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WSUV professor describes challenge of raising children in academia

WSU biologist Stephanie Porter’s first child was six months old in 2011 when she and her husband, a fellow scientist, first ventured to an academic conference together.

Stephanie PorterThe results, she said, were a disaster. On-site child care wouldn’t take her infant daughter, Hazel. There were no changing tables in the men’s room, and Porter’s husband was kicked out of the baby room for being a man. And while they did their best to pass Hazel back and forth, Porter usually ended up taking their still exclusively breastfed daughter when there were sessions she and her husband both wanted to attend.

“Honestly, I stopped going to conferences when I had young children,” Porter said.

Porter, an assistant biology professor at WSU Vancouver, is in a national group hoping to level the field for mothers in science, particularly at academic conferences. Under the name “A Working Group of Mothers in Science,” she and 45 other women wrote “How to tackle the childcare-conference conundrum,” an opinion piece published in scientific journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

The article offers a blueprint on ways to make conferences more accommodating to families, like offering adequate child care, providing comfortable lactation rooms and tolerating the presence of babies in conference sessions or at lectures.

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The Columbian

In wake of Cambridge Analytica revelations, new momentum behind Klobuchar’s Honest Ads Act

Last year, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia introduced a bill, called the Honest Ads Act, to regulate online political ads the same way that political ads are regulated on print, TV, and radio — with clear disclosure requirements and a public record of ads.

Travis Ridout
Travis Ridout

Travis Ridout, a Washington State University professor who studies political advertising for the Wesleyan Media Project, says the political moment right now is strongly in favor of fuller disclosure of political advertising. “What the companies are saying is, hey, we’re open to regulation,” he says. “I’m not sure they really want regulation.”

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MinnPost

Connecting graduate education, underserved populations aim of NEH grant

A new National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant catalyzes a year of discussion and planning at Washington State University aimed at creating a national model for connecting graduate education in the humanities to rural and underserved populations.

Todd ButlerFunded by the NEH’s NextGen Ph.D. program, the grant will bring together more than 20 faculty, staff, graduate students, and recent graduate alumni from across WSU to consider how graduate education in the humanities can better support the university’s land-grant mission of improving access, inclusivity, and democratic engagement, said Todd Butler, chair of the English department and principal investigator for the grant.

The interdisciplinary initiative, titled Reimagining the 21st-Century Land Grant Ph.D., is supported by traditional stakeholders in graduate education along with new partners who will help extend the university’s reach and commitment to the humanities.

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WSU Insider

As Scientists Speak Out About Science, Women and Young Scholars Lead the Way

Loud noises are emanating from the laboratory these days, but they’re declamations, not explosions. This month scientists and other advocates for science assembled in cities around the country for the second annual March for Science. The organizers called on people to march for “a future where science is fully embraced in public life and policy.”

Allison Coffin
Allison Coffin

Such outreach is multiplying outside the classroom. too. In March, Science Talk, a new science-communication organization co-founded by Allison Coffin, associate professor of integrative physiology and neuroscience at Washington State University Vancouver, held its second annual conference in Portland, Ore.

She had taught science-communication workshops, and “wanted to create a forum for science communicators to come together, share ideas, and network,” Coffin said.

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Chronicle of Higher Education

One puff is enough! A single drag of cannabis can alleviate depression, 2 can ease anxiety and 10 can slash stress (but long-term use could WORSEN symptoms)

Taking just one drag of a cannabis joint can ease symptoms of depression, a study suggests. Scientists also discovered that inhaling two puffs of weed can alleviate anxiety, while 10 can help to combat stress.

Carrie Cuttler
Carrie Cuttler

However, the Washington State University researchers warned long-term use of cannabis could worsen symptoms of depression. Led by Dr. Carrie Cuttler, they found symptoms of depression were halved as a result of the medical cannabis use.

Symptoms of anxiety and stress were reduced by 58 per cent, according to the study in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

The researchers wrote: “Acute cannabis intoxication temporarily alleviates perceived states of depression, anxiety, and stress.”

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The Daily Mail
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Metroclick to view
Medical Daily