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HKS in the News March 26, 2012

1. Prostate Cancer Therapy Too Good to Be True Explodes Health Cost (Chandra) Bloomberg News

2. How to ensure stimulus today, austerity tomorrow (Summers) Financial Times

3. Nuclear experts discuss threats, challenges, solutions (Allison) Korea Herald

4. Impact of Japanese accident 'will fade' (Bunn) China Daily

5. Harvard Professor Slams Obama's World Bank Nomination (Pritchett) Forbes.com

6. How Obama's Focus on Higher Education Could Help Him -- and Hurt the GOP -- in 2012 (Grayson) National Journal

7. Harvard visitors get eye-opener in Tohoku, meet Noda, key officials ( Chakhoyan, Tucci, Magnotta, Watanabe ) Japan Times


Prostate Cancer Therapy Too Good to Be True Explodes Health Cost

Bloomberg News

March 26

Quoted: Amitabh Chandra

Topic: High cost of new health care technology

Imagine a prostate cancer therapy that has almost no side effects. Hospitals say it exists and they’re vying to be among the first to offer it. Too bad the treatment may not work as well as advertised and could boost America’s already spiraling health-care costs.

The technology uses narrowly focused proton beams to deliver precisely targeted blasts of radiation. The particle beams are delivered by 500-ton machines in facilities that cost from $100 million to $200 million, and can require a football- field sized building to house. A typical treatment costs about $50,000, twice as much as traditional radiation therapy though it is usually covered by Medicare or private insurance.

For U.S. taxpayers and employers facing spiraling health- care costs, that’s a worry.

“Proton-beam therapy is like the death star of American medical technology; nothing so big and complicated has ever been confronted by the system,” said Amitabh Chandra, a health economist at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. “It’s a metaphor for all the problems we have in American medicine.”

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How to ensure stimulus today, austerity tomorrow

Financial Times

March 26

Commentary by: Lawrence Summers, Center for Business and Government

Topic: Signs of economic growth

Summers is also quoted in an article in The New York Times , and his research is featured in an article in The Economist.

...Major shifts in the economy are rarely forecast and often not fully recognised until they have been under way for some time. So judgments about the US economy have to be tentative. What can be said is that for the first time in five years a resumption of growth significantly above the economy’s potential now appears a substantial possibility.

...As winter turned to spring in 2010 and 2011, many observers thought they detected evidence that the economy had decisively turned, only to be disappointed a few months later. Several considerations suggest that this time may be different.

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Nuclear experts discuss threats, challenges, solutions

The Korea Herald

March 25

Quoted: Graham Allison, Belfer Center

Topic: Nuclear security talks in South Korea

Hundreds of nuclear security experts stressed the dangers of nuclear threats in Seoul and discussed a variety of solutions for overcoming challenges in securing fissile materials two days before South Korea kicked off the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

The nine-hour Seoul Nuclear Security Symposium began with a keynote speech by Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, who wrote “Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe.”

He put a map of Seoul onto the screen, raising the question of “what if” the densely populated city comes under attack by nuclear terrorists.

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Impact of Japanese accident 'will fade'

China Daily

March 25

Quoted: Matthew Bunn, Project on Managing the Atom

Topic: The future of nuclear energy

Bunn is also quoted in an article in The Boston Globe

...The impact of Fukushima has been far-reaching globally, but it varies from country to country, said Matthew Bunn, an associate professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"The countries that are the largest markets for new nuclear reactors - China, India, Russia, South Korea - are moving ahead. Some countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, have decided to phase out nuclear energy," he said.

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Harvard Professor Slams Obama's World Bank Nomination

Forbes.com

March 23

Quoted: Lant Pritchett

Topic: President Obama's selection to head the World Bank

Amidst early praise for President Obama’s nomination of Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim as head of the World Bank, Lant Pritchett, a tenured professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who worked at the World Bank for 17 years, is blasting Kim’s nomination as “a terrible idea.”

Says Pritchett, who teaches courses in the practice of international development, “It’s an embarrassment to the U.S. You cannot with a straight face say this person is the most qualified to lead the World Bank.”

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How Obama's Focus on Higher Education Could Help Him -- and Hurt the GOP -- in 2012

National Journal

March 25

Quoted: Trey Grayson, Institute of Politics

Topic: President Obama's focus on education policy

Since his State of the Union address, President Obama has delivered remarks at three community colleges and three public universities. He’s asked the National Governors Association to increase state funding for higher education, proposed federal incentives for colleges to rein in tuition costs, and talked about how job-skills training helps grow the economy.

Those weren’t campaign speeches; they were policy speeches....

“Politically, this is a very good issue for him, because it’s a way to appeal to an important constituency” said Trey Grayson, director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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Harvard visitors get eye-opener in Tohoku, meet Noda, key officials

Japan Times

March 25

Quoted: Andronik Chakhoyan MPA/MC 2013; Bryana Tucci MPP 2013; Patrick Magnotta MPA/MC 2012; Reo Watanabe MPA/MC 2012

Topic: HKS student trip to Japan over Spring Break

Some Japanese are pessimistic about the country's future and its declining presence in the world, but political science students from Harvard University who recently visited the Tohoku region saw strong signs of society regrouping after last March's calamities.

The group from Harvard Kennedy School comprised 29 graduate students from 12 countries with different professional backgrounds, including government bureaucrats, diplomats, journalists and leaders of nongovermental organizations....

"It's been a great experience. The most profound experience for me was when we went to the tsunami-hit areas," said Andronik Chakhoyan, who is originally from Ukraine. "We've seen the news coverage, TV coverage and YouTube videos, but that's not the same as actually coming here and seeing the devastation with our own eyes.

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Broadcast Notes

Laure de Vulpillieres MPP 2011

Fox 25 News, Boston , 3/24

Topic: HKS class project


This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.

To submit an item please email Jane Finn-Foley

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