Political Science and Public Policy Faculty Provide Additional Election Analysis

Following last week’s election, UMBC political science and public policy faculty continued to provide analysis as the final vote totals were tallied and future policy issues were discussed.

Tom SchallerPolitical Science Professor and Chair Thomas Schaller wrote a column in the Baltimore Sun in which he analyzed the results in Maryland’s gubernatorial election. He noted that Governor-Elect Larry Hogans’s victory was, “less about turnout than a conversion of the Maryland electorate.” Schaller discussed his column on WYPR’s “Midday with Dan Rodricks” (begins at 23:40) and WBAL’s “The C4 Show.”

Donald Norris UMBCPublic Policy Professor and Chair Donald Norris was interviewed for a Washington Post article in which he commented on how the Congressional elections will affect Maryland: “’It’s going to be a really ugly two years’ for Maryland, said Norris. In particular, he said, federal funding for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup will likely be at risk. Republicans may also do their best to blunt federal regulations governing the bay environment.”

Roy Meyers (UMBC)Political Science Professor Roy Meyers was quoted in Grist and discussed Maryland’s stormwater management fee. He stated, “there’s no way to reduce your tax burden if you come up with ways of mitigating stormwater runoff at your home.” Meaning, for example, if you install equipment in your roof that captures the rain, preventing runoff, you still have to pay the stormwater fee.

Tyson King-MeadowsTyson King-Meadows, Chair of the Africana Studies Department and Associate Professor of Political Science, was quoted in a Salt Lake Tribune article and discussed a political study in Utah that he conducted with colleagues at Brigham Young University on racial attitudes and campaign messaging.

To read and listen to complete election coverage by UMBC faculty during the week of November 10, click below.

Thomas Schaller:
Race had a role in Hogan’s win (Baltimore Sun op-ed) 
Midday with Dan Rodricks (WYPR)
The C4 Show (WBAL- audio not posted)

Donald Norris:
With new Congress, D.C. Region is Losing Clout (Washington Post)

Roy Meyers:
Was the shocking outcome of Maryland’s gubernatorial race about rain, or something else? (Grist)

Tyson King-Meadows:
Mia Love: Utahns care little about race (Salt Lake Tribune)

Manil Suri, Mathematics, Writes New York Times Op-Ed

On Tuesday, November 4, The New York Times published an op-ed written by Mathematics Professor Manil Suri that urges India’s government to see discrimination as both an economic and moral problem.

ManilSuriHeadShot

In the column, Suri writes about Apple CEO Tim Cook’s coming-out essay in Bloomberg Businessweek and an unidentified 32-year-old engineer for the Indian software company Infosys, who as Suri writes, “faces a much bleaker future,” than Cook. Cook’s essay established him as the first openly gay C.E.O. of a Fortune 500 company. “The announcement generated considerable optimism that with his influence and visibility he would be a force for far-reaching advocacy in years to come,” Suri wrote. The 32-year-old Indian man was arrested under Section 377 of India’s penal code, which makes homosexual conduct punishable by prison.

“If India wants to become a true global powerhouse, its government should begin to see discrimination as an economic problem, as well as a moral one,” Suri writes. “Mr. Cook has characterized writing his essay as laying a brick for justice. Now we need political leaders bold enough to lay the rest of the path, so that millions of others like him can normalize their lives and explore their full potential.”

To read the full column titled “Exposing the ‘Bagalore Techie,'” click here.

Felipe Filomeno, Political Science, Op-Ed in the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Felipe FilomenoThe Council on Hemispheric Affairs, based in Washington, D.C., recently published an op-ed by Felipe Filomeno, an Assistant Professor of Political Science, about recent events in Brazilian politics.

In the column, Filomeno argues that the tight victory of President Dilma Rousseff in her bid for another term and the election of a more conservative parliament signal the exhaustion of Lulismo as a mode of governing and strategy of national development. He writes that the Workers’ Party (PT) now faces the challenge of forging new connections with the civil society to promote progressive changes in a context of economic difficulties and political polarization.

“Now, either the PT will be able to turn the difficult elections of 2014 into a ‘labor pain’ from which a new social pact for development could emerge, or it will see a revitalized President Rousseff immobilized in the face of stronger conservative forces waiting for a new ‘interrupted construction,’” Filomeno writes.

To read the full column titled “Brazilian Elections: Labor Pain?” click here.

Robert Provine, Psychology, in Vox and on Today.com

In an article published October 31 on Vox.com, Psychology Professor Robert Provine was quoted extensively about his research on hiccups and the evolution of behavior. He discussed how there’s little scientific knowledge about hiccups and how they are difficult to study.

Robert Provine

“We still don’t know what hiccups do, and our cure for them hasn’t improved since Plato,” said Provine. “You can’t just go into the lab and ask someone to hiccup for you.”

Provine also discussed holding breath as a possible cure for intractable hiccups. “You’re blocking the motor pattern as well as leading to a buildup of carbon dioxide,” he said.

In an article published on Today.com discussing a recent episode of “The Tonight Show” in which Bradley Cooper and Jimmy Fallon couldn’t control their laughter throughout a ten-minute interview, Provine was quoted from a 2010 interview he participated in with NBC News.

“All laughter is unconscious,” he said. “You do not choose to laugh the way you choose to speak.” The article also cites Provine by stating: “And laughter and humor aren’t as closely tied as people might think. Babies laugh without understanding a joke or that knowing that pratfalls are hilarious, according to Provine.”

To read full versions of both articles, click below:
The mysterious science of hiccups: Why we get them and how to stop them (Vox)
This is why Jimmy Fallon and Bradley Cooper couldn’t stop giggling (Today.com)

UMBC Political Science and Public Policy Faculty Provide National, State, and Local Election Analysis

Tom SchallerSeveral UMBC faculty have been in the news providing 2014 midterm election analysis. Thomas Schaller, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department, appeared on MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes,” to analyze the election results and discuss how Republican control in Congress could affect legislation in the future. In addition, Schaller co-wrote a column for Politico Magazine before the election in which he discussed pre-election polls of Latino voters and how they could have an affect in predicting the outcome in Colorado’s Senate race. Schaller was quoted in a Washington Post story before the election discussing how the Maryland gubernatorial race turned unexpectedly close in the days leading up to Election Day.

Donald Norris UMBCDonald Norris, Professor and Chair of Public Policy, provided live election night analysis on WJZ-TV. To watch a clip of Norris discussing the Maryland governor’s race and candidate campaign strategy, click here. The day before the election, Norris also appeared on WJZ discussing how voter turnout could affect the race. Norris was interviewed by the Washington Post and commented on how political attitudes nationwide could have affected the election outcome in Maryland. He also discussed gerrymandering and its affect on Maryland congressional races. In the Baltimore Sun, Norris commented on the importance of Baltimore County in the election. In Politico Magazine, Norris talked about campaign strategies in the governor’s race.

Tyson King-MeadowsTyson King-Meadows, Chair of the Africana Studies Department and Associate Professor of Political Science, co-authored a report on black voter turnout and how it could affect several key Senate and gubernatorial races across the country. King-Meadows and his colleague received extensive media coverage for their findings.

Roy Meyers (UMBC)Political Science Professor Roy Meyers wrote an op-ed published on MarylandReporter.com discussing the outcome of the Maryland gubernatorial election. He wrote that “pocketbook” issues were most important in the race, and little scrutiny given to candidate policies made citizens lose out on critical information and may have had a strong impact on the results of the race.

On Thursday, November 13, Schaller and Norris are participating in a Post Election Forum at UMBC along with Washington Post Political Reporter John Wagner. The event takes place at 4:00 p.m. in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery.

For a complete list of election analysis coverage by UMBC faculty, click below.

Thomas Schaller:
Obstruction works: Why compromise isn’t on the horizon (MSNBC)
Getting Latinos Wrong (Politico Magazine)
Maryland Governor’s Race has Turned Unexpectedly Tight (Washington Post)

Donald Norris:
Martin O’Malley’s First Presidential Primary (Politico Magazine)
UMBC Analyst Discusses Today’s Elections (WJZ)
UMBC Students Talk about Md. Gubernatorial Race (WJZ)
Hogan won Maryland Governor’s Race by Seizing the Message of the Campaign (Washington Post)
In Maryland’s eight congressional races, incumbents face little competition (Washington Post) 
Candidates hope to pry ‘soft’ supporters off the couch (Baltimore Sun)

Tyson King-Meadows:
Tyson King-Meadows, Africana Studies and Political Science, Co-Authors Report on Black Voter Turnout and the 2014 Midterm Elections

Roy Meyers:
Maryland citizens were the biggest losers (MarylandReporter.com)

Penny Rheingans on Tech Firms Offering Egg Freezing as a Benefit

Penny Rheingans, a professor in computer science and electrical engineering, talks with the BBC about the benefit that some tech companies are now offering women — paying for female employees to freeze eggs.

Rheingans tell the BBC, “my initial reaction is negative.”

She says that the companies are suggesting that, “their culture and work expectations might be incompatible with raising a family.”

Furthermore, she says, “they’re saying to women that they should wait to have those babies until the company is done with their technically productive years.”

Listen to the complete interview

From Antarctica to the Chesapeake

In the Chesapeake Bay Quarterly, published by the Maryland Sea Grant program a recent article discusses seal level rise due to the melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.

Antarctica is, in many ways, the king of the cryosphere. Greenland is melting at a faster rate, but the southern continent holds a lot more ice, says Christopher Shuman, a geoscientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, a collaboration between the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In total, there’s enough ice on Antarctica to raise the world’s oceans by more than 200 feet.

“That’s what makes it the 800-pound gorilla compared to the more rapidly changing parts of the cryosphere,” Shuman says.

 

Shuman is no stranger to the Mid Atlantic.

The geoscientist grew up in the Philadelphia area and spent family vacations in his grandparents’ cabin on the Elk River near Cecilton, Maryland. Today, some of his cousins own the house. Like so many other property owners in Maryland, they’ve seen the handiwork of rising waters. These days, when a big storm hits the Chesapeake, waves often wash over the family’s dock.

“It’s a special place to us,” Shuman says. “It’s also a pretty good vantage point for appreciating the world that’s evolving around us.”

In recent years, scientists have learned more about the role that Antarctica will play in this evolving world. Their research points to big losses in the years to come.

 

Read the entire story