UCI News

The New York Times, May 18, 2021
Breyer Worries Retiring Could Add to Polarization. Would It?
That polarization plays out in the way that justices are confirmed, said Richard Hasen, a law [Chancellor’s] professor at the University of California, Irvine, who studies politics and the courts. … “We’re in a situation that we haven’t been in — in the modern period, at least,” Professor Hasen said in an interview. “All the conservatives on the court were appointed by Republican presidents, and all the liberals on the court were appointed by Democratic presidents.” [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: https://guides.lib.uci.edu/nytimes]

Forbes, May 18, 2021 (Contributor)
Astronomers Nix Idea Of Super-Earth Around Barnard’s Star
A super-earth thought to orbit Barnard’s Star, the second closest star to our own Sun, actually doesn’t exist. … The University of California, Irvine-led team used archival data and new measurements of Barnard Star’s radial velocity, or how it moves towards or away from us along our line of sight to make the determination. … “I did not come to graduate school to find false positives, rather to find planets,” said Jack Lubin, a UCI doctoral student in physics. “That said, I think the science behind the result and the lessons learned are important.”

Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2021
Californians back proof of COVID vaccine or negative test at workplaces, other venues
Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, director of the medical ethics program at UC Irvine and a member of Orange County’s vaccine task force, has said he understands concerns over such proposals and tying vaccinations to some activities. “If private entities start developing policies that deploy that tool as a gatekeeper, then I think the fears and concerns that many people are trying to express … will be borne out,” he said. … I’m ‘pro’ let the person decide. Let the individual weigh their own risks and benefits.” [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

EdSurge, May 18, 2021
How Our Near-Peer Mentoring Model Is Addressing Pandemic Isolation
“The University of California, Irvine, helped us recruit and place the college students who would eventually lead the “virtual learning pods,” as we call them. UC Irvine also provided us with research and program design guidance, a model to build upon and learning pod leaders who were offered professional development every two weeks. The PD sessions covered a range of topics, including how to build community virtually, social-emotional considerations and family engagement,” [writes Alex Serna, executive director of Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano].

LAist, May 18, 2021
As Vaccinations Go Down, Concerns About A Winter COVID-19 Uptick Rise
“This lenient period we’re in right now is a function of the fact that we’re coming off of the winter waves and the fact that COVID is already becoming a seasonal phenomenon,” said UC Irvine epidemiologist [associate professor] Andrew Noymer. “It’s not the end of the pandemic.” … “I do expect to see more cases in the fall and in the winter,” Noymer said. “Let’s get vaccinated now and make that wave as small as possible. … I would say put the masks in a drawer, not in the trash.”

Previously “In the News”