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Introducing Wharton dean Erika James

On July 1, James began a new chapter in her career as the first woman and first person of color to be appointed dean of the Wharton School in the institution’s 139-year history. 

From Wharton Stories

Inside Penn

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Forbes

National Science Foundation invests $104 million to launch four new engineering research centers

Cherie Kagan of the School of Engineering and Applied Science spoke about the Penn-led IoT4Ag center’s work: “We need new technology to meet the challenges of a world with a growing population and changing climate. We simply need to produce more crops for every drop of water or Joule of energy we’re currently using to realize a food, energy and water-secure future.”

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The New York Times

Five-minute coronavirus stress resets

Research by Veena Graff of the Perelman School of Medicine found that serene music can be highly effective in decreasing preoperative anxiety in patients.

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The Washington Post

Schumer’s overblown attack on GOP proposal for medical malpractice lawsuits

Allison Hoffman of the Law School said the Republican-proposed Safe to Work Act wouldn’t wholly prevent medical malpractice lawsuits, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has suggested it would, saying that it would actually only apply to coronavirus-related health care services. However, she said, the bill does have other concerning loopholes.

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Associated Press

Biden on cognitive test: ‘Why the hell would I take a test?’

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center said verbal slips are not enough to conclude that a presidential candidate is unqualified for the job. “If you can’t focus, that’s a problem. If you can’t provide a coherent answer, that’s a problem. (But) sometimes what you’re seeing, it may be annoying, but it doesn’t speak to a person’s capacity to govern,” she said.

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The Washington Post

The Technology 202: Microsoft’s possible acquisition of TikTok could also bring increased Washington scrutiny

PIK Professor Herbert Hovenkamp spoke about Microsoft’s interest in acquiring TikTok, a move unlikely to trigger an investigation by antitrust regulators. “We don’t have any actual case law that pursues mergers simply because the companies are big,” he said. “They have to be competitors, for the most part, and have significant market share.”

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The New York Times

Health experts to F.D.A: Make your vaccine deliberations public

Paul Offit of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the FDA’s emergency authorization of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, despite a lack of evidence of its efficacy. “I think the administration bent or imposed its will on the F.D.A.,” he said. “There’s a concern that this would happen [with the vaccine], too.”

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The Washington Post

Facebook’s fact-checkers have ruled claims in Trump ads are false—but no one is telling Facebook’s users

Facebook employed fact checkers, including the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org, to assess political ads on the platform but has not shared the results with the ads’ viewers. “The policy should be that you provide Facebook users with as much information as you can to make good decisions. That’s why we’re here,” said Eugene Kiely of FactCheck.org. “I don’t see how you can argue against giving Facebook users more information.”

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The New York Times

Massachusetts court won’t use term ‘grandfathering,’ citing its racist origins

Nicole Holliday of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the phasing out of words with direct links to slavery, such as “grandfathering.” “This is the legal system, and there are wrongs to be righted,” she said.

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Forbes

What to do about contracts during COVID-19

David Hoffman of the Law School and a University of Virginia Law School colleague published a paper about the impact of COVID-19 on contracts. They recommend renegotiating contracts to minimize damages over trying to enforce or fight the terms.

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The New York Times

‘Like a horror movie’: A small border hospital battles the coronavirus

Genevieve Kanter of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about a study she co-authored that warned of disparities in access to critical care facilities amid the pandemic. “Unfortunately, there will be a lot of unnecessary suffering and deaths from COVID-19 because of the lack of I.C.U. capacity in these low-income areas,” she said.

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