Ted Kennedy and the Obama Effect at American University

Ted Kennedy endorses Barack Obama for president in a January rally at American University.

As the nation celebrates Senator Ted Kennedy's career and accomplishments, here at American University, Kennedy's influence is tangible and widely felt. In January 2008, when Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for president in a rally on campus, it was a major turning point in the race for the Democratic nomination.

With Obama now in the White House, young people across the country and the world increasingly look to Washington, DC as a place to pursue careers and to realize their dreams. Many of those young people are now undergraduate and graduate students here at American University, enrolled in degree programs that offer a unique focus on public service and engagement. Despite the economic recession, across the university and at the School of Communication, applications and enrollments have increased over the past year, allowing the university to grow its programs while other institutions face major cut backs.

On Thursday, in a re-broadcast of WAMU's syndicated Diane Rehm program, AU president Neil Kerwin discussed Kennedy's legacy and his relationship with the university. "[Kennedy was] an individual who understood American higher education intimately . . . he understood that if this country was going to be strong, it was going to be strong because it was populated by educated, competitive people," said Kerwin.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less
Big Think Edge
  • In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
  • Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
  • This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
Keep reading Show less
Big Think Edge
  • The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
  • For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
  • This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.