These experts from the UW-Madison faculty and staff have agreed to comment on breaking news, ongoing developments and trends in their areas of expertise. If you need help arranging interviews, email University Communications.
Israel and Hamas at war
In the wake of a large-scale attack by Gaza militants leaving hundreds of Israelis dead, Israel has responded with retaliatory airstrikes and declared war on Hamas. Experts from UW–Madison are available for commentary and analysis on the developing story.
Jon Pevehouse on: U.S. government support of Israel
Jon Pevehouse is an expert on American foreign policy and international relations. He is chair of the Department of Political Science and a professor with the La Follette School of Public Affairs. He is available for interviews about the Israel-Hamas conflict and the American government’s support of Israel.
Heather Kirkorian on: Children and social media exposure to Israrel-Hamas war
Heather Kirkorian, professor of Human Development and Family Studies and an expert on children and the media, is available to discuss how children could be impacted by potentially upsetting social media exposure of the Israell-Hamas war.
Experts on today’s news
Cary Forest on: Plan to commercialize nuclear fusion power
Big news this week for fusion energy, with a comprehensive strategy to commercialize nuclear fusion power on an international scale to be shared at COP28. Experts from UW–Madison are available for interviews about the announcement and what it could mean for the future of fusion.
Cary Forest, is director of the Wisconsin Plasma Physics Laboratory. Forest has built a number of large plasma and liquid metal experiments together with reasearch programs at the University of Wisconsin and is an expert on experimental plasma physics for nuclear fusion and plasma astrophysics.
Stephanie Diem, assistant professor engineering physics and an expert on fusion energy and experimental plasma physics, is also available for interviews. Diem says, "Commercial fusion energy systems have the potential to provide the world with carbon-free electricity as well as process heat for manufacturing, powering the next phase of humanity. While there are still many challenges that lie ahead for commercial fusion energy, the potential benefits are huge and I’m incredibly excited to see more details in how these international efforts will be coordinated as we continue to push innovation and drive towards a cleaner, more sustainable, equitable future."
Fabio Gaertner on: Supreme Court hears tax case
The Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in an obscure tax case with potentially trillions of dollars in tax consequences for the federal budget. The case, Moore v. U.S., concerns a novel constitutional question about whether people can be forced to pay taxes on stakes in foreign-owned companies even if they have not derived any income from them.
Fabio Gaertner, an expert on taxation, can discuss.
"The income tax taxes income. That sounds straightforward. But what is income? The answer to this question is governed by the principle of tax realization, which states that you must have clearly benefitted from something before having to pay taxes on it," Gaertner says. "In practice this usually means a taxpayer has to pay taxes once it actually has access to the money associated with a transaction. But that’s not always the case. In Moore vs. United States, the plaintiffs challenge the idea of what constitutes realization in a case that could have major implications to the tax law, with trillions of dollars of tax revenue at stake."
Till Wagner on: World's largest iceberg is on the move
An iceberg 40 miles wide — currently the largest in the world — has broken away from Antartica and entered the open ocean. Known as A23a, the iceberg is roughly the size of the island of Oahu. Till Wagner is an expert on sea ice and icebergs who is available for interviews on the topic.
"Giant Antarctic icebergs such as A23a are rare to break off the Antarctic ice sheets, and this one contains around a trillion tons of frozen freshwater," Wagner says. "As it melts, it will impact the ocean and atmosphere around it — it can essentially create its own local microclimate. This in turn has wide-ranging implications for the ecosystems in its vicinity."
Gregory Nemet on: U.N. Climate Change Conference
As the hottest year ever recorded comes to a close, Dubai will host the U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP28. The annual meeting is held to enact climate change-related negotiations. Experts from the University of Wisconsin–Madison are available for commentary and analysis on science, law and policy related to COP28 and climate change.
Energy policy and climate change expert Greg Nemet, from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, is available for interviews about carbon removal tecnologies, renewable energy, energy transition and climate and energy policy.
Sumudu Atapattu is director of Research Centers at the UW—Madison Law School. She is an expert on the link between environmental issues and human rights, climate change, international environmental law, climate refugees, and environmental justice. Professor Atapattu is available related to the topics above and COP28 and is attending the meeting in Dubai.
Jonathan Patz is a professor of population health sciences. Professor Patz is available for interviews about the effects of climate change on human health and is attending COP28.
Jessica Pritchard on: Respiratory illness in dogs
There have been hundreds of cases reported across several states of dogs coming down with a respiratory illness that gives them symptoms similar to kennel cough. The cause of the illness is currently unknown but veterinarians are working to find answers and determine how best to treat it.
Jessica Pritchard, is an expert on infectious diseases in dogs and cats and can speak to reporters about the mysterious respiratory llness.
Christine Whelan on: How to buy well this holiday season
Clinical professor of consumer science, Christine Whelan, is available for interviews about how to survive and thrive this shopping season. She can discuss:
- How we try to buy happiness
- How to save money this holiday season
- How to prepare for Black Friday
Nancy Wong on: Holiday consumer behavior
The annual holiday shopping season is gearing up. Consumer science professor Nancy Wong is an expert in consumer behavior who can speak about why people spend money the way they do during the holidays, along with how shoppers feel about their spending choices.
Cliff Robb on: Inflation and holiday shopping
Inflation has eased somewhat in 2023, but higher prices are still expected to affect the holiday shopping season. Cliff Robb chairs the UW–Madison Consumer Science department and is available for interviews about inflation, financial decision-making and how higher prices may affect shoppers and retailers over the holiday season.