In the News
Parts of the world are facing a new “demographic time bomb,” one that threatens skyrocketing health care and pension costs as populations age. “It was really a shocking realization that this was happening,” said Mary Brinton, whose work explores declining fertility rates in postindustrial societies.
A Boston Globe article explores the success of women fiction authors in publishing, which was the topic of a recent Radcliffe panel: "In a yearly study VIDA, an organization for women in the literary arts, reliably finds that major publications still carry more male bylines and cover more books authored by men. Although their impact is unquantifiable, book covers certainly have something to do with this disparity."
Evolutionary biologists have long held up songbirds, particularly the Galapagos finches first described by Charles Darwin, as an example of natural selection at work. In order to exploit different environments and food sources, the birds developed a startling variety of beak shapes — from short, blunt beaks ideal for cracking seeds and nuts to long, slender beaks designed to sip nectar from flowers. The assumption was that natural selection was the primary, if not the sole, cause for the variation.
During the Radcliffe Day panel on gender and the business of fiction, panelist Elisabeth Schmitz '86 of Grove Atlantic said, "The question that comes up again and again is whether or not a large sample of women writers are, by default of their gender, being passed over as serious writers and their work perceived as a separate genre: 'women's fiction.'"