Michele W. Berger
Senior Science News Officer
Michele covers Anthropology, Criminology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology in the School of Arts & Sciences, as well as the Annenberg School for Communication, the Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Population Studies Center, and the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.
Uncovered burial ground reveals history of 36 enslaved Africans in 18th-century Charleston
According to the research, many of these individuals originated in sub-Saharan Africa, in line with historical accounts of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This work, the largest DNA study of its kind to date, was co-led by anthropologist Theodore Schurr and conducted with support from and at the request of the local community.
How have new social norms emerged as COVID-19 has spread?
In a study of nine countries, researcher Cristina Bicchieri found that motivating people to modify behavior requires changing their expectations about the actions and thoughts of those who matter to them.
Crowd-sourcing optogenetics data to tackle neurological diseases
The specialized field of neuroscience, optogenetics, shows clinical promise for conditions like epilepsy and Parkinson’s. But before human trials can get fully underway, the field must better understand a crucial intermediate step, aided by 45 labs in nine countries sharing information.
Mail-in ballots, foreign interference, and the 2020 election
In a Q&A, Kathleen Hall Jamieson discusses what we learned from the election four years ago plus how journalists can responsibly share hacked content and what role the public at large can play.
Simple solutions reduce court no-shows, subsequent arrest warrants
For low-level offenses in New York City, text nudges and a redesigned summons form decreased failure-to-appear rates by about 20% and led to 30,000 fewer arrest warrants over a three-year period.
Across U.S. Catholic archdioceses, child protection policies vary widely
A report from CHILD USA, led by Professor of Practice Marci Hamilton, found that such policies lack uniformity, aren’t comprehensive, and often don’t take a victim-centered approach.
Nursing student volunteers play critical role at campus COVID-19 testing site
For two weeks, 37 fourth-year nursing students checked people in, conducted screenings, and swabbed noses, contributing to the more than 13,000 tests completed at Houston Hall since early August.