Fighting Poverty With Cash

Several decades since the last big income experiment was conducted in the US, School of Social Policy & Practice assistant professor Amy Castro Baker has helped deliver promising data out of Stockton, California, about the effects of giving people no-strings-attached money every month. Now boosted by a new research center at Penn that she’ll colead, more cities are jumping on board to see if guaranteed income can lift their residents out of poverty. Will it work? And will policymakers listen?

The Vaccine Trenches

Key breakthroughs leading to the powerful mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 were forged at Penn. That triumph was almost 50 years in the making, longer on obstacles than celebration, and the COVID-19 vaccines may only be the beginning of its impact on 21st-century medicine.

Webside Manner

Virtual healthcare by smartphone or computer helps physicians consult with and diagnose patients much more quickly, while offering them convenience and flexibility. The potential to save lives and improve efficiencies is tremendous. But can uncertain regulations and reimbursements, equity and access disparities, and shaky internet connections be surmounted?

Writing Lives

Middle school memories. Meditations on motherhood. A prismatic accounting of the self. A long life well and furiously lived: on new memoirs by Jordan Sonnenblick C’91, Courtney Zoffness C’00, Beth Kephart C’82, and Nick Lyons W’53.

The History Wars

Education scholar Jonathan Zimmerman on how the US republic lost the ability to understand itself—and how we can help our children recover it.

The Humanist Is In

In a new book, Jason Karlawish GM’99, codirector of the Penn Memory Center, unravels the tapestry of Alzheimer’s science and history, and outlines the medical, social, and ethical challenges that lie ahead.

Calling It

How John Lapinski and a squad of Penn faculty and students backing him up on the NBC News Decision Desk navigated an election season that was unprecedented—and could set a pattern for the future.

Wellness Warriors

In response to a rash of suicides in recent years, Penn students have fought to take charge of their own mental health, creating new peer-to-peer counseling groups and collaborating more closely with the administration on wellness initiatives. Is it enough to combat the pandemic stresses, burnout, and social isolation that afflict “the loneliest generation”?

In Nursing We Trust

The past year has propelled America’s most trusted profession into the spotlight, with the World Health Organization’s designation of 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife followed by the unprecedented and continuing challenges posed by COVID-19. Penn Nursing alumni and faculty weigh in on coping with the pandemic and on nursing’s essential—and expanding—place in the healthcare system.

The Museum Prescription

Doctors are worn down by paperwork and long hours, forced to focus on computer screens instead of their patients, plagued by feelings of eroding autonomy, traumatized by a pandemic—and trained to endure suffering with stoicism. What ails physicians bodes ill for their patients. Can the visual arts help revive their well-being? A year-long initiative from Penn Medicine and Philadelphia’s flagship art museums aims to test the theory at internet scale.

The Mother of Coronaviruses

When SARS-CoV-2 struck, Susan Weiss was ready. The decades of work that she and a small cohort of fellow researchers have devoted to coronaviruses, despite limited funding and little respect, have been invaluable in speeding the search for treatments and vaccines. It’s been a rare stroke of good fortune in the current crisis—and a lesson in the importance of supporting basic science in anticipation of future ones.

Lapping Up a Final Act of Love

When the time came to say goodbye to our dog, Brad Bates V’10 arrived at our doorstep. A palliative care veterinarian specializing in in-home euthanasia, he meets strangers every day at their saddest moments—and it somehow gives him strength.

A Reset for Cities?

The novel coronavirus has been especially tough on America’s cities—stripping away cultural and social amenities and spotlighting stark realities of income inequality, inadequate healthcare, and punitive policing. Alumni and faculty experts weigh in on whether and how they can be reimagined for a post-pandemic world.

Connecting the Data

Penn’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice is pioneering a systemic, data-driven approach to criminal justice reform. Its executive director, John Hollway, started with the idea that the law should function more like science—less argument, more truth seeking.
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