Brown University

RIPR File Photo

Global leaders in Paris over the weekend approved a historic international agreement to slow the warming of the planet. Here at home, the Rhode Island federal delegation is praising the climate accord, calling it a victory for the planet and future generations. Local environmental advocates and climate change experts say they are proud of programs New England has initiated to reduce acid rain and carbon emissions from power plants. Now they’re hopeful the Paris Climate Pact will steer the region away from natural gas.

Trinity Repertory Company will honor Oskar Eustis and Laurie Eustis with the Claiborne Pell Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Elizabeth Chace, a Providence business leader and philanthropist, will receive the Charles Sullivan Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts.

The awards will be given at a ceremony to be held May 23rd, 2016. The awards honor the memory of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell, who was a crucial supporter of the arts during  his 36 years in the Senate.

Aaron Read

Foreign ministers in Paris have a tough week ahead as they tackle the first draft of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But local observers are still encouraged by positive signs in the climate negotiations.

Rhode Island Public Radio

This week in Paris, world leaders launched a major climate change summit. The two-week meeting is aimed at negotiating an agreement to reduce carbon emissions. A group of Brown University professors and students is also at the summit. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza spoke with the group to hear what the next two weeks have in store.  


In Rhode Island, Brown University has announced that it will use one-hundred million dollars to diversify its campus, to try to make the school more inclusive for students of color. This comes after weeks of protests over racial insensitivity on campuses across the country.

Brown University President Christina Paxson is out with a plan to address racial and class inequity on campus. 

Wexford Science & Technology

The president of Wexford Science & Technology, which has proposed a one-million-square-foot mixed-use development on five acres in the I-195 District, told a crowd of business and civil leaders Monday night that Providence has the necessary elements to create a successful innovation hub.

Gamm Theatre

A new production at The Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket explores the theme of police violence in minority communities. The play is called “The Rant,” and it was written by Brown graduate Andrew Case. He wrote the play in 2008, but it deals with an issue that has generated continued public debate and discussion, particularly over the past year. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Chuck Hinman talked to Andrew Case about the play, its genesis and continuing relevance.

Katherine Doherty / RIPR

A large group of Brown University students and faculty rallied Thursday to show their solidarity with college students in Missouri. Students at the University of Missouri forced the resignation this week of the university president, amid allegations that a ignored racially charged atmosphere on campus.

At Brown University, students stepped forward to express their opinions on race, including Brown senior Justice Gaines.

Brown University

Brown University’s institute for international affairs and public policy has received a gift of $50 million dollars. With the new gift, the Watson Institute plans to increase its number of faculty by 30 professors, and construct a new building.

Approximately half of the gift will go towards the new building. Early plans call for 20,000 square foot facility. Final design and site selection have yet to be completed.

The gift comes as the university embarks on a funding campaign to raise $3 billion dollars, the largest in its history.


Two survivors of sexual assault will testify Monday before a statehouse commission aimed at curbing sexual violence on college campuses.

Commission member Peg Langhammer directs the nonprofit Day One, which helped to arrange the victims’ testimony. Langhammer said they will share details from their personal experiences and discuss what happened after the sexual assault.


Brown University breaks ground Thursday on a new engineering building on their Providence campus. The three-story, 80,000 square foot building will give the department its own home for the first time. Currently, engineering shares space with the physics department.

Brown President Christina Paxson said the new facility will allow the school’s research to expand in areas like nano-engineering.

“So this is looking at very, very small particles that have interesting applications from health to material science, to environmental science,” said Paxson.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Humans have been harnessing energy from rivers for thousands of years. Think water wheels from Ancient Greece and modern hydropower plants, like the Hoover Dam. Brown University engineers have a new take on a hydropower device that could harness enough energy to power communities in remote locations or along fast-flowing rivers.

Courtesy of Brown University

Brown University researchers studying contaminated sites around the state have gotten a $10.8 million dollar boost from the federal government to continue their work for the next five years.

Brown University has revoked an honorary degree awarded to the comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of allegations he drugged and sexually assaulted a series of women, allegations Cosby has repeatedly denied.

Brown President Christina Paxson, in an email to the campus community, explained the reason for the action, taken by the university's Board of Fellows.  

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A $12.5 million dollar donation from toy maker Hasbro’s founding family will help launch a new institute at Brown University to study children’s health. The collaboration with local hospitals will focus on new approaches to kids’ most urgent health problems.

The early focus of the new institute will be to dig deeper into the drivers behind asthma, autism, and obesity. Hasbro Children’s Hospital pediatrician-in-chief Dr. Phyllis Dennery will help lead the effort.