Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

The world at our feet: Reflections on Earth and its prospects

It’s our tiny oasis in a vast universe, and it’s feeling fragile. Five faculty from Penn Arts & Sciences who study the Earth’s geological past, its surface activity, and its soils and life forms discuss how Earth and its inhabitants can get along better.

Susan Ahlborn

In These Times: Race and repair

OMNIA’s final episodes look into how institutions have perpetuated racial hierarchies, how the past reverberates through the present, and consider what justice looks like.


In the News

USA Today

System failure: How federal laws shield sexual predators like Dr. Larry Nassar

Marci Hamilton of the School of Arts & Sciences wrote an opinion piece calling for President Biden to establish a national commission on child sex abuse in order to address the problem’s systemic factors.


Fast Company

Want to go viral? Influencers won’t be much help if you’re trying to spread a complex idea

Damon Centola of the Annenberg School for Communication spoke about findings from his recent study showing that social influencers may be ineffective when it comes to changing people’s beliefs and behaviors. Rather, he said, “every network has a hidden social cluster in the outer edges that is perfectly poised to increase the spread of a new idea by several hundred percent.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

Not everyone who is eligible for the child tax credit is receiving it

Pilar Gonalons-Pons of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the challenges low-income people face in accessing the new child tax credit payments. “This has become a very big problem,” she said. “There’s controversy because the website is not phone-friendly. There’s been a deficiency in outreach, and it’s been left up to advocacy organizations to reach those who need the money.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

To honor John Lewis, we must turn back the rising tide of voter suppression

Mary Frances Berry of the School of Arts & Sciences wrote about the resurgence of voter suppression laws in the U.S. To preserve the right to vote, Berry said, “We must pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. And to do that, we must remove the Senate filibuster as a barrier to the legislation.”


Associated Press

In Trump’s Jan. 6 recast, attackers become martyrs, heroes

PIK Professor Dolores Albarracín spoke about how conspiracy theories persist, even when countered with facts. “The belief contains a device that protects it,” she said. “Nothing can invalidate the conspiracy theory. Trying to refute the theory proves the theory and signals you as a conspirator.”