Brown University

Eighty years ago, Rhode Island Democrats took over state government with one fell swoop in a coup that became known as the Bloodless Revolution. The event has set the template for Rhode Island politics ever since.

In just 14 minutes at the State House on New Year’s Day, 1935, the Democrats took control of the General Assembly, replaced the entire Rhode Island Supreme Court,  consigned to the dustbin of history more than 80 boards and commissions and fired Republican appointees who had run state government forever.


The grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri reviewed thousands of pages of evidence surrounding the shooting death of an unarmed black man. Among those pages: lots of inscrutable medical terminology from an autopsy and other medical reports. That’s why a group of Brown University medical students decided to translate that jargon into everyday language. Third year medical student Rian Yalamanchili led the “Ferguson Decoded” project.

What happens in the deep seafloor, west of Costa Rica, may unlock some mysteries about what happens in Narragansett Bay.

A biology professor at Brown University recently dove in the submersible Alvin, operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and owned by the U.S. Navy, to collect samples of microbes from openings in the Pacific sea floor, from where heated water flows. These seafloor openings are known as hydrothermal vents.

Jeremy Rich said he wants to better understand how fast microbes grow here.

Jay Dickson / Brown University/University of Texas/National Science Foundation

Monitoring how the climate is changing in Antarctica’s most stable environments, the desert valleys, is very difficult. But that’s what Jay Dickson, a staff scientist at Brown University’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, is trying to do, using time-lapse photography.

Asthma rates in Rhode Island are above the national average, according to a Brown University professor who testified before a Senate subcommittee hearing focused on air quality standards. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has more details.

The hearing focused on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to strengthen the air quality standard for ozone, the main pollutant in smog linked to asthma, heart disease, and premature death, from the present standard of 75 parts per million down to a range of 65 to 70 parts per million.  

Fifty years ago Thursday President Lyndon Johnson lit the National Christmas Tree and said quote, ``These are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem.’’ Those words would come back to haunt him. It’s documented in a book by former Brown University professor James Patterson, Eve of Destruction.

Despite the assassination of President Kennedy a year earlier, Americans were prosperous and optimistic. But in Just a few months, that would all start to erode.

Construction Begins On Joint Nursing School

Dec 15, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Construction began today at a brand new nursing school in Providence.  The project is a collaboration between three institutions.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week, Dave and Mark talk with Daniel Egan, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island. They discuss whether the state’s brain drain is a myth and the role a growing number of international students are playing in campus enrollment.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Brown University has reached a tentative deal with workers at the Rockefeller Library. Union officials say the contract agreement includes a commitment to discuss job vacancies at the library.

Union members staged a protest in November, saying Brown had reduced union workers at the library by roughly one-third, leaving some departments short-handed.

The union has scheduled a vote on the tentative contract on Monday afternoon.


A Brown University class focused on international climate change policy will culminate the semester this month with hands-on learning in Lima, Peru. That’s where two weeks of U.N. climate negotiations begin today.  More than 150 countries will get together to continue drafting agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Timmons Roberts, Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University, has attended U.N. climate talks since 2003, helping think tanks and developing countries with research.

First Student Company

It sometimes seems as if all of our contemporary debates over education revolve around high-stakes testing. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says our schools are neglecting an important topic that isn’t tested.

Trying to figure out what’s happening in education nowadays is an exercise in futility. You have to learn a new language suffused with psycho babble and techno-speak:  educators use terms  like rubrics, social-emotional learning and  site-based management..

The 2015 class of Rhodes Scholars includes two seniors from Brown University and a recent Brown graduate.

David Adler, who received his diploma in May, plans to study comparative government at Oxford. He’s been doing a Fulbright in Mexico.

Brown Senior Kate Nussembaum studies memory and attention and the way social factors can distort learning ability. She plans to pursue research in Experimental Psychology at Oxford.

Brown University officials said they hope to resolve issues at the Rockefeller Library after a contract dispute erupted into a public protest on Friday.

The union that represents the library's workers staged the protest to draw attention to reductions in union jobs at the library.

Brown University

The union representing workers at Brown University's Rockefeller Library plans to protest outside the library on Friday, saying the university has reduced staff at the library by roughly one third.

The protest is scheduled to coincide with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the library, known at Brown as "the Rock."

Brown University says it is investigating potential criminal activity after a student tested positive for the date rape drug known as GHB.

Brown notified students on Saturday about the positive test result, saying testing for a second student is still pending.

The two students allege they were served drinks spiked with some kind of drug at a fraternity party in October. One of the students also reported she was sexually assaulted. Brown has suspended the fraternity.