Brown University

U.S. National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health

Miriam Hospital cardiologist and Brown medical school professor Dr. Barbara Roberts said the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to ban trans fats in processed foods is long overdue. Trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, are added to foods like cookies, ready-to-use frostings, and microwave popcorn to extend their shelf life. Scientists have known for decades that they can lead to hardened arteries and higher bad cholesterol.


Brown University is creating a committee to review how a talk by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was canceled last week after a noisy protest. Kelly’s critics object to his department’s controversial stop and frisk policy.

Kelly was repeatedly interrupted by students and outside activists when he tried speaking during an October 29 appearance at Brown. The university responded by cancelling the talk and clearing the room where the event was taking place.

Ian Donnis

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the race for governor; the fate of gun-related legislation in the General Assembly; the cancaled appearance at Brown University involving New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly, and other issues.

John Bender / RIPR

For the last twenty years Brown University’s organist Mark Steinbach has been playing a concert on Halloween at midnight.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender, went out to the University to learn more about the spooky tradition, and what makes a piece of music scary.

That’s Mark Steinbach, the University Organist at Brown.  He’s practicing for his annual organ recital which happens at midnight on Halloween.

“Technically it starts at 11:59 pm, so that people know which day to come,” said Steinbach.

Brown University had to cancel New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s lecture yesterday, after protesters refused to let him speak. More than 100 students and activists turned out for the talk, and began shouting at Kelly as he tried to speak.

Brown officials told the protesters to wait for a question and answer session at the end of Kelly's talk, but they refused to quiet down. After nearly 30 minutes, Brown officials say they made the decision to clear the lecture hall.

John Bender / RIPR

More than 100 Student and community protestors shut down a lecture by New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly at Brown University yesterday afternoon.

Mario Vega, a Brown student, says he was there to protest the way NYC police have monitored Muslim residents since 9/11.

“I think Ray Kelly’s policies are completely racist and Islamiphobic, and I completely do not support how Brown is paying him to come here and unilaterally impose his doctrine on the people of the University.  That gives the impression that we support it and we don’t," said Vega.

Students and community groups plan to demonstrate outside the Brown University lecture hall where New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is slated to speak this afternoon.

Kelly has overseen New York’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policing strategy. The demonstrators say they believe the policy amounts to racial profiling, and they are also angered by what they call Kelly’s “widespread surveillance” of the Muslim community.

The governing board of Brown University has decided against divesting from the coal industry, saying there are better ways to fight global warming.

Students had led an effort to get the Ivy League university to take its money out of coal, arguing Brown should set an example and stop investing in companies that contribute to greenhouse gasses emissions, which are a major contributor to climate change. 

The corporation that runs Brown University has decided against purging its endowment of investments in coal companies, as a student-led group, Brown Divest Coal, had campaigned for.

In a statement released by university President Christina Paxson, the corporation decided that Brown will address climate change though teaching and research, rather than through coal divestment.

Have you watched any of the PBS Frontline series "League of Denial?" If so, has it changed how you feel about letting your kids play football, watching football, or football in general?

BrainGate team / Brown University

BrainGate is a research project based primarily at Brown University, but with scientist, physician, and engineer team members at Massachusetts General, Stanford University, and the Providence VA, focused on developing technologies that help people with neurologic disease or injuries regain the ability to move and communicate.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Political consultant Cara Cromwell, who has worked for politicians as varied as Bruce Sundlun and John Loughlin, joins us on Political Roundtable this week to discuss Richard Licht's pursuit of a Superior Court judgeship; Frank Caprio's proposal to restore pension COLAs; Lisa Baldelli-Hunt big primary win in Woonsocket; and the new Brown University poll.

A new Brown University poll shows state Treasurer Gina Raimondo leading Providence Mayor Angel Taveras among likely Democratic primary voters.  Raimondo and Taveras are expected to square off in a gubernatorial primary next September.

Brown pollsters talked with 433 likely Democratic primary voters. In a two-way matchup, 42 percent of respondents say they’d vote for Raimondo, just under 34 percent prefer Taveras, and 24 percent were undecided. That poll has a margin of error of four and a half percentage points.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the internationally-recognized political figure, activist and writer, will speak on the conflict between Islam and the ideology of the modern Western world at  Central Congregational Church’s annual religion and politics lecture on Friday, October 18 in the church sanctuary at 296 Angell Street on Providence's East Side.

She will give the church’s annual Darrell West lecture on the intersection between religion and politics. The event takes place at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Brown University’s endowment earned investment returns of roughly 12.6 percent in fiscal year 2013, up sharply from just 1 percent in 2012. The University says its total long term investment pool is now worth $2.86 billion.