Opinion

IAS scholars share informed and diverse perspectives on high-level issues, contemporary society, and social change, lending expert insight to the global discourse.

By Jennifer Lee, current Member in the School of Social Science

"Affirmative action is on trial again. This time, opponents of race-conscious college admission practices are claiming that Asian Americans are hurt by it. The plaintiffs in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, which presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court on Monday, allege that Harvard holds Asian American applicants to higher academic standards and rates them lower than other students on personal characteristics, such as fit, courage and likability."

By Maira Hayat, current Member in the School of Social Science

"As Pakistan is enduring devastating floods and an ongoing humanitarian disaster — including decimated crops, more than 500 children dead, hospitals filled with malaria and dengue-infected people and millions of people displaced from their homes — its water infrastructure and management have come under increasing scrutiny.

“We can see the unseen. An astonishing deep-field image of crashing galaxies and bygone nebulae. A glimpse at what the death of our own sun might look like. Baby stars being born perched on cosmic cliffs. The first photographs of the JWST are breathtaking, and they will dramatically change how we understand the universe."

During the heyday of the social movements of the 1960s, Martin Luther King’s citation of the abolitionist Theodore Parker’s—“the arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice”—served as an inspirational and aspirational text. Even as events called into question that belief in the inevitability of progress, some things did seem to be permanent advancements.

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. It has created a refugee crisis, the scale of which has not been seen since World War II in Europe. The toll of civilian casualties is in the thousands, with countless others missing, injured, trapped, or lacking in essential medicines, food, and water.

By Adriana Petryna, Member (2003–04) and Visitor (2006) in the School of Social Science:

"Already this year, both Colorado and New Mexico have seen the most destructive wildfires in their states’ histories. Colorado’s Marshall Fire consumed almost 1,100 homes in Boulder County. At a time when rooftops and lawns would normally have been covered with snow, drought had left the region dry and vulnerable instead."