Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

U.S. Falls to 27th in Latest Report Card on World Social Progress; Chronic Poverty to Blame

PHILADELPHIA -- Cuts in social services and chronic poverty in U.S. cities and rural areas during the '90s have caused the U.S. to lag behind nearly all of Europe and several other countries in terms of overall social progress, according to the 2004 "Report Card on World Social Progress" by Richard Estes, a University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work professor.

Matt Gray

Penn Hosts National Conference on Domestic Violence

PHILADELPHIA -- In partnership with the Philadelphia Mayor's domestic violence task force, The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work is hosting its second conference on domestic violence, "Finding New Directions for Responding to Intimate Violence," June 25-26, at Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut St.

Matt Gray

The making of tomorrow’s voters

There were only 11 days left in Philadelphia’s contentious mayoral race. The entire Philadelphia media scrum had descended on a small classroom at Olney High School.

Elaine Wilner

New Leadership and a New Affiliation for Penn's Fels Center of Government

PHILADELPHIA - Samuel H. Preston, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, has named leading criminologist Lawrence W. Sherman as the new Director of the Fels Center of Government. Sherman will also be appointed the Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations in the Department of Sociology.

Elaine Wilner

In the News

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.


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, 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 “I don’t see how you can argue against giving Facebook users more information.”


ABC Australia

Are very long-lived trees immortal and what can they teach humans?

Brenda Casper of the School of Arts & Sciences said it’s hard to measure age-related deterioration in trees that are older than 1,000 years. “It’s not just internal physiology per se but it’s the interaction of the tree with its environment,” she said.


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.


Smithsonian Magazine

Explore the newly digitized diaries and letters of Marian Anderson

Andrea Nuñez and April James of the Libraries spoke about the newly digitized Marian Anderson collection housed in Penn’s Libraries. “I hope students gain a newfound respect for the challenging realities of Marian Anderson’s career,” said James. “Like countless other Black artists and writers of her time, she negotiated segregation at home and freedom abroad. Music allowed her to transcend these barriers and help her audiences see the possibility of a more inclusive future.”