Author Archives: Dan

Dan

About Dan

Daniel Tumminelli O’Brien, PhD, is the Project Manager of the Harvard Boston Research Initiative at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He is also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Binghamton University where he has been a key player in the development of the Binghamton Neighborhood Project. Both projects bring together academic and city agencies in the development of innovative solutions for the everyday challenges of urban life. Amidst these efforts, his own research focuses on urban social behavior. As an educator, he has concentrated on pedagogical techniques that bring evolutionary theory to classrooms outside the biological sciences.

Election Day Redux

In a follow-up to Tuesday’s post, the results are in, and Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg, MA was elected to a third term, defeating Joseph Solomito with 56% of the vote. Not at all what I predicted, but I think … Continue reading

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Election Day Special: Picking Leaders

Lisa Wong is the mayor of Fitchburg, MA. Just over 30 years old, her story is an inspiring one. Born to Chinese immigrants in northeastern Massachusetts, she was valedictorian of her high school class, whizzed through Boston University, and by … Continue reading

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Hangin’ on the T

Yesterday I was riding the T, Boston’s subway system, and had the pleasure of sharing my car with a class of children on the way home from a field trip. They were probably in 5th grade or so, clearly excited … Continue reading

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Impacts of Inequality Pt. III: Wasteful Resource Displays

So, to be honest, I’ve bored of this theme before even getting to the end of my list of points. The holidays waylayed me a bit, as did my desire to work on my primary research, which this is not. … Continue reading

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The Effects of Inequality: Pt II. Impulsivity

The last post was about aggression, but, at a more basic level, it was about the costs and benefits of taking risks. Income inequality makes the risk of attacking another individual—attempting to plunder their belongings—worth it for those who are … Continue reading

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The Effects of Inequality: Pt I. Aggression

Picture an imaginary world where individuals are born into one of two stations in a hierarchy, the Highs and the Lows. While this may sound specific to humans, it is actually a commonplace occurrence, with the alpha position being passed … Continue reading

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Compromising One’s Taxation

Monday Obama and the Republicans reached a deal on how to extend the Bush Era tax cuts. They put together a bill that would extend them all, including those for households with incomes over $250,000/yr.—much to the chagrin of progressive … Continue reading

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When Holiday Shopping Runs Away with Us

So, Thanksgiving has derailed my train of thought regarding the PNRC (Promise Neighborhood Research Consortium) and cultural change, but I swear I’ll get back to it in the next few days. In the meantime, I want to do some scientific … Continue reading

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The Promise Neighborhood Research Consortium

I’m just returning from a two-and-a-half day trip to Orlando, Florida, where I met with a group of academics and community members called the Promise Neighborhood Research Consortium (PNRC). The main focus of this organization is to partner with high-poverty … Continue reading

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Mapping the Effects of Testosterone

As I’ve detailed in the previous two posts, the testosterone system in males in responsible for quite a few behavioral and physical tendencies. Men with higher testosterone are more aggressive. They are more sexual. They are more socially dominant (actually, … Continue reading

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