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.
Experts in the Spotlight
Margaret Kerr on: The science of fatherhood
Ask any mother and she’ll tell you that becoming a parent is a roller coaster of emotions. Research will back mom up. But dads feel it too. Margaret Kerr is studying the self-reported emotions of new fathers. It can be hard to compete with mom — she did give life. Breastfeeding offers an additional bond. “A lot of toddlers have a preference for the mom, and that can be hard for the dad,” Kerr told Fatherly. “Dads really want to have that same level of bond with their kids."
Experts on today’s news…
Seth Pollak on: Effects of childhood stress
A new study from UW-Madison researchers Leslie Seltzer, Ligia Papale and others compared the genomes of children with very high-stress early lives to those of kids whose childhoods were relatively tranquil. They found scores of differences in how their genes function, differences that may point out avenues to better diagnosis and treatment of stress-related disorders. The study drew on the work of psychology Professor Seth Pollak on abuse, neglect, poverty and other challenges in the life of a child.
Charles Raison, MD on: Power of meditation
Meditation was used by the 12 boys trapped in a Thailand cave as their soccer coach Ekapol Chantawong, a former Buddhist monk, helped them use it as a tool to calm their minds as well as bodies until they were rescued earlier this week. Dr. Charles Raison talks about the power of meditation, both during crisis and our everyday lives, in this Q&A.
Justin Vandenbroucke on: Ice Cube Neutrino Discovery
With the help of an icebound detector situated a mile beneath the South Pole, an international team of scientists has found the first evidence of a source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos, a ghostly subatomic particle that can travel in a straight line for billions of light years, passing unhindered through galaxies, stars and anything else nature throws in its path. The observation, made by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, helps resolve a more than century-old riddle about what sends subatomic particles such as neutrinos and high-energy cosmic rays speeding through the universe. Vandenbroucke is part of the Ice Cube Collaboration team behind the discovery. He will conduct a Reddit AMA beginning at 12:30 E.T. here: https://t.co/taYhQagFp8. but is also available to talk beyond the AMA.
Ryan Owens on: Brett Kavanaugh nominated for Supreme Court
Ryan Owens, an expert on the U.S. Supreme Court, Ken Mayer, an expert on presidential powers, Barry Burden, an expert on American politics, and Robert Yablon, an expert on the Supreme Court, can comment on the announcement that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring after more than 30 years on the court. On Monday, President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh.
Derrick Herndon on: Hurricane Beryl
The National Hurricane Center has dubbed the second tropical system in the Atlantic "Miniature Beryl," because the small storm transitioned from a tropical depression to a Category 1 hurricane in a 24-hour period. Forecasters have issued warnings and watcehs for islands in the eastern Caribbean, some of which were hit by hurricane's Irma and Maria last fall. Herndon is an expert in hurricane intensity and forecasting using satellite meteorology.