Seen and Heard

By ksascomm

Candidates can’t simply buy your vote, but they can spend unlimited amounts hiring consultants to persuade you to vote for them. In some ways, consultants are like the microscopic bugs in our gut that help us metabolize food: Consultants help candidates and campaigns metabolize money, but their work leaves the body politic hungry for more.”Adam Sheingate
Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science
The New York Times, December 2015, in an op-ed piece about political consulting

It’s one thing to know soundwaves exist, but it’s another to actually hear Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. In this case, we’re actually getting to hear black holes merging”Marc Kamionkowski
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Boston Globe, February 2016, on the international team of astrophysicists who used the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, to detect a gravitational wave from the distant crash of two black holes

I was born in Detroit, grew up in the Detroit area, and I think it’s really interesting that at no point in time during the debate did they talk about the policies that are affecting Detroit, the policies that are affecting cities like Flint, policies of emergency financial management, that actually kind of reflected a bipartisan consensus but were basically created by a Republican legislature and a Republican governor.”Lester Spence
Associate Professor, Political Science
Democracy Now, March 2016, speaking about the March 3 Republican debate in Detroit

We don’t have complete control over what we pay attention to. We don’t realize our past experience biases our attention to certain things. I could choose healthy food or unhealthy food, but my attention keeps being drawn to fettuccini Alfredo. What we tend to look at, think about, and pay attention to is whatever we’ve done in the past that was rewarded. This could be why it’s so hard for people to break the cycle of addiction and why dieters keep thinking about fattening food when they’re trying to eat better.”Susan Courtney
Professor and Chair, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Science Daily, April 2016, explaining that when people see something associated with a past reward, their brains flush with dopamine