In November, voters in Florida will decide on a measure that would restore voting rights to felons upon serving their sentence. Florida stands out among states with laws that restrict voting based on criminal convictions, with 10 percent of adults in Florida unable to vote because of felony convictions. Criminologist Kimberly Kras, who has interviewed ex-felons, writes that being unable to vote can discourage their efforts to reintegrate into society as engaged citizens, while also leaving large swaths of poor people and people of color without political representation.
The Episcopal Church has decided to revise its prayer book so as to refer to God in gender-neutral terms in place of the male pronoun. In early Christian writings and texts, many feminine terms describe God, argues scholar of Christian origins and gender theory David Wheeler-Reed. God gives birth, is a woman in labor and a mother comforting her children, he writes.
When psychology professor Georgene Troseth read the first Harry Potter book back in the late 1990s, she thought the text was rich with metaphors for key concepts in child development. Today, the Vanderbilt professor uses the wildly popular book about the orphaned boy who discovers he’s a wizard to get first-year college students to appreciate their own resilience.
There was a time when Iran and America were friends. Americans founded schools there, helped Iran handle financial crises and trained the country's first generation of doctors. Could that happen again?
Miles Bodmer, University of Oregon; Doug Toomey, University of Oregon
A new array of seismometers provides a glimpse of what's happening deep beneath this geologic fault. New data help explain why the north and south of the region are more seismically active than the middle.