Syracuse University faculty members are available for interview on a variety of timely topics. Our faculty members provide insight that moves the story forward, and information that shines a new light on important research of interest to your audience. Here’s what they’re saying today:
Lava flow in Hawaii threatens entire town: As CNN puts it, it’s a natural disaster playing out in slow motion in Hawaii. Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano is threatening to destroy and entire community. Syracuse University Professor of Geology Jeffrey Karson has studied lava up close, having recently returned from a research trip to Iceland to study a lava field measuring the size of Manhattan. He and colleague Associate Professor Bob Wysocki have actually produced their own lava flow projects at Syracuse University. His thoughts?
“Living near an active volcano has its inherent risks—just like choosing to live on an active fault zone or on a barrier Island or river flood plain. Local and even global natural disasters are part of Earth’s history. They are non-negotiable and do not provide targets for law suits. Humans can choose to play it safe or roll the dice in areas of known hazards, but they should be aware of the stakes. Many people ask if there are ways to divert or stop lava flows that are advancing on population centers. Although there are many theoretically sound possibilities, the only actually success I know of is on the Island of Heimaey just south of Iceland where water from fire hoses helped cool a slow-moving lava front and ultimately divert a lava flow. Still more than half the town was destroyed. Experiments in the Syracuse University Lava Project have included attempts to learn more about how different types of barriers can channelize and divert lava flows but these are highly dependent upon the rate of flow, viscosity, slopes, and other factors. The bottom line is that it is very difficult or impossible to dodge a lava flow.”
Unmanned NASA rocket explodes: a spectacular explosion of a NASA-contracted rocket is generating plenty of media attention today. It’s also getting the attention of Syracuse University Professor of Political Science and Public Administration Harry Lambright. Professor Lambright has written and edited books on U.S. policy regarding space exploration, and his research includes federal decision making on space technology.
Said Lambright: “The launch failure is bad news for (contractor) Orbital. Since only cargo was involved, no lives were lost – unless some debris hit someone. The failure does provide a cautionary lesson. That is that ‘commercial space’ is no less risk-free than ‘government-space.’ As we move more and more into a commercial space era, we had better think deeply about the respective roles of government and industry in dealing with safety issues.”
“Fat Girl Costumes” accidentally listed on Walmart’s website.
Walmart was quick to remove the ‘mistake’, but social media exploded with negative comments directed towards the retailer. “This may have been a mistake by the retailer, “said Newhouse School Associate Professor Harriet Brown, “perhaps a web developer was making a joke and then ‘whoops’, it when live. But it touches a nerve.”
Brown should know. She has 30 years of experience in writing on the subject of body image. Her most recent book is entitled Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle With Anorexia. Said Brown regarding the most recent flap, “in our culture, there’s really nothing worse you can say to someone than ‘you’re fat’. It’s like one of the only dirty words left. You can’t live in this culture as a woman and not have some degree of anxiety or insecurity about your looks and your body. That’s why the pushback was so immediate and ferocious.”
Syracuse University faculty are available for interviews over the phone or via our Newhouse Studios via LTN. Please contact Keith Kobland at (315) 443-9038/415-8095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.