Is gratitude an impulse hardwired in human nature? Is it a virtue or is it a practice? How does gratitude affect everything from the brain and the spirit, to the economy and the culture at large? To get answers, Insight asked Smith professors from a range of disciplines to consider this question. More...
Despite the vital role teachers play, actual public perceptions of teaching are eroding, even in countries like Japan where the profession was once venerated.
Are drones the new way of the future for research scientists? Smith engineering professor Paul Voss would like to think so.
“Psychosocial capacity building” is now being put to practice by disaster responders and healthcare professionals being trained under the guidance of Smith College professors.
How and why did unusual rock mounds form near ancient Lake Enriquillo in a remote area of southwestern Dominican Republic?
What happens in a live music setting that doesn’t happen elsewhere? What relationships exist between performers and audiences? Music professor Steve Waksman wants to know.
A new collection of unique 3-D images depicting India in the 1890s can help us understand how cultures are created.
When President Barack Obama made addressing climate change the most prominent pledge of his Inaugural Address, many environmental advocates cheered.
Because of its global impact, its macabre history and its frightening potential, the disease known as the plague has inspired scholarship since the 14th century.
For the first time, women constitute 20 percent of the Senate. But will their presence lead to a more productive and less contentious legislative season? Smith scholars weigh in.
A team of researchers is working with the National Science Foundation to lay out a complete evolutionary tree that brings together every single known organism on Earth.
Smith professor Michael Gorra has written a new book exploring why Henry James’ novel The Portrait of a Lady, and his enigmatic life, are still so intriguing.
Is there a positive to negative campaigning? While the candidates in the current presidential contest are clashing over ideologies, many people wonder if this is the most rancorous election ever.
For the first time in psychiatric history, hoarding is poised to become an official mental disorder. Professor Randy Frost reflects on the early research that began in a Smith psychology laboratory
English professor Michael Thurston set out to walk from Eastham to Provincetown, following Henry David Thoreau's footsteps and finding surprising insights about his own life along the way.
Cities that host major sports events like the Olympics often expect a financial windfall. But economics professor Andrew Zimbalist says the costs of putting on these extravaganzas often outweigh any benefits.
But what is it and who cares? Finding the Higgs boson particle is a big step for scientists, but physics professor Gary Felder says there are more secrets of the universe yet to be discovered.
Taking a fresh approach to teaching nonfiction writing, academics are drawing on the novelist’s techniques for storytelling but emphasizing “a slavish obligation to serve fact and to observe accurately
Why aren’t more women serving in Congress? Senior Alana Eichner has spent the past year analyzing the successes and failures of women who ran as party nominees for the House of Representatives.
Despite gloomy predictions from publishing aficionados, book artist and illustrator Barry Moser is confident that the ink-and-paper book as we’ve come to know it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Evelyn Fox Keller, the 2012 William Allan Neilson Chair of Research, has lectured on contemporary scientific problems, including the persistent discussion regarding medical genetics and the nature-nurture debate.
The research of Associate Professor of Computer Science Dominique Thiébaut focuses on “the cloud’s” significance in everyday life as well as on how scientists are tapping into it to accomplish complex computations
Smith is one of the first institutions of higher education to apply innovative teaching methods known as knowledge building to the liberal arts. With video.
A Smith professor suggests that a team of logicians should review all statements made by political candidates during public debates.
The vampires captivating the popular imagination on the big screen in the Twilight movies and in popular television series like True Blood are bloodsucking creatures of the digital age.
Smith Professor Donald Joralemon is not only asking engaging questions about death in America. He’s inviting public input on the topic by posting a draft of his upcoming book on the Internet.
How can scholars and their students visualize the complex and multilayered urban space of Paris without touring firsthand the famous city?
What happens when the aging brain experiences sleep disruptions? Jet-lagged mice might help us understand.
There is new evidence of sea-level oscillations during a warm period that started about 125,000 years ago.
Psychological and social healing are aided by reconciliation with adversaries, says Joshua Miller, professor in the School for Social Work.
“I think the shock of 9/11 literally unhinged us, at Smith and nationally,” says John Connolly, who was serving as Smith’s acting president on September 11, 2001.
Smith professor Nicholas Howe’s work might some day contribute to improving Muslim-Christian relations.
A recently scholarly publication, authored by a Smith chemistry professor and his student, analyzes women’s roles in the discovery and development of named organic reactions.
Using solar panels to generate electrical power at the site of a soon-to-close landfill is a good way to capture new revenue. With video.
Why thousands of bureaucrats, priests, artisans and farmers settled some 2,000 years ago in the Lake Titicaca Basin of the Andes and developed an important regional center there is a mystery.
Smith College geologists have discovered that polygonal sandcracks can develop without the usual necessary ingredient: mud.
A Smith College professor asks why American and European policy makers are hesitating to call for the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s Baathist regime.
Featuring an array of Smith professors speaking on thought-provoking subjects related to their teaching, research and academic interests, Scholars in Studio is a video series that showcases our diverse and vibrant community of scholars. More...
Insight chronicles the ideas, intellectual life and creative thinking inherent within the culture of research and the liberal arts at Smith College, where a vibrant community of scholars and students exhibit a love of discovery. Through words, images and multimedia, Insight showcases the ideas, the people behind the ideas and the original contributions Smith is making to larger intellectual dialogues and a growing body of knowledge.
Insight is produced by the Smith College Office of College Relations. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Jan McCoy Ebbets is Insight's editor.