Dateline Rice for Oct. 16, 2017 (Weekend Edition)


What does Trump’s repeal of environmental rules mean for Texas?
Daniel Cohan, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is quoted in a story on the Environmental Protection Agency’s move to end the Clean Power Plan.
National Public Radio (Click the audio button to listen to the broadcast, which aired on more than 700 stations.)
Texas Tribune (This article also appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)
Coal plant closures are coming to Texas. Now what?
E&E News

Trump has taken longer to name a science adviser than any modern president
Neal Lane, the Malcolm Gillis University Professor Emeritus, senior fellow in science and technology policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor emeritus of physics and astronomy, is quoted. Lane served as a science adviser to former President Bill Clinton.
Washington Post (This article also appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)

Venezuela’s roiling politics may get more turbulent as voters head to polls Sunday
Francisco Monaldi, a fellow in Latin American energy policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in a story about Venezuela’s gubernatorial elections.
Los Angeles Times (This Associated Press article also appeared in more than 10 other media outlets.)

Electric cars are taking off. What’s the problem with an electric pickup truck?
An analysis on electric vehicles cites a study released in May by Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Washington Post

Is Mexico ready for the end of NAFTA?
Tony Payan, the Baker Institute for Public Policy’s Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the institute’s Mexico Center, is quoted on President Donald Trump’s policy regarding the North American Free Trade Association.

What do Mike Judge, Ursula Le Guin and Barack Obama have in common?
A story mentions that Texas Anderson, mother of filmmaker Wes Anderson, attended Rice.

Publication by chance
A study of peer-review processes within political science by Justin Esarey, assistant professor of political science, is featured.
Inside Higher Ed

Appointments, resignations, deaths
Robert Bruce Jr. has been named the new dean of Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Qatar World Cup official hits back at criticism
Kristian Ulrichsen, fellow for the Middle East at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is quoted in a story on speculation about Qatar potentially losing the 2022 World Cup following a diplomatic crisis.
Daily Mail (This Agence France-Presse article also appeared in more than 25 other media outlets.)


Trump ends cost-sharing payments to Obamacare insurers
Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and professor of economics, is quoted in a story on President Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate subsidy payments to insurance companies.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This story appeared on the front page of the Oct. 14 print edition with a different headline, “Insurance market riled with worries.”)
Elimination of health care subsidies — What could it mean for you?
Marah Short, associate director of the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences, participated in a discussion.
Houston Public Media

Texas GOP not at risk in 2018, experts say
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science, fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is quoted in a story about next year’s elections for state offices.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)
Texas Democrats hesitant to embrace gay candidate for governor
Washington Free Beacon (This article also appeared in Conservative Angle.)
The decline of Democratic influence in the Texas House: 2009-2017
Texas Tribune

CHIP worked. It’s not too late for Congress to bring it back.
Ken Janda, an adjunct professor of management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, argues in favor of reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This appeared in the Chronicle’s “Gray Matters” online magazine.)

Houston companies join high-octane battle over fuel in Mexico
At a Rice forum last year, Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell was asked whether his government would allow refiners to increase the concentrations of ethanol in gasoline beyond the 5.8 percent that it had just approved. Coldwell gave an emphatic no.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This story also appeared on the front of the Business section in the Oct. 15 print edition with a different headline, “Clash spills into Mexico: Texas chemical companies jostle with ethanol makers south of the border.”)

Poetic fear factor: Mona Hatoum’s ‘Terra Infirma’ hits Menil
An exhibition of work by Mona Hatoum, Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts’ first artist-in-residence, is featured.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
Mona Hatoum’s 1st solo exhibition in the U.S. in 20 years opens at the Menil Collection
Art Daily

New law opens doors for regenerative medicine in Texas
An Oct. 4 panel discussion on the implications of Charlie’s Law, which expands right-to-try options for patients with chronic and terminal illnesses, was hosted by the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences and the Texas Heart Institute.
TMC Today

Alamo Cenotaph rally turns against George P. Bush’s re-election bid
A demonstration Oct. 14 in San Antonio to “Save the Alamo Cenotaph” included calls to defeat alumnus George P. Bush ’98, the Texas land commissioner, in next year’s vote.
Austin American-Statesman

Thumbs-up, thumbs-down
Sears is closing its location on Main Street in Midtown Houston. The story mentions that Rice Management Co. owns the land.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)
KIAH-TV (Houston)

US drillers idle rigs in Eagle Ford, Barnett
Ken Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and lecturer of economics, is mentioned in a photo cutline.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, Midland Reporter-Telegram, Laredo Morning Times and Prime Property.)

Business calendar
An Oct. 18 event hosted by the Baker Institute for Public Policy, “Reforming the U.S. Tax Code,” is included.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)

Popular downtown Houston statue making a move
A slideshow of art in Houston includes a mural at Rice.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required. This also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News and Laredo Morning Times.)

Rapid changes in health care markets are topic at Rice’s Baker Institute Oct. 20
Leading health economics and policy scholars will gather at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Oct. 20 to discuss the rapid changes that are unfolding in health care markets — some of which will help patients and others that will harm them, according to event organizers.
Houston Style Magazine


Harvey runoff menaces Texas’ coral reefs
The more than 13 trillion gallons of floodwater from Hurricane Harvey have created a massive plume of freshwater in the Gulf of Mexico that is threatening the coral reefs of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary about 100 miles offshore of Galveston. Rice marine biologist Adrienne Correa comments.
KSAT-TV (San Antonio)
KRLD-AM (Dallas) (This Texas State Networks story aired on more than 10 other stations.)
KUT-FM (Austin, Texas)
Houston Style Magazine

After Harvey, what’s in the works to address flood mitigation in greater Houston?
Phil Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and director of Rice’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center, is quoted.
Houston Public Media

KRLD-AM (Dallas)
A recent study by Rice and Texas A&M University at Galveston that found Houston flood plain maps failed to predict roughly 75 percent of flood damage from five floods between 1999 and 2009 is mentioned.


The Optical Society announces 2018 fellows class
Randall Hulet, the Fayez Sarofim Professor of Physics and Astronomy, was elected a fellow of the Optical Society.

3rd annual Oil and Gas Supply Chain and Procurement Summit
The Oil and Gas Supply Chain and Procurement Summit will be hosted Dec. 5-6 by the Jones Graduate School of Business.
Oilman Magazine

ASBH 2017 — Law sessions
An Oct. 21 event titled “Effecting Change, Impacting Policy” featuring Kirstin Matthews, a fellow in science and technology policy at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is previewed.


Ultraflat magnets: Atom-thick alloys with unanticipated magnetic properties
Rice researchers have discovered that substituting atoms in the process of making two-dimensional alloys makes them customizable and magnetic. The lab of Pulickel Ajayan, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and chair of the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, is mentioned. Graduate student Amey Apte is quoted.
U.S. Department of Energy (A similar article appeared in Science Daily, Gears of Biz and Photonics Online.)

10 technologies that might change the world: A review of ‘Soonish’
“Soonish,” a new book authored by Kelly Weinersmith, adjunct faculty member and the former Huxley Fellow in Ecology and Evolution, and her husband, Zach, is reviewed.
Ars Technica
‘Soonish’ by scientist and cartoonist predicts charming, nondystopic future
Daily Californian

A strong party system and peace in El Salvador
Mark Jones, the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies, professor of political science, fellow in political science at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and fellow at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, authored an article on El Salvador’s ability to hold free and fair elections despite political polarization.
Ideas Matter
Wesleyan welcomes Thierstein as president
Joel Thierstein, former associate provost at Rice, was inaugurated Oct. 13 as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College.
The Inter-Mountain

How the PFD came to be
Former Rice President Malcolm Gillis is mentioned in an article on Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend.
Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

ORAU sponsors leading students, researchers at Heidelberg Laureate Forum
Graduate student Shangyu Luo was among 21 students and postdoctoral researchers in mathematics and computer science to participate in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany.
Oak Ridge Today

Sheila Browne viola workshop and masterclass
Alumna Sheila Browne ’01 held an event Oct. 14 in Charlottesville, Va.

Stepinac High School Fall Open House
Daniel Williamson, managing director of Rice University-based nonprofit OpenStax, is quoted in a preview of an academic open house at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, N.Y.
Westchester Magazine


An early look at UTSA’s next opponent: Rice
Rice’s Oct. 21 football game against the University of Texas at San Antonio is previewed.
Houston Chronicle (This article also appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.)
Best in Texas: TCU, Texas A&M separating themselves as state’s top teams
Rice is No. 10 in a ranking of the state’s college football teams.
Dallas Morning News (This article also appeared in Your Frisco.)
KSAT-TV (San Antonio)

Let’s get to know Houston’s Minute Maid Park, the train and that odd blue house
An article about Minute Maid Park mentions the Cohn House, once home to businessman Arthur Benjamin Cohn, who was instrumental in the establishment of Rice in 1912.

Around sports: Brad Keselowski advances with Cup win at Talladega
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski’s victory in the Texas Tamale Company Houston Cup at Rice’s George R. Brown Tennis Center is mentioned.
Houston Chronicle (Subscription is required.)

Soccer: Blue Raiders fall 4-2 to 24th-ranked Rice
The Rice women’s soccer team defeated Middle Tennessee State University Oct. 13.

Comeback falls short against Rice
The Rice volleyball team defeated Marshall University 3-2 Oct. 13.

Rice scores verbal commitment from futures finalist Becca Evans
High school athlete Becca Evans announced plans to swim at Rice.
Swimming World

Sports notebook
Former Rice pitcher Jon Duplantier, now a minor leaguer in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization, is mentioned.
The Katy News


Long nanotubes make strong fibers
To make continuous, strong and conductive carbon nanotube fibers, it’s best to start with long nanotubes, according to scientists at Rice. The lab of chemist and chemical engineer Matteo Pasquali, which demonstrated its pioneering method to spin carbon nanotube into fibers in 2013, has advanced the art of making nanotube-based materials with two new papers in the American Chemical Society’s ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Rice Opera Department and Chamber Orchestra to present ‘Little Women’
The Opera Department and Chamber Orchestra of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music will present Mark Adamo’s “Little Women” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 and 3 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Wortham Opera Theatre in Alice Pratt Brown Hall.

Rice’s Laurence Yeung named 2017 Packard Fellow
Rice’s Laurence Yeung has made a career of searching for some of Earth’s rarest molecules and the stories they tell about the planet’s past, present and future. To aid his search, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has awarded Yeung a 2017 Packard Fellowship for Science Engineering, which includes a largely unrestricted five-year research grant of $875,000.

Evangelical and black Protestants and Mormons more likely to turn to religion for answers to science questions
When it comes to seeking answers to questions about science, evangelical and black Protestants and Mormons are more likely than the general population to turn to religion, according to a new study by researchers from Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program, the University of Nevada-Reno and West Virginia University. The study, which is slated to appear in an upcoming edition of the journal Public Understanding of Science, is the first to measure whether people would actively consult a religious authority or source of information with a question about science, said lead researcher Elaine Howard Ecklund, the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, a professor of sociology at Rice and director of Rice’s Religion and Public Life Program.

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics
An engineered string of micronwide beads may take up the slack where computer modeling fails researchers who study the bending, folding and other movements of polymers or biomolecules like actin and DNA. Rice University chemical and biomolecular engineer Sibani Lisa Biswal and her students — lead author Steve Kuei, a graduate student, and co-author Burke Garza, an undergraduate — created strings of polystyrene beads enhanced with iron to magnetize them and with streptavidin, a natural protein that serves as a springy linker between them.

About Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is a senior editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.