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  • atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain. Photo by Brian Stauffer

    Why are global carbon emissions starting to increase again?

    After a brief pause during COVID-19, global carbon emissions from fossil fuel and industry – the main contributors to climate change – are set to increase significantly, says atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain. 

  • Professor Michael LeRoy. Photo by Brian Stauffer

    Would court ruling mean college athletes are employees?

    A ruling in favor of college athletes in Johnson v. NCAA could potentially herald the most consequential change in college athletics since the NCAA was formed in 1906, says U of I labor expert Michael LeRoy, 

  • Robert Brunner, the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business. Photo by Fred Zwicky

    What impact will the Biden administration’s executive order have on AI development?

    The best way to think of the Biden administration’s wide-ranging executive order on artificial intelligence is as a trial balloon to gauge what works, says Robert Brunner, chief disruption officer at U of I's Gies College of Business.

  • the thick-billed longspur, formerly known as McCown's longspur in honor of confederate general John Porter McCown. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

    What will be the impact of the decision to no longer name birds after people?

    The American Ornithological Society’s decision to rename birds that were named after people will allow us to consider how we remember historical figures and acknowledge the oppression in our nation’s history, says professor David Sepkoski.

  • Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store at Nauvoo, Illinois. Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr

    How can Illinois better preserve its cultural identities?

    Professor Helaine Silverman, whose work focuses on the ways that communities deploy cultural heritage as a means of building identity and attracting tourism, talks about the importance of Illinois' new 'State Designated Cultural District' initiative.

  • Do we need a new approach to prevent bird window strikes?

    Illinois Natural History Survey wildlife ecologist Thomas J. Benson describes the factors that lead birds to collide with windows and actions that can reduce bird window-strike fatalities.

  • Researcher extends the wing of a bat. Photo credit: Joy O'Keefe

    Bats are essential to the ecosystem. How do we help them?

    The week leading up to Halloween (October 24 - 31) is Bat Week -- a great time to look at what's causing significant losses of migratory bats and what can be done, even by a single homeowner, to help them thrive.

  • exterior signage at the office of the Marion County Record newspaper. Photo by Kansas Reflector/Sam Bailey.

    What does the Kansas newspaper raid portend for free speech, journalism?

    First Amendment expert Lena Shapiro discusses the police raid on the Marion County Record, a small local newspaper in Marion, Kansas, owned by former U. of I. journalism professor Eric K. Meyer. 

  • Professor Robert Bruno. Photo by L. B. Stauffer

    What explains labor strife among US workers?

    The state of U.S. labor and the labor movement in 2023 is 'very agitated,' reflecting decades of stagnant wage increases and deteriorating job quality, says Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.

  • atmospheric sciences professor Deanne Hence.  Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

    What prompted tropical cyclone Hilary’s unusual path?

    Hilary was the first tropical storm to hit the California coast in 84 years. The combination of conditions that prompted the storm's path are not unheard of, but their timing and severity are unusual, says atmospheric sciences professor Deanne Hence. 

  • Lauren R. Aronson, a clinical professor and the director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Law.  Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

    Does new Illinois law allow non-citizens to become law enforcement officers?

    A new state law that expands the eligibility for law enforcement jobs to non-U.S. citizens such as DACA participants is mostly aspirational since DACA recipients can’t legally possess firearms, says Professor Lauren R. Aronson.

  • U of I history professor Rosalyn LaPier, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and Métis. Photo by: Abaki Beck

    How will a new state law help with teaching Native American history in the state?

    A new teaching mandate in Illinois will help students learn about the Indigenous people who originally occupied the land, as well as the contemporary Native American community in the state, says professor Rosalyn LaPier.

  • Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer (2023) Photo: Universal Pictures

    What does the film 'Oppenheimer' tell us about the development of the atomic bomb?

    'Oppenheimer' examines the process of building an organization of unprecedented scale and wrestles with how to view one individual’s decisions as relevant in the face of such a massive system, says Dean Kevin Hamilton.

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign urban and regional planning professor Fang Fang. Image courtesy Fang Fang

    How can cities use green spaces to mitigate the effects of extreme heat on vulnerable residents?

    Quality and health of urban green space is impacted by environmental factors such as air temperature and the height of surrounding buildings, making it more challenging, costly to maintain a healthy urban green space, says researcher Fang Fang. 

  • SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America members marching in unison, June 2023. Photo via Flickr by ufcw770

    What’s at stake in Hollywood labor strikes?

    'I think this strike will last much longer than three months. In 1988, the writers were on strike for nearly 22 weeks. This time, they're striking over job-killing issues, such as the use of artificial intelligence in generating creative works.' 

  • Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the 2019 Iowa Federation of Labor Convention hosted by the AFL-CIO at the Prairie Meadows Hotel in Altoona, Iowa. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

    Should President Biden intervene in potential UPS strike?

    President Biden would likely alienate a key constituency ahead of the 2024 presidential election cycle if he used his presidential powers to intervene in a potential UPS strike, says labor expert Michael LeRoy, 

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin. Wikimedia Commons image from 2021

    What does the recent rebellion by armed forces in Russia mean for Putin’s future?

    Russian president Vladimir Putin weathered a recent insurrection by the Wagner mercenary group, but the crisis has damaged his standing, said Illinois professor of Slavic languages and literatures Richard Tempest.

  • Deep-sea operations pose significant challenges, such as immense pressure, which restrict the availability of suitable technologies for deep-water search missions, said professor Viktor Gruev, who is an expert in underwater geolocation technology.  He is shown hear standing oceanside wearing a wet suit

    What is the state of underwater geolocation technology?

    Following the loss of OceanGate's Titan submersible this week, U of I professor Viktor Gruev discusses the current state of the science behind underwater geolocation, and some advances his team is working on now.

  • Matthew Luallen, the Lead Research Scientist for Education Translation at the Information Trust Institute.

    Can ChatGPT write malware? Answers from a U of I researcher - and from ChatGPT itself

    Cybercriminals are already using ChatGPT to create malware and facilitate fraud. While that is concerning, it does beg the question, just how easy would it be for anyone to create malware with ChatGPT?  

  • Robert Brunner, the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business

    What’s the transformative potential of artificial intelligence?

    Anxiety about artificial intelligence has been driven by its rapid development as well as knowledge worker concerns about potentially being replaced by it, says Robert Brunner, chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business.

  • Illinois Natural History Survey avian ecologist Jeff Hoover. Photo by Fred Zwicky.

    How does climate change affect global bird reproduction?

    A new study assessed changes in the reproductive output of 104 bird species between 1970 and 2019. U of I avian ecologist Jeff Hoover, a co-author of the paper, talks about how climate change is altering bird ecology and health.  

  • Lena Shapiro, a clinical assistant professor of law and the inaugural director of the College of Law’s First Amendment Clinic.

    How do you handle free speech issues in higher education, popular discourse?

    The current state of the First Amendment is an ongoing battle between those who say they want to advance freedom of speech for everyone versus those who want to drown out voices that they don’t agree with, says Professor Lena Shapiro.

  • to Jennifer Delaney, a professor of higher education in the department of education policy, organization and leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Photo by Fred Zwicky

    Are direct college admissions the future of higher education?

    Direct college admissions can benefit both students and institutions, promoting access for first-generation and underrepresented students and boosting enrollment, according to Professor Jennifer Delaney.

  • Clarence Thomas. AP photo by J. Scott Applewhite

    What can the Supreme Court do to restore public trust?

    The most likely outcome of the Clarence Thomas revelations is that the Supreme Court will announce new or clarified ethical standards for justices on the high court, says U of I law professor Jason Mazzone.

  • image of a tick on a finger via Wikimedia Commons

    Are Illinois farmers aware of the risk of tick-borne diseases?

    Tick-borne illnesses like ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are on the rise in Illinois, and outdoor workers like farmers are at higher risk than those who spend more time indoors. 

  • English and Information Sciences professor Ted Underwood

    Should educators worry about ChatGPT?

    Educators need to help students understand and use artificial intelligence language tools in appropriate ways to prepare them for a future in which their use is commonplace, says information sciences professor Ted Underwood.

  • Vladimir Putin arrest warrant seen in press release from the International Criminal Court in The Hague. On 17 March 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.  Jonathan Raa | Nurphoto | Getty Images

    What will result from the war crimes arrest warrants for Russian President Putin?

    'When the International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant, it means that the prosecutor has proved to the court that there are grounds to believe that international crimes have been committed and that the people named in the warrant are responsible...' 

  • Anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine (War Ukraine)  Фото Юзеф Венскович. Via Flickr with Creative Commons license

    Is Russia-Ukraine war heading toward stalemate?

    One year into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the most likely outcome is a stalemate, despite the mounting cost in blood and treasure, says political science professor Edward A. Kolodziej,  an expert in global politics.

  • AFP Fact Check headline refuting claims that ivermectin should be used to treat COVID-19

    What's the remedy for medical misinformation?

    U of I sociology professor Kevin Leicht is co-leading the development of a software app that will alert clinicians to medical misinformation circulating on social media so they can address it with patients if they choose.

  • Professor Robert Bruno. Photo by L. B. Stauffer

    Should the workweek be shortened to four days?

    There’s nothing sacrosanct about the five-day workweek, which is long overdue for an overhaul, says Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.

  • Chicago's St. Regis tower, designed by the architecture firm of U of I alumna Jeanne Gang. Photo by J E Koonce via Flickr

    Why are so many tall and supertall buildings being built?

    Very tall buildings are attractive options in cities where land is at a premium, but they come with construction challenges, said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign architecture professor Abbas Aminmansour.

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign legal scholar Jacob S. Sherkow argues that the state of California’s proposal to manufacture and distribute insulin at cost could be a game-changer for curbing out-of-control price increases and a boon to public health.  Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

    Paper: California's proposal to manufacture insulin could curb prices, improve public health

    Legal scholar Jacob Sherkow argues that the state of California’s proposal to manufacture and distribute insulin at cost could be a game-changer for curbing out-of-control price increases, but there are hurdles to overcome first.

  • Trespassers on the ramp of the Congress Palace in Brasilia. Image via Wikimedia Commons. Credit:  Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

    What led to the attempted coup in Brazil, what comes next?

    Professor Jerry Dávila, who specializes in the history of Brazil in the 20th century, spoke about civil unrest in Brazil. 'It was a coup attempt, and it was styled after the (Jan. 6, 2021) attack on the U.S. Capitol.'

  • Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, 2015

    What's the significance of the Respect for Marriage Act?

    'Civil rights aren’t like colliding trains, where one civil right has to take precedence over another. Protecting civil rights is not a zero-sum game with winners and losers. Civil rights can be like puzzle pieces that can be made to fit together.'

  • Scott Althaus, the center’s director and a professor of both political science and communication at Illinois.  Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

    Why was the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol considered an 'auto-coup d’état'?

    An auto-coup occurs when 'the incumbent chief executive uses illegal or extra-legal means to assume extraordinary powers, seize the power of other branches of government, or render powerless other components of the government...'

  • Kinesiology and community health professor emeritus Thomas O’Rourke weighs in on effective public education and legislative strategies for promoting gun safety in the U.S.  Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

    How can we tame the gun violence epidemic?

    Community health professor Thomas O’Rourke talks about how previous efforts to institute public health measures succeeded and how the same approaches can be employed to reduce the scourge of gun violence in the U.S.

  • agricultural and biological engineering professor Josie Rudolphi, who co-directs the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center,

    What is driving the high suicide rate among farmers?

    This year saw good harvests in the Midwest and strong commodity prices, but the future is so uncertain. Commodity prices, input costs, and weather are all beyond the farmers' control - and those worries lead to mental health challenges.

  • U of I communication professor Steward Coles

    Are outspoken social media users more polarized in their views on racial equality?

    'As racial resentment increases, support for All Lives Matter increases and support for Black Lives Matter decreases. This relationship persisted even when we controlled for factors such as political conservatism,' says study leader Stewart Coles.

  • atmospheric sciences professor Ashish Sharma

    How can academia help implement lessons from the 2022 climate summit?

    Atmospheric sciences professor Ashish Sharma is cautiously optimistic that academia can partner with industry and government on climate and sustainability goals that will benefit their financial statements, their employees and their communities.

  • Fatima Husain is an associate professor of speech and hearing science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an expert in the physical, social, and emotional aspects of hearing loss. She's also a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, where she uses magnetic resonance imaging to understand how hearing loss and tinnitus impact the brain.

    Hearing loss expert Fatima Husain 'delighted' by over-the-counter hearing aids

    Professor Husain explains how access to affordable hearing aids could offer unique opportunities for individuals with tinnitus, turn the tide on social stigma, and contribute to a competitive industry and a collaborative research frontier.

  • Political science professor Brian Gaines. Photo by Brian Stauffer

    What message did voters send this midterm election?

    Professor Brian Gaines talks about the 2022 midterm elections, the message voters sent, what effect gerrymandering had, and what we can expect from a divided Congress, with a republican majority in the House, and a democratic majority in the Senate.

  • Robert Brunner, the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Photo by Fred Zwicky

    What is the metaverse - and what's its business potential?

    The metaverse’s potential for transformation means it should be on everyone’s radar, says Robert Brunner, the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at the Gies College of Business at Illinois.

  • Atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

    How can the 2022 Global Carbon Budget report help inform UN Climate Summit?

    Atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain hopes the latest global carbon budget report encourages policies that conserve global ecosystems, limit global warming – and continue to push for low-carbon tech and phasing out fossil fuels.

  • U of I College of Law dean Vikram Amar

    Is the independent state legislature theory constitutionally valid?

    The debate surrounding the independent state legislature theory in a case the U.S. Supreme Court is considering is a lopsided one, says Law dean Vikram Amar. An originalist approach of interpreting the Constitution should lead to its rejection.

  • sideview of a man wearing a hearing device in his ear

    U of I audiologist ‘hopeful’ about FDA ruling allowing over-the-counter hearing aid sales

    There are several devices that can be used to simply amplify sound. These are not hearing aids and 'are not meant to treat hearing loss,' says audiologist Sadie Braun. Before buying anything, she urges people to get a professional hearing check.

  • English professor Jim Hansen in his office, surrounded by horror movie posters. Photo by Fred Zwicky

    Why do we love horror films?

    Horror films dominate Netflix queues right now. English professor Jim Hansen spoke about why we love horror. He says it’s because horror films let us 'choose the shape of our fears and then to face up to those fears.'

  • Illinois scientist Ann-Perry Witmer leads research and an upcoming discussion that takes a fresh approach to climate change adaptation.

    What is place-based adaptation to climate change?

    Place-based knowledge fits a solution to a need, rather than the other way around. 'The impacts of climate change for farmers in Illinois, for example, are dramatically different than the impacts seen by the Navajo Nation in Arizona...'

  • advertising professor Michelle Nelson

    What do we know about political advertising?

    Advertising professor Michelle Nelson has found that most adults – even those politically engaged – don't fully understand online targeting, sources and funding for political ads, or how political speech is treated differently from commercial speech.

  • graphic art shows giant hand giving document reading 'debt' to person in cap and gown

    Student debt relief plan: A shot in the arm

    'Student loan debt is impacting people’s lives,' says Prof. Jennifer Delaney. 'When you borrow for college, you’re much less likely to buy a house right away, you hold back on retirement savings, don’t start a small business, wait on starting a family.'

  • Nancy Latham, the executive director of the Council on Teacher Education and an associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Photo by Jeremiah Cox

    What's behind the teacher shortage in US schools?

    Teacher shortages plaguing primary and secondary schools in the U.S. could be game-changers for people entering the field by boosting salaries and improving benefits and working conditions, said education professor Nancy Latham.