News highlights for August 24, 2010

CisionPoint news monitoring provides this small sampling of the university's daily news coverage. Click headline to read full text via Cision or link directly to the online article where available. For questions or comments about this service, or to add or delete a name from the mailing list, please contact Gerry Everding.

Men’s Health

Guys, these 7 quick health checks could save your life

Men don’t go to doctors unless they’re in serious pain or really spooked about something. But denial can also leave you dead. A smarter move: Regularly assess your health with a few morning inspections. Check your memory — and improve it — with an “N-back” exercise in the morning. Pick a word, such as “economy,” while you’re watching the morning news. Every time someone says the word, come up with the word that person said two (or five) words before it. “This exercise can evaluate how much you can deal with mentally at one time, and then boost it,” says Bridgid Finn, Ph.D., a research scientist at the Memory Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. Link to Article
Wash. U. chips in to protect city’s earnings tax

Washington University has waded into the fight over whether St. Louis voters should be allowed to phase out the city’s earnings tax. Last week, the school donated $5,000 to “United for Missouri’s Priorities,” a labor-led coalition attempting to defeat a November ballot question targeting the one percent earnings tax in St. Louis and Kansas City. The Nov. 2 initiative on the statewide ballot is the first step in repealing the earnings tax, which is paid by anyone who lives – or works – within the city limits. Link to Article
The New Ivies, Rates Top 10 Schools
08/24/2010, a top resource for college reviews, has included Washington University in St. Louis among its list of “The New Ivies.” The site’s WUSTL profile page includes a WUSTL campus video and more than 50 student reviews of the WUSTL experience. See related coverage at the The Huffington Post “The New Ivies: 10 Schools to Keep Your Eye On.” Link to Article

Public International
Despite a good safety net system, St. Louis still struggles to get healthy

A 2004 study from the city’s health department found the city’s poorest ZIP code – which is 95 percent black – was also the unhealthiest. Dr. Will Ross, the associate dean for diversity at the Washington University School of Medicine, wasn’t surprised when he saw the results. “Getting adequate food. Staying safe. Paying the rent. These are competing priorities that sometimes will reduce the visit to something perfunctory,” he said. Unhealthy people can’t work, he added, which leaves them without the resources to get healthy, which leaves them without the ability to work. But in more than two decades of work on minority health care, Ross found the problem ran deeper than chronic poverty. Link to Article/Audio podcast

St. Louis Post-Dispatch blog
WUSTL among top MFA programs

Washington University in St. Louis is No. 16 among the nation’s top MFA programs, says the September issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. The magazine ranks the top 50 of almost 150 full-residency MFA programs (it includes Canada and New Zealand, but all 50 are in the U.S.) W.U. ranked 10th for poetry students who are seeking their master of fine arts degree. Link to Article

St. Louis Business Journal
Wash. U. researchers get $3.5M to test electronic fetal monitoring
An obstetrics and gynecology professor and her colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to research the link between fetal heart decreases during labor and brain damage in newborns. Link to Article

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
STL Metro buses return in force Monday thanks to Proposition A

Metro on Monday will make good on its promise to restore much of the bus service that at one point appeared long gone because of chronic budget shortfalls.
“The clear beneficiaries are the people who are going to be using the public transportation system to get where they need to be,” said Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton, who helped oversee the Proposition A campaign and whose students and employees are frequent users of the transit system. Link to Article

News in higher education

The New York Times
Scholars test web alternative to peer review

August 23, 2010

For professors, publishing in elite journals is an unavoidable part of university life. The grueling process of subjecting work to the up-or-down judgment of credentialed scholarly peers has been a cornerstone of academic culture since at least the mid-20th century. Now some humanities scholars have begun to challenge the monopoly that peer review has on admission to career-making journals and, as a consequence, to the charmed circle of tenured academe. They argue that in an era of digital media there is a better way to assess the quality of work. Instead of relying on a few experts selected by leading publications, they advocate using the Internet to expose scholarly thinking to the swift collective judgment of a much broader interested audience.

Link to Article

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