Smith College
  • Northampton, United States
Recent publications
In Who Are the Criminals? , John Hagan argues that legislators use “crisis framing” to influence how the general public thinks about crime. President Ronald Reagan used reports of a drug use epidemic fueled by organized crime as part of his crisis framing. In 1984, he signed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act (CCCA) as part of his “war on drugs.” The CCCA allowed law enforcement to use civil asset forfeiture (CAF) to keep or sell property that it suspected was connected to illegal activity. State legislators followed suit and passed their own CAF laws. Some critics argue that law enforcements’ use of CAF has disproportionately targeted minority populations. We draw on racial threat theory to examine connections between the size of minority populations and the use of CAF in California. Our analysis uses nineteen years of CAF cases filed with the California Attorney General’s Office. Consistent with racial threat theory, we find a positive association between the number of forfeitures in a jurisdiction and a logged measure of the percentage of Black residents, net of crime, and other jurisdiction attributes. Our results support concerns that law enforcement has incorporated CAF as a technique used disproportionately against some minority communities.
The US-China relationship has worsened dramatically in recent years. After decades of pro-engagement policies toward China, a bipartisan consensus began to emerge around 2016 that engagement had neither accomplished US policy goals (such as encouraging China to liberalize politically) nor served US citizens well. ¹ At the same time, political changes within China have pointed to a declining appetite for engagement with the United States and sidelined the domestic constituencies who remained interested in cooperation and exchange. Further restrictions have shrunk the already limited space for media, civil society groups, and academic exchange in China. Pandemic-related border closures eliminated in-person exchanges almost completely for nearly three years. And some are concerned that China’s 2021 Personal Information Protection Law could be used to prosecute foreign researchers who conduct research in China (Lewis 2023).
The past decade has been a difficult time to be a scholar of Chinese politics. After Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, opportunities for international collaboration began disappearing, and local interlocutors became increasingly nervous about speaking with foreign researchers. Since 2016, these problems have been compounded by the increasingly tense US–China relationship. Changing attitudes and policies in both countries have hindered those who conduct research on China, work with Chinese collaborators, and recruit Chinese students. The Fulbright Program in China and Hong Kong was closed; National Institutes of Health investigations into foreign influence in US science have caused US-based scientists’ research productivity to decline; and visa restrictions have hindered efforts to recruit Chinese graduate students (Jia et al. 2023). Legal changes in China, including the 2021 Personal Information Protection Law and the 2023 revised Counter-Espionage Law, could be used to target foreign scholars who conduct research in China (Lewis 2023; McCarthy and Gan 2023). The COVID-19 pandemic compounded these challenges in several ways: it caused a rise in anti-Chinese sentiment in the United States and created severe pedagogical challenges for those teaching Chinese politics and other courses containing “sensitive” material that could put students—some now physically located in China—at risk (Gueorguiev et al. 2020).
Nature-based solutions now form part of the engineering toolbox for water resources. This chapter explores when and how natural infrastructure can provide hydrologic services drawing on the latest research and practice in two fields: ecosystem-service (ES) science and integrated water resources management (IWRM). The chapter introduces the potential for nature-based solutions to deliver three types of water services: flood risk mitigation, water quality management, and water supply. Cobenefits and trade-offs are inherent to nature-based solutions and need to be assessed in engineering projects. Decision-analysis tools can support this process, in particular by assessing different portfolios of conventional infrastructure and nature-based solutions. Two case studies illustrate these concepts and principles: the assessment of green and gray options for water supply in Brazil, and the design and implementation of green infrastructure for stormwater management and the mitigation of combined-sewer overflows (CSOs) in the United States. Opportunities offered by further integration of ES and IWRM sciences include (i) improved understanding of the ecological functions underlying hydrologic services; (ii) explicit linkage between infrastructure development and beneficiaries (including cobenefits of green infrastructure); and (iii) improved communication of the value of nature-based solutions to a broad range of stakeholders. Cross-pollination between ES science and IWRM improves planning and design practices for water resources, and engineering curricula should adapt to support the evolution of the field.
Background The Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder – Genes and Environment (ARFID-GEN) study is a study of genetic and environmental factors that contribute to risk for developing ARFID in children and adults. Methods A total of 3,000 children and adults with ARFID from the United States will be included. Parents/guardians and their children with ARFID (ages 7 to 17) and adults with ARFID (ages 18 +) will complete comprehensive online consent, parent verification of child assent (when applicable), and phenotyping. Enrolled participants with ARFID will submit a saliva sample for genotyping. A genome-wide association study of ARFID will be conducted. Discussion ARFID-GEN, a large-scale genetic study of ARFID, is designed to rapidly advance the study of the genetics of eating disorders. We will explicate the genetic architecture of ARFID relative to other eating disorders and to other psychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and metabolic disorders and traits. Our goal is for ARFID to deliver “actionable” findings that can be transformed into clinically meaningful insights. Trial registration ARFID-GEN is a registered clinical trial: NCT05605067.
Many thermal measurements in high magnetic fields—including heat capacity, thermal conductivity, thermopower, magnetocaloric, and thermal-Hall-effect measurements—require thermometers that are sensitive over a wide temperature range, are low mass, have a rapid thermal response, and have a minimal easily correctable magnetoresistance. Here, we report the development of a granular-metal oxide ceramic composite (cermet) for this purpose formed by cosputtering of the metallic alloy nichrome (Ni0.8Cr0.2) and the insulator silicon dioxide (SiO2). We find that cosputtering of Ni-Cr alloys with SiO2 in a reactive-oxygen plus inert-argon-gas mixture produces resistive thin-film thermometers sensitive enough to be used in calorimetry and related measurements from room temperature down to below 100 mK in magnetic fields up to at least 41 T.
This chapter examines some treatises and truces concluded in medieval Syria, Palestine, and Egypt between Muslim and Crusader rulers in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. By using a variety of Muslim sources from the period, it analyzes the parties involved in these treatises and truces, their term and duration, the religious and practical arguments used to justify them, and their impact on Crusader-Muslim interactions. It also connects them to contemporary legal discussions in handbooks on Islamic laws of war and peace. The chapter argues that such treatises and truces attest to the role of diplomacy in negotiating and settling differences away from the battlefield, thus placing certain legal and political restrictions on military campaigns, and opening alternative avenues for positive forms of coexistence and exchange between the Muslims and the Crusaders. In this respect, this chapter takes a new approach for studying and thinking about the period that scholars so far have not considered seriously.
Current small molecule-based treatments for pre-exposure prophylaxis or active infection of SARS-CoV-2 remain poorly available worldwide and risk-inducing drug-induced viral resistance. Compounds that block multiple aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle would be expected to pose a higher genetic barrier to drug resistance. Therefore, a marine algae extract library, and two distinct biochemical assays were used to screen for natural products that could inhibit two well-defined and validated COVID-19 drug targets, disruption of the Spike protein/ACE-2 interaction and the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2. Upon initial screening of 86 crude extracts, we counter-screened and performed an untargeted metabolomic analysis of 16 cyanobacterial extracts. This orthogonal approach revealed three extracts with similar metabolomic and biological profiles, all from similar collection sites, leading to the isolation of an unusual saturated fatty acid, jobosnoic acid (1). We confirmed that 1 demonstrated dual inhibitory activity towards both viral targets while retaining activity against the Spike-RBD/ACE-2 interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant. To initially explore its Structure Activity Relationship (SAR), we semi-synthetically accessed the methyl and benzyl ester derivatives of 1, both of which demonstrated acute loss of bioactivity in both SARS-CoV-2 biochemical assays. This effort has provided copious amounts of a fatty acid natural product that warrants further investigation in terms of SAR, determination of the absolute configuration of its C2 and C5 methyl substituents and understanding of its specific mechanisms of action and binding site to potentially describe new therapeutic avenues for SARS-CoV-2 drug development.
We present a new algorithm for learning unknown governing equations from trajectory data, using a family of neural networks. Given samples of solutions x(t) to an unknown dynamical system \(\dot{x}(t)=f(t,x(t))\), we approximate the function f using a family of neural networks. We express the equation in integral form and use Euler method to predict the solution at every successive time step using at each iteration a different neural network as a prior for f. This procedure yields M-1 time-independent networks, where M is the number of time steps at which x(t) is observed. Finally, we obtain a single function f(t, x(t)) by neural network interpolation. Unlike our earlier work, where we numerically computed the derivatives of data, and used them as target in a Lipschitz regularized neural network to approximate f, our new method avoids numerical differentiations, which are unstable in presence of noise. We test the new algorithm on multiple examples in a high-noise setting. We empirically show that generalization and recovery of the governing equation improve by adding a Lipschitz regularization term in our loss function and that this method improves our previous one especially in the high-noise regime, when numerical differentiation provides low quality target data. Finally, we compare our results with other state of the art methods for system identification.
Though historically understudied, due in large part to most species being uncultivable, microbial eukaryotes (i.e. protists) are abundant and widespread across diverse habitats. Recent advances in molecular techniques, including metabarcoding, allow for the characterization of poorly known protist lineages. This study surveys the diversity of SAR (Stramenopila, Alveolata, and Rhizaria), a major eukaryotic clade that is estimated to represent about half of all eukaryotic diversity. SAR lineages use varied metabolic strategies like mixotrophy in dinoflagellates (Alveolata), parasitism in apicomplexans (Alveolata) and labyrinthulids (Stramenopila), and life cycle stages that include encystment and attachment (e.g. in ciliates, Alveolata) to survive in highly dynamic habitats. Using metabarcoding primers designed specifically to target a portion of the 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) gene of SAR lineages, we compare protist community composition from tide pools in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA. We characterize over 500 lineages, here operational taxonomic units (OTUs), many of which are found abundant in the tide pool environment. We also find that communities vary by month sampled and exhibit patterns by size (i.e. macro-, micro-, and nano-sized). Taken together, these data allow us to further catalog protist diversity in extreme environments (e.g. those subject to extreme fluctuations in temperature and salinity during tidal cycles). Such data are critical in the explorations of biodiversity patterns among microorganisms on our rapidly changing planet.
Background: The workplace accommodation process is often affected by ineffective and inefficient communications and information exchanges among disabled employees and other stakeholders. Information systems (IS) can play a key role in facilitating a more effective and efficient accommodation process since IS has been shown to facilitate business processes and effect positive organizational changes. Objective: Since there is little to no research that exists on IS use to facilitate the workplace accommodation process, this paper, as a critical first step, examines how IS have been used in the accommodation process. Methods: Thirty-six interviews were conducted with disabled employees from various organizations. Open, axial, and selective coding were part of the analysis. Fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis was used to identify different levels of IS use based on participants' descriptions. Results: An IS used in the workplace accommodation process consists of electronic request form, accommodation checklist, special budget, specific role, ancillary service, formal policy and procedure. There are different levels of IS use in the current accommodation process. The high-level IS use often results in a better accommodation performance than the low-level IS use, including high efficiency, high effectiveness, and low emotional tolls. Nevertheless, the high-level IS use often uses a specific, inflexible template as well as disregards human elements in the accommodation process. Conclusion: This work provides implications that future IS design should raise awareness of disability and accommodation, account for individual differences, involve multiple stakeholder inputs, as well as address the fundamental social issues in the accommodation process.
A clear definition of clinical social work [CSW] remains necessary to guide education, to inform the public, and to orient funders and regulators. Yet, from its earliest origins, clinical social work has defied simple definition. With varying definitions, we wondered how contemporary clinical practitioners viewed their work, whether they affirmed these definitions, or included other aspects of practice, knowledge, skill, and practice focus. This qualitative study explored how 40 contemporary clinical social workers across the United States define CSW, theories, and skill sets that support its practice. Thematic analysis revealed that CSW practice has a person in environment focus, systems perspective and an emphasis on social justice. Findings also affirmed the view that CSW is a value and purpose driven practice that emphasizes the treatment relationship that utilizes the person-in-environment framework in relation to understanding, assessing, and treating psychosocial problems with unique perspectives and skills while addressing social justice concerns. Implications for social work education and practice included strengthening monitoring and evaluation since this was scarcely mentioned as tasks of CSW as well as identifying theoretical frames that align with the social work code of ethics and the profession’s overall identity.
In March 2022, we launched the Victorian Jewish Writers Project (VJWP), a digital collection of texts written by nineteenth‐century British Jews accompanied by short articles on significant authors, places, and events of the Anglo‐Jewish world. When we began building the collection in 2021, our conceptual framework was clear: Victorian Jewry is underrepresented both in Jewish Studies and Victorian Studies, so we would create a resource to supply primary texts and some analytical information to anyone interested. Despite our familiarity with archive theory, we considered our role in the project as little more than what Latour calls intermediaries, or “mere informants.” Yet, the process of digitizing and publicizing a canon, particularly a canon tied to a cultural heritage, is an inherently social act, and in this article we will explore the modes of social engagement inherent in creating and maintaining digital archives. In particular, we make use of Latour’s actor‐network theory to understand the relationships forged by archives in digital spaces.
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Northampton, United States