Members of the CREECA faculty are often called upon to comment on breaking news, ongoing developments, and trends in their areas of expertise, and their research is regularly cited in news coverage. 2015 was a year of high media visibility for several CREECA professors representing many disciplines at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In January 2015, the New York Times ran a story about the controversy surrounding a donation made by polarizing Russia historian Stephen F. Cohen to the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (“Scholars at Odds on Ukraine,” January 29, 2015). The gift was offered in order to establish a dissertation fellowship in his name, and was met with considerable concern by some members of the association’s Board of Directors due to contentious statements made by Cohen. The article quoted UW-Madison Political Science professor Yoshiko M. Herrera, who offered measured commentary on the situation.
The Monkey Cage¸ a political blog hosted by the Washington Post, consulted research produced by UW-Madison CREECA scholars on numerous occasions in the past year. CREECA Director and sociology professor Ted Gerber’s publication with Sarah Mendelson in Political Science Quarterly was quoted in a February 2015 guest post on the blog by Simon Saradzhyan. Perhaps demonstrating the geographic breadth of Gerber and Mendelson’s audience, the same piece was cited in an article published in the Ugandan newspaper New Vision in January of this year.
UW political scientist Scott Gehlbach found mention twice in the Monkey Cage during 2015. Gehlbach offered his views on the murder of Boris Nemtsov for a March post on the blog, and his research in collaboration with Timothy Frye, John Reuter, and UW-Madison alumnus Kyle Marquardt on Putin’s public approval in Russia was cited in a November post. Gehlbach also appeared in a September 2015 article in the Boston Globe’s Brainiac column, commenting on the tendency for government officials to tell lies. In the article, the political science professor suggested that when politicians tell lies to the public, “it signals they are just big and bad and are able to get people to repeat the lie.”
David McDonald of the History Department provided commentary to the Guardian in April 2015 in connection with an article about Laura Sumner, a graduate student in history from University of Nottingham who was deported from Russia after accusations of spying by the Russian media outlet LifeNews. In September, McDonald was interviewed on the Wisconsin Public Radio program “Central Time,” and offered his analysis of Russia’s motivation behind military intervention in Syria.