Russia’s Foreign Agent Law: An HPR Explainer

Foreign agents have been in the news a lot recently—but not the James Bond kind. The Russian TV channel RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and news agency Sputnik were recently required to register as foreign agents under U.S. lobbying law; Russia promptly retaliated by expanding its own “foreign agent” law, forcing Western news outlets … Read more

Circling a Red Square

2017 marks the centennial anniversary of one of modern world history’s seismic events: the October Revolution. On November 7, 1917, the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, took over the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and seized control of the country from the provisional government set up after the deposition of Tsar Nicholas II in February … Read more

Generation Me? How We Sell Millennials Short

The millennial generation has become a punchline—a monolith of entitled, dependent young people unable to detach from their parents and function in the “real world.” Popular media consider these traits to be inherent in today’s young adults, a result of the “you can be anything you want to be” ethos of child-rearing that is popular … Read more

Salvaging the Ruins of Burundi

“I am full of despair. I have no hope. No expectation for life.” These are the words of Domine Ndabazaniye, as recorded by journalist Amanda Sperber. Ndabazaniye fled her home after her husband was killed, her daughter was raped, and her country was overrun by war. Ndabazaniye, however, is a refugee not from Syria or … Read more

Battleground 2018: How California’s Red Districts Can Alter the Nation’s Political Landscape

A quick glance at a map of presidential election results in California over the past 24 years shows a consistently blue state amidst a changing political landscape. Reagan-era conservatism seems to have faded from the Golden State, but the Republican base that propelled Nixon and Reagan into the White House endures in several of California’s … Read more

The Ugly Solutions to Peace in Syria

It all started with the graffiti. Teenage boys sprayed “The people want the fall of the government,” onto a wall in Dara’a, an ancient city on Syria’s southern border. A month later, 1,000 civilians had been killed by government forces, and people were taking up arms against the brutal regime of longtime dictator Bashar al-Assad. … Read more

NASA’s Interplanetary War

Panorama from the Mars Pathfinder landing site. Is there life on Mars? This is one of the most salient questions in extraterrestrial exploration, but it could be jeopardized by dirty spacecraft carrying Earth microbes. Part of Dr. Catharine Conley’s job, as NASA’s planetary protection officer since 2006, is to prevent that from happening. In 2011, … Read more

Hookup Culture

The term “hookup culture” has been used and overused in the news. It is discussed everywhere from blogs to The New York Times. Some champion the sexually liberating nature of hooking up, while others demonize the “meaningless” relationships prevalent on college campuses. In interviews, professors and students at Harvard discussed their views on hookup culture … Read more