Red hot for bluegrass

first_imgLook for a fire shortly in the Thompson Room at Harvard’s Barker Center: a collection of musicians and scholars burning to play bluegrass. Or at least to talk about it.“Fire on the Mountain: A Bluegrass Symposium” on Saturday (Feb. 6) will feature discussions with historians, ethnomusicologists, and musicians on the history and importance of the bluegrass form, as well as live performances.The daylong program, which engages scholars University-wide, is sponsored by the Committee on Degrees in Folklore & Mythology, the Office for the Arts at Harvard (OfA), the Office of the Provost, Harvard’s Department of Music, the Humanities Center at Harvard, the Undergraduate Council, and the Harvard College American Music Association (HCAMA).Pickin’ and playin’ will be banjo player Alison Brown ’84 (who has won a Grammy); Sam Bush, a mandolin player and the creator of “Newgrass,” a modern form of bluegrass; and fiddler Bobby Hicks. The scholars are from the United States and Canada.“It’s very important that the theory of any artistic form never be too distant from the practice of it,” said Deborah Foster, senior lecturer in folklore and mythology. She developed the first such symposium in 2004, on the practice and scholarship of dance. The success of that inaugural conference inspired organizers to make it a yearly event, one that focuses on artistic and academic collaboration.“One of the most exciting dimensions to this project has been the collaboration between the Department of Folklore and Mythology, the Harvard College American Music Association, and the Office for the Arts,” said OfA director Jack Megan. “From the beginning, this has been a shared enterprise, with faculty, students, and administrators working closely together. The result is a daylong bluegrass celebration that is more varied and rich than it ever would have been had any one of us gone it alone. It makes me realize yet again how lucky we are to be working in an environment in which collaboration — the pooling of many types of expertise and creative energy — is so valued.”Forrest O’Connor ’10, a socio-musicology concentrator and son of a Nashville fiddle player, is behind the bluegrass theme. He helped to secure the participation of some of the country’s top bluegrass talent for the conference.O’Connor, a mandolin player, founded HCAMA in his freshman year (with banjo player Clay Miller ’10) to draw attention to a style of music that he felt was underserved on campus.Bluegrass traces its roots to the traditional music of immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, and England. Making its first appearance in the United States in the 1940s, the bluegrass sound — heavily influenced by Appalachian folk styles and the blues — fuses jazz, country, and ragtime. It incorporates vocals with mainly acoustic instruments such as guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass.  Many consider “Blue Grass Boys” leader Bill Monroe (1911-1996) the father of the form.Because of its mass commercialization, scholars didn’t always take the form seriously, said O’Connor, noting that some conservative folklorists called it “fakelore.”To his delight, the music will be center stage Saturday with a full program of events, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m.“We are really fortunate to have not only some of the star bluegrass scholars but also star musicians,” said O’Connor. “I think it’s an all-star collaboration.”last_img read more


Boulders that bowl over

first_img My blue heaven Created in 2000 for the inaugural season of the Métis International Garden Festival in Quebec, one of Cormier’s inspirations was the Himalayan blue poppy, which was painstakingly adapted to the region’s microclimate. Here, folks stroll through the reeds. A real garden, indeed. Some rocks — as small as pebbles or as big as houses — are called “erratics,” since they were scattered over continents thousands of years ago by receding glaciers or rafts of ice. They look different than the native rock they come to rest on, and so they seem random and strange.Those same qualities, over time, were turned to artistic purposes. Landscape painters of the 19th century used erratics to illustrate the strange majesty of nature. By 1857, when surveys began for what would become Central Park in Manhattan, erratics already on the site were incorporated into the design.The science of geology — erratics and all — was a required subject in the nation’s first formal training program in landscape architecture, started at Harvard in 1900.“New Englanders hated a boulder. They blew them up,” declared Harvard geologist Nathanial Slater in a lecture that year. “But the modern landscape architect does not do this. In general, we are to appreciate rock surfaces.”That appreciation has taken some strange turns, from modest public fountains to faux cliffs to monumental fiberglass “rocks” lit from within. Many examples are on view at “Erratics: A Genealogy of Rock Landscape,” an exhibit at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s (GSD) Gund Hall through May 12.You get a sense of the past from the cases of drawings, photos, manuscripts, and rock specimens on display, all from Harvard collections. Included are recent offerings such as Harvey Fite’s “Opus 40” (1935-76); Michael Heizer’s spooky pile “Adjacent, Against, Upon” (1976); and James Pierce’s long, winding “Stone Serpent” (1979).The exhibit’s extensive wall display of photos, diagrams, plans, and text provides a sense of the present as well as the future. Rock and other landscape elements, it seems, can be playful and plastic.One section, “Erratics in Practice,“ looks at projects by GSD faculty and affiliated practitioners. “The title simply means built projects that use rocks or the form of erratic boulders as a central element,” said exhibit curator Jane Hutton, a GSD lecturer in landscape architecture.Of immediate interest is the Tanner Fountain in front of the Science Center, a 1988 installation comprising 159 erratics, each around 4 feet wide, gathered from western Massachusetts. At dusk, it is a “cool white mass” that reflects light, the notes say, and after a rain “the center of the fountain glows like a warm cloud.”“Stock-Pile” (2009) is a more recent Harvard addition to the tradition of rock in landscape architecture. Conical piles of stone, aggregate, sand, and soil — designed and installed in seven days — are “poised to subside,” the notes say. A year after the installation, the points have softened.Most of the examples, though, point up rock’s near permanence. An erratic is displayed in a spare open house in China; tall volcanic rocks loom like giant tombstones in California; a walkway of basalt is set into an ancient streambed in the United Kingdom.On fullest display is the work of Canadian landscape architect Claude Cormier, a 1994 GSD graduate. His whimsical work includes explicit use of rocks. “Sugar Beach/Jarvis Slip,” an urban beach being built on Toronto’s industrial waterfront, plays off a nearby sugar factory. A large erratic will be candy-striped in red and white.A short essay on Cormier appears on one wall, written by the chair of GSD’s department of landscape architecture, Charles Waldheim, the John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture. “In an era when the discipline of landscape architecture has shifted its attention away from a concern with the visual in favor of landscape’s operational potentials,” he writes, “Cormier’s work offers a counterproposal: that landscape is itself historically inseparable from questions of visual perception.”Other work by Cormier takes our perception of landscape a step further, creating works that mimic the real thing. “Lipstick Forest” (1999-2002) is a forest of large artificial trees — glossy and pink — in Montreal’s Convention Center.“Blue Stick Garden” (2000) used scans of blue poppies to create a bed of blue sticks that are now on permanent display in Montreal, “not as a contemporary installation in a garden,” Cormier’s Web site says, “but a garden itself.”Using rocks in landscape architecture has created whimsy too, as in the Nishi Harima Science Garden City in Japan (1994). Monumental fiberglass rocks there “glow like giant lanterns,” according to the exhibit card.The “Roof Garden” (2005) at the Museum of Modern Art is a rock garden with few real rocks. Hollow plastic shapes of white and black, eerily uniform, are bolted to runners and set off by beds of crushed glass, shredded tires, and white stone.Perhaps the future will echo Waldheim’s view of Cormier’s creations as “constant preoccupation with games of visual perception.” Electric blue While looking like something biological — DNA or coral, even — this is actually artificial tree branches stretching into an equally blue sky. Once a diseased tree in Napa Valley, Cormier gave it new life — with 75,000 Christmas balls. ‘Erratics: A Genealogy of Rock Landscape’ at Gund Hallcenter_img Lipstick forest Artist Claude Cormier avoided using live plants, which he said he would fight to keep alive against the unforgiving local climate. Here, 52 concrete trees, painted lipstick-pink to celebrate the city’s flourishing cosmetic industry, are not your average houseplant. D’Youville Once the site of Canada’s Parliament, D’Youville’s sidewalks have been overlaid with wood, concrete, granite, and limestone, and jet between access points for the city museum, offices, restaurants, and residences on adjacent street facades.last_img read more


Boston shines 2010

first_imgFor the eighth consecutive year, Harvard University is joining with Allston neighbors and local businesses to participate in the city of Boston’s citywide neighborhood cleanup event in Allston on April 23 from 8 a.m. to noon.Harvard employees and students have the opportunity to give back to one of Harvard’s host communities by volunteering with cleanup projects in the neighborhood’s parks, streets, schools, and other community locations. Activities will include raking, weeding, and cleaning up brush, painting projects such as benches, fences, and buildings, planting flowers, and other landscape projects. Last year, more than 70 Harvard employees across multiple departments participated.The event is set to kick off at 9 a.m., and check-in for volunteers will be at the Brighton Mills Shopping Plaza (400 Western Ave. in Allston), where projects will be assigned and coffee and donuts will be provided. Following the project tasks at approximately noon, lunch will be provided at Brighton Mills for all volunteers.Shuttle service will be available from Holyoke Center at 8:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., with return service at 12:30 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. Pickup for the shuttle bus will be on the Mount Auburn Street side of Holyoke Center across from University Health Services.To sign up to volunteer for a one-hour or three-hour time, visit zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22AFM2BC7Y9. For more information, call 617.495.3525.last_img read more


Health reform in the crosshairs

first_imgThe American “social contract” includes a floor below which the poorest cannot fall and a ceiling above which wealthiest should pay more in taxes, but there is little agreement in between — which is where health care reform and other knotty social issues lie, a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) policy analyst said Friday.Robert Blendon, HSPH professor of health policy and political analysis, said that unlike European nations where citizens agree that health care should be part of their basic social contract, Americans are deeply divided over the issue, with many feeling that the federal government shouldn’t inject itself into the medical profession.That helps explain why the federal government appeared so dysfunctional over the past two years, Blendon said. In that time, Americans got what they voted for, a Congress with members who arrived with a mandate to shrink domestic programs, and to avoid compromising with the president on complex issues, including health care reform.“They were elected to cut spending and cut taxes, not play nice with the president,” Blendon said.Still, recent polls show that public dissatisfaction with Congress is at historically high levels, and anti-incumbent sentiment is soaring.Blendon made his comments during a session of The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health. The hourlong panel discussion, which was webcast live, focused on Congress’ failure to reach a budget agreement and the prospects for health care reform.The session included Blendon, David Cutler, the Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics and professor in the HSPH Department of Global Health and Population, John Rother, president and chief executive officer of the National Coalition on Health Care, and Gail Wilensky, an economist and director of Medicare and Medicaid under President George H.W. Bush. The event, moderated by Reuters Boston Bureau Chief Ros Krasny, was sponsored by HSPH in collaboration with Reuters.Though there is disagreement over what health care should look like in America, Blendon said that polls show that Americans’ priorities for government programs differ from those that dominate in Washington. While Americans are worried about the deficit and the national debt, they’d prefer to cut America’s overseas activities and raise taxes on the wealthy before cutting Medicare or Social Security.Still, Cutler said, health care delivery in this country has to change if the nation is to deal with its fiscal problems. That’s because a great deal of the rapidly growing gap between government revenues and spending is due to health care costs, mainly because the baby boomers are retiring and going on Medicare. Not all of the savings has to come from health care cuts, Cutler said, but given the size of the problem, health care has to be on the table. Looking closer at health care spending, Cutler said, about a third goes to administrative costs, waste, and other areas where efficiencies can be found. Cutler said the heart of the battle over health care reform should be focused there.With the failure of a congressional supercommittee to come up with budget-balancing cuts, there is great uncertainty over the immediate future of federal health care programs, Wilensky said. Medicare is facing a mandated 2 percent cut, but given Medicare’s share of the problem, that may wind up being a smaller cut than the program would have suffered under a congressional agreement. Still, Wilenksy said, coming on top of cuts already mandated by the Health Care Reform Act, another 2 percent trim could hit health providers hard. She is particularly worried about payments to physicians, which she said is the most badly broken part of Medicare.A failing of the reform act is that it didn’t go far enough, panelists said. Though there are alternative health care models out there that show ways to improve care and lower costs, the reforms stopped short of mandating that one or another of them be adopted. The law does allow any successful pilot program to be scaled up dramatically.Though Americans disagree over how to solve these questions, Blendon said the coming election should show which direction the nation wants to go.last_img read more


Harvard tennis pro nabs honors

first_imgMichael L. Mercier has been named Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) Member of the Year for the State. The award is presented to a PTR member who has shown dedication and diligence in promoting and supporting tennis and PTR.As the head tennis professional at Harvard, Mercier teaches a large and varied population of tennis players: undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and local residents.  Mercier’s aim at Harvard is to foster a welcoming environment that encourages people of all abilities, and from an almost limitless variety of backgrounds, to enjoy the sport of competitive tennis. He achieves this by providing tennis lessons and high-performance clinics; organizing Harvard alumni events; offering professional racquet stringing to the Harvard community and to both men’s and women’s varsity teams; running recreational clinics and events for adults and juniors; advising the Harvard men’s and women’s club teams (USTA New England Champions); and serving as tennis director for the annual Special Olympics hosted at Harvard.last_img read more


‘A timeout from your regular life’

first_imgAs a molecular genetics professor, Benny Shilo has spent much of the past three decades in a lab. He heads his own research group at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and has had findings published in Nature, Science, Cell, and other scientific journals. He has been Weizmann’s dean of biochemistry and chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics.Despite those scientific credentials, Shilo traded his lab coat for a camera bag this year, which he is spending at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.Instead of peering through a microscope or reading the results of a genetic screen for the last year, Shilo has been peering through a camera lens, working on a project that uses scientific images and photographs of everyday people to explain concepts in developmental biology to the public.Shilo is pairing the images in a public outreach effort that seeks to better explain what he does. One set of images, for example, shows a protein gradient within the fruit fly embryo, which gives rise to expression of specific genes in distinct domains of the embryo, visualized as different color zones. That image is paired with a photo of people in a museum, gathered around a guide. The scientific image represents a gradually declining concentration of a key signaling molecule. In the museum image, people farther from the guide strain to hear her words, just as the concentration of the chemical is weaker farther from its source.Sheep guided by a Bedouin shepherd. Like the migrating cells, the sheep follow a directional cue in Rehovot, Israel. Rehovot is known as the “City of Science and Culture.” Photo by Benny ShiloThe concentration gradient explains an important concept in developmental biology: how cells get different development signals from the same molecule, causing them to develop into discrete body parts at varying distances from the molecule’s source.Shilo’s work, which includes dozens of images, has already been the subject of a show at Radcliffe and is being considered by some academic publishers as the subject of a book. Shilo is talking with Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology about using his work in science education and outreach. He said it is likely to be shown again when he returns to the Weizmann. He’s also exploring creating a Web page on the project and isconsidering other applications, such as having high school students engage in a similar project as a way to learn key concepts.Shilo first considered coming to Radcliffe two years ago, but said he didn’t want to spend the time writing a major review paper or doing some similar scientific activity. He understood that the fellowship’s gift of time is a rare commodity, so he took a year to think about a project that would use the time creatively and allow him to try new things.“I wanted something different that I could do on my own,” Shilo said. “I wanted to somehow evoke the same response from an audience with scientific pictures as with nonscientific pictures.”The paired images, Shilo said, are intended to make a viewer understand what it’s like to be a cell, by starting with key scientific concepts and then finding analogous circumstances in human life.“Because of my background, I’m coming at it from the scientific side, defining paradigms and thinking of metaphors, and then going out and photographing,” Shilo said.The process can be useful not just to the public, Shilo said, but to scientists as well. Working on the project forced him to narrow his focus to the concepts that are most important.“You have to crystallize a concept to its barest essentials, just the most important facts, in order to find analogies,” Shilo said.On a recent Sunday, Shilo grabbed a camera and headed to the Hi-Rise Bread Co. in Cambridge. He explained what he wanted to the baker and then shot images of the yeast, the starter dough, and the baked bread to help explain how stem cells provide a continuous source of differentiated cells in the body.The year at Radcliffe has been rejuvenating, and in a way has brought him full circle in life, Shilo said. It has returned him to a part of the world important in his own development as a scientist. After getting his doctorate from Hebrew University, he came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a postdoctoral fellowship, during which he undertook early genetic work on cancer genes that serendipitously directed him toward developmental biology.“It’s a timeout from your regular life,” Shilo said of the Radcliffe Fellowship. “I got a chance to express my creativity in a different way.”last_img read more


Taking a Thursday tour

first_imgThis summer, the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research is offering tours of its art collection. Led at noon on Thursdays by Sheldon Cheek, senior curatorial associate for the Image of the Black in Western Art Project and Photo Archive, the tour includes the traveling exhibit “Queloides,” now on display in the Rudenstine Gallery.Sheldon Cheek, senior curatorial associate for the Image of the Black in Western Art Project and Photo Archive, leads a tour through the Rudenstine Gallery, which features the traveling exhibit “Queloides.”Featuring works by prominent Afro-Cuban artists, “Queloides” draws its title from the Spanish word for scar. The exhibit examines the persistence of racism and racial discrimination in contemporary Cuba and elsewhere in the world.“These artworks show how the age-old social issue of racism is coming more to the fore between Afro-Cubans and the Cuban government, as well as the people of more Hispanic heritage,” Cheek said. “And yet, not much has been said about it. It’s an issue that has largely been left undiscussed, particularly outside Havana, where a lot of tourists don’t go.”Some of the pieces, such as “Blood and Honor” by Armando Mariño, mine imagery from American history and culture. “Reusing these images shows how racial aspects of marginalized people are represented by the mainstream culture in books, literature, and published illustrations,” Cheek said. “What’s interesting is that these images were used by both sides, both abolitionists and proponents of slavery, for their own purposes. It’s a very nuanced thing, and speaks to the power of these images.A detail of “Ecosystem” by Douglas Perez is among the pieces on exhibit.“The art really addresses the mistreatment of people who are on the wrong side of colonialism. Ultimately the artist is asking, does this still happen in Cuba today? These artists are saying yes, there still is suppression and a power elite that excludes other people who are considered problematic,” he added.Featuring works by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Douglas Perez, Alexis Esquivel, and Manuel Arenas, the exhibit has toured Havana, Pittsburgh, and New York City, and will be on display at the Rudenstine Gallery through Aug. 31. In addition to “Queloides,” the tour also examines works by Isaac Julien, Romare Bearden, Lyle Ashton-Harris, Suesan Stovall, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff, as well as an extensive assortment of black film posters.Works by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons are part of the exhibit, which has toured Havana, Pittsburgh, and New York City, and will be on display at the Rudenstine Gallery through Aug. 31.“It’s all about race, humanity, and how people treat one another, and representing those dynamics in art. It’s also about power — who has it and who doesn’t have it,” Cheek said. “It’s highly subjective, but very powerful.”The Neil L. and Angelica Zander Rudenstine Gallery is located at 104 Mt. Auburn St., 3R, Cambridge, Mass.last_img read more


Decades of exercise research at HSPH

first_imgIn the 1960s, the late epidemiologist Ralph Paffenbarger, Jr. launched a study of men matriculating as undergraduates at Harvard University that would be among the first to link physical activity to a longer, healthier life. While teaching at Stanford in the 1980s, Paffenbarger’s enthusiasm for the work rubbed off on graduate student I-Min Lee, now professor in the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH, and led to a decades-long collaboration between the two researchers that has resulted in numerous studies.Lee took over the reins of Paffenbarger’s still-ongoing College Alumni Health Study in the 1990s. Since then, she has broadened the scope of the department’s work in physical activity research. While Paffenbarger’s pioneering study only looked at men performing vigorous exercise, Lee studies both genders and has worked to assess the benefits of more moderate physical activities such as walking. Now, her doctoral student Eric Shiroma is carrying on the legacy — with the help of a research award named after Paffenbarger.The Paffenbarger-Blair Fund for Epidemiological Research on Physical Activity, offered by the American College of Sports Medicine, awards $10,000 annually to a promising young researcher. Paffenbarger himself provided the seed funding, donating money he received as co-recipient of the first International Olympic Committee prize for sport science. Read Full Storylast_img read more


Flour power

first_imgWhen Joanne Chang ’91 was approached by a cable TV network in 2006 to host a show about the science of sweets, she was thrilled. The owner of the landmark Flour Bakery and graduate of Harvard College, where she was an applied mathematics concentrator, Chang always enjoys discussing her pastries, but she loves talking about them at the molecular level best.So she was disappointed when out jumped celebrity chef Bobby Flay, challenging her to a cook-off of her famous sticky buns for his show “Throwdown.” There would be no science TV show. It had all been a ruse.But Chang got her moment in the sun Monday evening at the Science Center where, to a packed house, she delved into the basis of sweets as part of the Science and Cooking lecture series sponsored by the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.Reassuring the crowd that there was cake waiting to be had after the lecture, Chang whet the audience’s appetites with pictures of her breads, cakes, pies, and creampuffs.“You start with a certain number of ingredients. But based on portion, temperature, time, you end up with fantastically different products,” she said.Most recipes use the same ingredients, she said, meaning butter, sugar, and eggs — and of course flour, the night’s star ingredient. Chang explained the differences between all-purpose, pastry, and cake flours, which vary in their levels of gluten.Gluten was the night’s buzzword. It’s responsible for really good bread because the gluten serves as food for the yeast that eats it and digests it, “making gas bubbles, causing bread to rise,” Chang explained. But gluten is also the culprit to blame for a tough cake.Chang spent most of the night offering the scientific backdrop of baking, with helpful hints for novice chefs, and addressing common kitchen pitfalls. Calibrate your ovens, she warned the crowd, since most are 30 degrees off. Always weigh your measured ingredients for accuracy. Demonstrating a simple baking technique with caramelized sugar, Chang created a spun-sugar net on a tower of cream puffs, known as croquembouche.Chang said her baking is inspired by other chefs, by travel, by magazines, by Instagram, and by her staffers, who are always making suggestions and coming to her with ideas.“Every recipe has been created,” said Chang. “We just make permutations of it.”Now at work on a cookbook of low-sugar/no-sugar desserts — she refuses to work with artificial sweeteners — Chang is constantly testing recipes.“A lot of baking is patience,” she said.And with that, the door flung open, and out came the cake — enough to feed the crowd twice. It was light, moist, and perfect.last_img read more


Putting Twitter to the test

first_imgThe timely and effective use of social media in the hours and days following the Boston Marathon bombings may serve as a model for other law enforcement agencies in the United States, according to a report published as part of the New Perspectives in Policing Series by the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).The new report, “Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons from Boston,” spotlights the ways in which the Boston Police Department (BPD) successfully leveraged its social media platform throughout the investigation to keep the community informed and engaged. The report is co-authored by former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute of Politics at HKS.“The Boston Police Department has long embraced both community policing and the use of social media,” the report begins. “The department put its experience to good and highly visible use in April 2013 during the dramatic, rapidly developing investigation that followed the deadly explosion of two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.”Davis and co-authors Alejandro A. Alves and David Alan Sklansky identify several key moments following the explosions when the BPD turned to Twitter to communicate critical information. Within one hour of the bombings, they explain, the department had sent out a tweet confirming what had happened along Boylston Street.Ed Davis on social media’s role after the Boston Marathon bombingsFormer Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis discusses the critical role social media played following the Boston Marathon bombings, becoming the most effective way for law enforcement to communicate with the community.“In the ensuing hours, the department used its official Twitter account to request public assistance; to keep the public and media informed about road closures, news conferences, and police activities; to reassure the public and express sympathy to the victims and their families; and critically, within two hours of the explosions, to give the public accurate information about the casualty toll and the status of the investigation,” they write.The department’s official Twitter account was overseen by BPD’s public information bureau chief, who with the assistance of several others, operated @bostonpolice as a 24-hour “digital hub” for communicating updated information and for correcting misinformation reported by other sources.“BPD tweets rapidly became the most trusted source of information about the status of the investigation and were often retweeted hundreds, thousands of tens of thousands of times,” the authors explain.The effective use of social media by the BPD in this case was largely due to the fact that the department had spent considerable time and effort for many years prior to the bombings in building trust with its audiences, Davis and his co-authors explain. In addition to @bostonpolice, the commissioner and his superintendents maintained personal Twitter accounts.“The promise of social media for policing is not to transform or add to the work of law enforcement but to emphasize the deep connection with the community that has always been the focus of good police work,” the authors conclude. “One of the key lessons of community policing is that effective partnership with the community requires the police not only to talk but also to listen, and social media offer the police such a platform.”Davis was the commissioner of the Boston Police Department for seven years, retiring in November 2013. Alves, who earned an M.P.P. degree from the Kennedy School in 2012, is a policy adviser and chief of staff in the Massachusetts State Senate and an officer in the Army National Guard. Sklansky is the Yosef Osheawich Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.The New Perspectives in Policing series is published in conjunction with the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety, a project funded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.To read the full report, Social Media and Police Leadership.pdf.last_img read more