’t been seen until after the November 2020 election, said Richard L. Kaplan, an internationally recognized expert on U.S. tax policy and the Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law at Illinois.