Crime rates in certain U.S. cities like Baltimore and Milwaukee have risen seriously and visibly in 2015. Some commentators are concerned that these numbers suggest a new wave of increased crime may be on the horizon after years of decline crime rates. However, TCF fellow Harold Pollack argues in an interview with CNN, we do not yet have enough data to reach a conclusion about new crime patterns:
For the cities where crime does appear to be trending upward, how can one know if it is a blip or a historic reversal?
"It's a little bit like the stock market. These statistics go up and down," said Harold Pollack, co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab. "It's like asking why did the stock market go up 75 points today."
CNN's full article is available here.
With the expiration of certain provisions in the Patriot Act, the NSA no longer has the legal power to collect phone metadata from every American. How much of a real impact will this change have? CNN interviews TCF senior fellow Barton Gellman about the background surrounding the current Patriot Act debate and the changes arising as a result of these provisions' expiration:
Since emerging as a candidate in the Democratic primary for the 2016 presidential election, Bernie Sanders has garnered praise from a wide range of voices for his candor and straightforwardness. Should we expect all of our candidates to be equally candid? TCF fellow Michael Cohen argues that Sanders is only able to speak as frankly as he does because of his status as a long-shot candidate:
I think he understands pretty well that he is the longest of long-shots to win the nomination. He’s running to raise issues that he believes are important and that he wants to see the Democratic Party embrace. There are few better places to do that than the presidential campaign trail—and I applaud him for it. But enough with the over-the-top praise. Sanders is doing what insurgent candidates have the freedom to do.
Read the rest of Cohen's column here.
Today's entry in the New York Times's "Room for Debate" series asks how research on Crispr-Cas9, a technology for editing human genes, can be regulated. Alexander Capron, a TCF trustee, discusses the issue in the context of Asilomar—a 1975 conference where geneticists voluntarily agreed to limit research involving splicing DNA between organisms.
A group dominated by scientists is too self-interested and unrepresentative to take on such wide-ranging issues now. We’ve come to rely on more diverse bodies, like the bioethics commissions that have advised successive presidents since 1979. The challenge for any commission is to move these issues out of federal meeting rooms and engage the general public in deliberating about them in town halls, churches, schools and living rooms across the nation. Experts can help clarify the issues but policymaking ought to arise from a more democratic process.
Read Capron's full response here.
The Century Foundation is pleased to announce that the inaugural recipient of the Janice Nittoli "Forward Thinking" Award is Shannon Rieger of Berkeley, California.READ MORE
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