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  • Thomas J. Benson leads the Critical Trends Assessment Program, which monitors the biological condition of Illinois’ forests, wetlands and grasslands, and collects data on plants, birds and arthropods.

    How are Illinois birds faring?

    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.

  • Atmospheric sciences professor Don Wuebbles is an expert on climate and climate change

    Are global warming, recent Midwest cold snap related?

    Last month, the Midwest experienced record-breaking cold temperatures and many are wondering how, when the climate is experiencing an unprecedented warming trend, we can still experience such frigid cold. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian asked University of Illinois atmospheric sciences professor Don Wuebbles to explain.

  • Photo of Lizanne DeStefano

    Is the Every Student Succeeds Act an improvement over No Child Left Behind?

    A Minute With...™ Lizanne DeStefano, professor emerita of educational psychology

  • Illinois architecture professor Benjamin Bross

    How will public spaces change as result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

    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.

  • Photo of cinema and media studies professor Jay Rosenstein

    What has been the impact of the Washington Football Team's name change?

    The changes in the past year in the use of Native American imagery in sports and elsewhere have been unprecedented, said Jay Rosenstein, a Center for Advanced Study professor of media and cinema studies.

  • Carolyn Shields heads the department of educational organization and leadership at Illinois.

    Why schools should move from traditional to 'balanced' calendars

    A Minute With™... Carolyn Shields, the head of the department of educational organization and leadership

  • Are black bears and other large predators returning to Illinois?

    A Minute With™... Peggy Doty, who provides educational programs about coexisting with large predators for the University of Illinois Extension.

  • Kevin Mumford

    Comparing the '60s civil rights movement and today's gay rights movement

    A Minute With™... Illinois history professor Kevin Mumford

  • Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife biologist Tara Hohoff holds a bat during mist netting to collect data on bat populations in central Illinois.

    Are bats to blame for the coronavirus crisis?

    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.

  • History professor Rana Hogarth’s research focuses on the history of both medicine and race, and the connections between.

    What drives us to blame the marginalized for epidemics?

    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.

  • Portrait of Thomas O'Rourke. He is wearing a dark red shirt and smiling.

    Will a coronavirus vaccine be a cure-all?

    Global health authorities are frantically pursuing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the hope that it will allow everyone to get back to a pre-COVID-19 reality ASAP. Thomas O’Rourke, a professor emeritus of community health, says those expectations are probably overblown.

  • Illinois communication professor John Murphy’s new book examines the legacy of John F. Kennedy through his speeches.

    What can we learn from JFK about presidential speechmaking?

    An Illinois professor looks at presidential speechmaking through one of its more-eloquent practitioners, John F. Kennedy.

  • Scholars and scientists have made key discoveries in the past decade about the 14th-century plague known as the Black Death, says history professor Carol Symes.

    What's new with the plague? More than you might think

    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.

  • Dr. Leyi Wang in his lab, wearing his white veterinarian's coat.

    Which animals can catch the coronavirus?

    Dr. Leyi Wang and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have played a key role in diagnosing coronavirus infection in animal species in zoos across the country. This is important work for understanding the virus’s spread and its broad host range, Wang says.

  • Chris Roegge, the executive director of the Council on Teacher Education at the University of Illinois, discusses the impact of new state legislation on Illinois teachers.

    Will Illinois’ new education law fix the state’s teacher shortage?

    Chris Roegge, the executive director of the Council on Teacher Education at the University of Illinois, discusses whether new legislation in Illinois will remedy the state's shortage of teachers.

  • How does 'Mad Men' help us understand '60s culture?

    Robert Rushing, an Illinois professor of comparative and world literature

  • Ronald Bailey

    The social trends behind the '12 Years a Slave' story

    A Minute With™... Ronald Bailey  the head of the African American studies department at the University of Illinois

  • Professor David Rosch

    How has the definition of ‘effective leadership’ changed?

    David Rosch, a professor of agriculture education and an expert on leadership, spoke recently about popular perceptions of good leadership and how those standards have changed.

  • A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at Illinois, studies policing and prisons as part of her research.

    Why the calls for defunding police?

    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.

  • Book cover and portrait of author and researcher Rakesh Kumar

    How does society impact the benefits and challenges of technology?

    Technology is a big part of life. In India, for example, street vendors and rickshawallahs use cellphones, the internet and Aadhar cards – 12-digit identification numbers given to every citizen of India based on their biometric and demographic data. However, charismatic gurus and superstition still thrive in India. In the new book "Reluctant Technophiles: India’s Complicated Relationship with Technology,” University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign electrical and computer engineering professor Rakesh Kumar provides an account of India’s often contradictory relationship with technology. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Kumar about these contradictions, and how India’s situation is both unique and universal.

  • College of Law dean Vikram Amar

    How should universities handle controversial speech?

    The proper way to register dissent with speech one finds offensive doesn’t involve blockades or threatening violence. It’s more speech, says lllinois law dean Vikram Amar

  • Headshot of Emily Knox

    Why is a past attempt to ban 'Beloved' from a high school curriculum a political issue now?

    Emily Knox, a professor in the School of Information Sciences and the author of “Book Banning in 21st-Century America,” said societal issues, such as changing racial demographics and disagreements over how to teach the history of race, prompt challenges to certain kinds of books.

  • Craig Miller stands in the woods facing the camera. He is wearing a red and black plaid shirt and he has his hands in his pockets.

    Does hunting with lead ammunition endanger human, environmental health?

    A recent study from Wesleyan University found that 48% of ground meat samples made from white-tailed deer killed with lead shotgun slugs in Illinois were contaminated with lead, while meat from deer killed by archers contained no lead. Illinois Natural History Survey human dimensions scientist Craig Miller spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the risks associated with lead ammunition in hunting.

  • Fred Kummerow

    100-year-old trans fat pioneer celebrates news of an FDA ban

    A Minute With™... Fred Kummerow, trans fat expert

  • The newly designated Indiana Dunes National Park has beaches, but it also has the Great Marsh, a variety of habitats and amazing biodiversity.

    The Midwest has a new national park. How did that happen?

    The Midwest has a new national park at Indiana Dunes, and a University of Illinois professor explains how it happened and why the park is valuable.

  • Ripan Malhi

    Who was Kennewick Man?

    A Minute With...™ U. of I. anthropology professor Ripan Malhi

  • Professor Erik Procko stands with arms crossed.

    What is the new variant of coronavirus in the UK?

    New mutations to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are emerging, including one in the United Kingdom with higher infection rates that has sparked new travel bans. Erik Procko, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been studying mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that binds to human cells. In an interview, Procko discussed the new variation and whether mutations to the spike protein could create resistance to vaccines or other treatments.

  • Professor Isabel Molina-Guzmans new book examines the role of Latinos in TV sitcoms, as well as the changing form of the genre.

    Latinos on TV: Where are they? And when should we laugh?

    Professor Isabel Molina-Guzman’s new book examines the role of Latinos in TV sitcoms, as well as the changing form of the genre in a “post-racial” television era.

  • Notre Dame Cathedral, severely damaged by fire this week, holds historical and symbolic significance for both France and the world, say two University of Illinois historians.

    What was lost in the Notre Dame Cathedral fire?

    Notre Dame Cathedral, severely damaged by fire this week, is widely understood as “the beating heart of France,” with global significance beyond that, says one University of Illinois historian in a Q&A. Another notes how a key aspect of music as we know it today was invented for the cathedral’s unique resonant space, a soundscape lost in the fire.

  • Anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy has co-written numerous studies about sexual harassment and gender harassment in academic science.

    How does sexual harassment affect young women in physics?

    In a study reported in the journal Physical Review Physics Education Research, nearly 75% of 471 undergraduate women in physics who responded to a survey offered during a professional conference reported having experienced at least one type of sexual harassment – mostly gender harassment – in their field. U. of I. anthropology professor Kathryn Clancy, a co-author of the report, talked to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about the study, which also examined the respondents’ feelings of belonging and legitimacy as scientists and scholars.

  • Political science professor Nicholas Grossman teaches international relations and wrote a book on the use of drones in warfare and terrorism.

    The US used a drone to kill an Iranian general. What might be the consequences?

    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.

  • Professor Eboni Zamani-Gallaher

    Is affirmative action in college admissions under threat?

    An Illinois expert on affirmative action in higher education talks about the Justice Department’s plans to investigate possible racial discrimination in college and university admissions policies

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign atmospheric sciences professor Deanna Hence discusses how some hurricanes become so large, the paths they take and how global climate change may affect these factors.

    Monster hurricanes: Why have recent storms been so huge?

    Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, as the first Category 4 storm in recorded history to reach shore in the northeast Gulf Coast. News Bureau physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with Illinois atmospheric sciences professor Deanna Hence about the storm’s size, strength and path, and the impact of global climate change on future hurricanes. 

  • Professor Kathryn Anthony

    Transgender bathrooms: An architectural perspective

    A Minute With...™ Kathryn Anthony, an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor of architecture

  • 'Red Tails': Why the story of the Tuskegee Airmen is still important

    A Minute With™... Sundiata Cha-Jua, a professor of history and of African American Studies

  • christopher benson

    60 years ago this month, Emmett Till's death sparked a movement

    A Minute With...™ Christopher Benson, author and professor of journalism

  • Illinois political science professor Brian Gaines has some suggestions for choosing how to cast a ballot this fall – by mail or in person – and what to watch for in the election.

    In person or by mail? What to consider in choosing how to vote

    Voters this fall must determine not only who they’re voting for, but also the safest way to cast a ballot. Brian Gaines, a political science professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, maps out some risks to consider and mistakes to avoid. He also cautions against leaping to conclusions about any alleged irregularities on Election Day.

  • Photo of Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois who studies the ethical and policy implications of advanced biotechnologies

    Should the government implement a vaccine passport system?

    Vaccine passports strike the right balance between letting life go on for the vaccinated while still being realistic about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Jacob S. Sherkow, a professor of law at Illinois and bioethics expert.

  • Photo of  U. of I. biology and geology professor Bruce W. Fouke and postdoctoral research fellow Joseph L. Cross

    How can educators, coaches support student-athletes’ academic success?

    Coaches and educators should work together to help athletes achieve their full potential, U. of I. scholars and former collegiate athletes Joseph L. Cross and Bruce W. Fouke say in a new study.

  • Professor Sheldon Jacobson

    Can data analytics help you fill out a March Madness bracket?

    Fill in your March Madness bracket from the center out, says bracketologist Sheldon H. Jacobson.

  • Emeritus professor of business and legal policy John Kindt

    Four years later, what effect has expanded video gambling had on Illinois?

    Giveaways to gambling interests in Illinois have robbed state coffers of billions of dollars, says John W. Kindt, an emeritus professor of business and legal policy at the University of Illinois.

  • The major shift underway from broadcast and cable to streaming is also bringing targeted advertising to mainstream media, an Illinois professor says.

    Targeted ads are coming to mainstream media. Should we care?

    Targeted advertising is coming to mainstream media, says an Illinois professor of digital media, bringing concerns about equality, division and “total surveillance.”

  • U. of I. psychology professor Eva Pomerantz studies the factors that promote children’s motivation and achievement at school.

    How to foster children’s learning while sheltering at home

    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.

  • Photo of Ian Brooks, the director of the Center for Health Informatics

    Where does the U.S. withdrawal leave the World Health Organization?

    A global response, such as that organized by the World Health Organization, is needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic, says Ian Brooks, a research scientist whose focus is global health informatics.

  • Check yourselves and your pets for ticks after spending time in wooded or grassy areas, says Illinois entomologist Brian Allan.

    Should we worry about ticks this summer?

    Editor’s note: The number of tick-borne illnesses diagnosed annually in the United States doubled between 2004 and 2016, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Summer is prime tick season, and people spending time outdoors should be vigilant, says University of Illinois entomology professor Brian F. Allan. An expert in the spread of insect- and tick-borne diseases, Allan discussed ticks in Illinois, how to prevent bites and when to seek medical attention in an interview with News Bureau biomedical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg Touchstone.

  • Illinois physics professor Liang Yang discusses the significance of the recent neutrino detection in Antarctica and what it means for the future of observational astronomy.

    What is a neutrino and why do they matter?

    Scientists recently announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that made its way to Earth from an event that occurred 3.7 billion light-years away. Sensors buried within Antarctic ice detected the ghostly cosmic particle, called a neutrino, and traced its origin to a rapidly spinning galactic nucleus known as a blazar. Physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with physics professor Liang Yang about the significance of the discovery.

  • Photo of Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law and labor relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

    Do labor laws need to be modernized with rise of gig economy?

    The Protecting the Right to Organize Act would be the most significant revision of U.S. labor law since 1947, says Michael LeRoy, an expert in labor law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Photo of Researcher

    Can pet dogs be infected with coronavirus?

    Researchers at the U. of I. diagnosed a pet dog in Chicago with infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. This is the first dog in Illinois to test positive for the coronavirus. A team led by pathobiology professor Ying Fang made the diagnosis. She talks about the findings and future research in pets.

  • Photo of 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.

    Are generous unemployment benefits to blame for worker shortages?

    As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and employers look to restart businesses at full capacity, workers have leverage that they’re using to temporarily stay out of the labor market in certain industries, says U. of I. labor expert Robert Bruno.

  • Midwest volcanologist and geology professor Susan W. Kieffer holds a Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Chair at Illinois.

    What makes Merapi such a dangerous volcano?

     A Minute With™... Midwest volcanologist and geology professor Susan W. Kieffer