19 Jan

Association between drought and HIV prevention

Drought in Lesotho was associated with higher HIV prevalence in girls 15–19 years old in rural areas and with lower educational attainment and riskier sexual behavior in rural females 15–24 years old. Policy-makers may consider adopting potential mechanisms to mitigate the impact of income shock from natural disasters on populations vulnerable to HIV transmission.


05 Dec

Comment about University Voices at COP Published in Nature

Samantha Basile (Michigan – CLASP), Michael Lerner (Michigan – Political Science/Public Policy), and Keyon Rostamnezhad (Northeastern) have just published a comment about university participation at the UN climate change conference in this week’s issue of Nature.


08 Aug

The Origins of the Concept of “Wicked Problems”

I recently came across the first article to coin the phrase, “wicked problem.” It’s quite a short, engaging, and well-written piece, and worth the read for anyone working on the social side of sustainability and the environment.

The citation is: Rittel, Hortst W. J. and Melvin M. Webber, “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning”, Policy Sciences 4 (1973)

Here is a link to the article: https://archive.epa.gov/reg3esd1/data/web/pdf/rittel%2bwebber%2bdilemmas%2bgeneral_theory_of_planning.pdf

19 May

Explaining why the economies of many autocracies rely on natural resources: it’s easier than good governance

The “resource curse” typically holds that places with more natural resource wealth are more prone to autocratic government. A major new book, “The Institutions Curse” flips the “resource curse” on its head.

From a review of the book: “…the source of the association of high oil and gas rents with nasty political outcomes is located not in the properties of the commodities being exported but, rather, in the institutions existing in today’s resource-reliant countries before they began extracting hydrocarbons”