Brown University


The presidential election is now a little more than two weeks away, and we’ve been hearing from various voters across the nation and the state. Millennials – people now in their twenties and thirties – remain a coveted voting bloc.

As we continue our Rhody Votes ’16 election coverage, we bring you the voices of local college students at Brown University and Rhode Island College weighing in on the presidential race, and the issues they’re most concerned about.

The 15-foot-long telescope at Ladd has helped Rhode Islanders witness many cosmic events. David Targan, Ladd’s Director, said the observatory remains much as it was when it was built in the Victorian era, so visitors can still see what it was like to look at the night sky in 1891.

“There are observatories all over the world but none or very few that are as well preserved, I would say, from that era as Ladd,” said Targan.

Adam Levine/Brown University / Watson Institute

Humanitarian crises are multiplying around the globe, but a Brown University researcher says we could be responding in a more rigorous way. Emergency medicine doctor Adam Levine will head the new Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown’s Watson Institute. He says academic researchers need to partner with humanitarian aid providers.

RIPR file photo

A Brown University scientist is one of three individuals awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Physicist J. Michael Kosterlitz won for his research on states of matter, which could have applications in electronics.

Happy Weekend and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column! As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR


Few people know that Providence is home to a plaza designed by the architect I.M. Pei, the man behind the famous pyramids outside the Louvre Museum in Paris. In the 1960s, Providence hired Pei to redesign Cathedral Square during a push for urban renewal. But the effort failed to attract people or achieve the renown of some of Pei's later projects.

RIPR file photo

A Brown University student accused of sexual assault and suspended for two years will be allowed to return to school this fall. The student is awaiting a decision on a lawsuit he brought against the university.

A federal judge ruled the student could enroll for classes this fall pending the outcome of his case.

Brown found the student – known as “John Doe” - was responsible for sexually assaulting a female student and suspended him in April. Doe says it was consensual, and he sued the university.

Doe must have no contact with his accuser, according to the judge.

Courtesy of Brown University

Sovijja Pou, a senior at Brown University, will compete next week as one of two swimmers representing Cambodia. His event, the 100-meter freestyle, is scheduled for Tuesday.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A Brown University medical student wants to register every med student in the country to vote. And the group he founded is gaining momentum.


The Rhode Island Foundation has seeded some of the state’s institutions of higher education with nearly half a million dollars in medical research funding. The money goes toward 20 research projects that range from studying heart failure in obese people to using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques to help prevent pre-term births. 


Memorial Hospital is cutting back services and closing its maternity service. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Rhode Island’s health care system needs more consolidation.


The closest planet to the sun in our solar system, Mercury moved across the giant star earlier Monday, making it visible with a telescope. The event happens about once every decade.

To those lucky enough to see it, Mercury appeared simply as a small black dot in front of the massive star. And though it’s moving fast, any change would be indiscernible to the human eye; the visible part of the transit only about seven hours.

The political season keeps zipping along, with the calendar turning toward May. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, you can share your tips and comments, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Time is almost up to see William Shakespeare’s First Folio on display at Brown University this month. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, the 17th Century book thought to have save some of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays leaves Providence after the weekend.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

This week, Brown University is examining environmental issues related air with a series of events that mix art and science.