Dateline Rice for May 9, 2014


What makes Congress’ latest effort to curb science funding so dangerous?
Neal Lane, the Malcolm Gillis University Professor, senior fellow in science and technology policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and a professor of physics and astronomy, is interviewed about the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2014.
Scientific American

Supreme Court prayer ruling may bring atheists, minority religions together, Atheist leader says
Since a Supreme Court ruling allowed sectarian prayers at public meetings, David Silverman, president of American Atheists, suggests joining forces with minority faiths to fight this “setback.” Anthony Pinn, the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religious studies, is quoted.
Huffington Post
Supreme Court prayer ruling may spur new alliances
National Catholic Reporter

B&G report: ‘Reinstitution’ of the mentally ill, comprehensible courtrooms and the flexibility stigma
Erin Cech, assistant professor of sociology, is cited for her study on university workplace bias against scientists and engineers who use flexible work arrangements.

Fluoride finally has a use: It makes awesome flexible batteries!
Rice chemists created a flexible material with the high energy of a battery or supercapacitor. James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry and professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science, and Rice postdoctoral researcher Yang Yang are quoted.
Argentina Star (This article also appeared in North Korea Times.)


Fleming, Williamson: Beautification efforts can bring more business to Houston
An article discusses scenic environments contributing to business productivity. Stephen Klineberg, professor of sociology and co-director of Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is cited for his work on the Kinder Houston Area Surveys.
Houston Chronicle

The evolution of democracy in Mexico: A conversation with José Woldenberg
Lisa Guáqueta, program administrator for the Mexico Center and Latin America Initiative, and Baker College senior Kristin Foringer, research intern at the Mexico Center, authored a blog post about democracy in Mexico.
Houston Chronicle

Actor moves from Bellaire to ‘West Memphis Three’
Actor James Hamrick worked with Rice’s Generations Theatre.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription required.)

Houston Hillel celebrates final semester Shabbat
The Houston Hillel celebrated the end of its program year with a final Shabbat dinner. Rabbi Kenny Weiss, Houston Hillel’s executive director, mentions speaking to incoming Rice students.
Jewish Herald-Voice


WSCL-FM (Salisbury, Md.)
Baker College senior Coleman Itzkoff is featured.


Larger percentage of Texas Hispanics have enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace plans
According to a new report from Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Texas Hispanics were more than twice as likely as whites to enroll in health insurance plans offered by the Affordable Care Act. Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor of economics, and Elena Marks, scholar in health policy at the Baker Institute, are quoted.
Science Codex

Rice University designs ‘smart’ hydrogels for bone reconstruction
Rice University bioengineers have created a hydrogel that instantly turns from liquid to semisolid at close to body temperature – and then degrades at precisely the right pace. Antonios Mikos, the Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and graduate student Brendan Watson are quoted. Paul Engel, chair of Rice’s Department of Chemistry, and F. Kurtis Kasper, a senior faculty fellow in bioengineering, are mentioned.
Bio News-Texas (This article also appeared in, RedOrbit, Cambodian Times, Kenya Star,, DaijiWorld and Product Design & Development.)

Engineered virus with dual protease key system opens to release gene therapy
Rice scientists created a tunable virus that can potentially be used to target and destroy cancer cells. Junghae Suh, assistant professor of bioengineering, is quoted.

Pressure growing for OPEC countries to cut energy subsidies
Oil consumption has risen among exporting countries, which has led to a need for reform. Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute for Public Policy, is cited for his recent paper on “Navigating the Perils of Energy-Subsidy Reform in Exporting Countries.”
Responding to Climate Change
Energy-subsidy reform can be achieved with proper preparation, outside pressure
Environmental Research Web


The best Mother’s Day gift: A child who reaches full potential
Rice’s bubble CPAP machine, which helps increase the survival rate of newborns with severe respiratory illness, is referenced.
The Globe and Mail

New biodegradable packaging could help slash global plastic consumption
Scientists at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials are working with peers at Rice to turn wood byproducts into biodegradable packaging to limit plastic consumption.
Packaging Business Review


Rice, Denver open Waco regional play on Friday
Rice women’s tennis will play against the University of Denver in the opening match of the Waco Regional in the 2014 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships at the Hurd Tennis Center at Baylor University.
Bellaire Examiner

Roadrunners to wrap up home slate with No. 14 Rice this weekend
Rice baseball will play University of Texas at San Antonio May 9-11 in San Antonio.

The college report: Pine Tree’s Alley represents UT San Antonio on all-conference golf team
Rice men’s golf won the Conference USA Championship.
Longview News-Journal

Someone actually said Anthony Rendon is better than Bryce Harper?
Alumnus Anthony Rendon ’12 is featured.
SB Nation
Anthony Rendon’s hot start
MLB Nation


Acclaimed UT chemist named dean of natural sciences at Rice
National Academy of Sciences member Peter Rossky, currently a chemistry professor and director of two major research centers at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, has been named dean of Rice University’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences.

Survey: Larger percentage of Texas Hispanics have enrolled in Health Insurance Marketplace plans than whites
Texas Hispanics were more than twice as likely as whites to have enrolled in health insurance plans offered through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace between September 2013 and March 2014, according to a report released today by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation.

About Rice News Staff

The Rice News is produced weekly by the Office of Public Affairs at Rice University.