Press Announcements

A couple sits to reflect while visiting “IN AMERICA How Could This Happen…”

George Washington University Helps Digitize Popular COVID-19 Memorial

March 21, 2021

With help from anthropology professor Sarah Wagner, a team from GW, UMD and Artist Suzanne Firstenberg created a digital exhibition that now gives others the chance to visit the “IN AMERICA How Could This Happen…” art exhibition virtually. 

Photo of a GW Banner

Tackling Alarming Decline in Nature Requires ‘Safety Net’ of Multiple, Ambitious Goals, Researchers Say

October 22, 2020

Amy Zanne, associate professor of biological sciences, was part of an international team of researchers analyzing new goals for biodiversity being drafted by the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity. The team is studying failed goals from the past in order to better plan for the future. Their work aims to provide a safety net for nature that will help scientists and politicians approach the subject holistically in order to slow the loss of biodiversity.

Photo of Ambassador Loeb

The George Washington University Announces Transformational $12.5 Million Gift Advancing Work on Religious Freedom

October 08, 2020
A transformational $12.5 million gift commitment from Ambassador John L. Loeb, Jr. will enable the Loeb Institute for Religious Freedom at GW to build on its work as an interdisciplinary hub and leader in the study and advancement of religious freedom. Established in 2016 through the ambassador’s initial $2.5 million gift, the Loeb Institute has transformed the way students, faculty, historians and researchers address pressing issues of religious diversity and freedom in contemporary society.
Aerial view showing the Southern Storage Complex (SSC), the Northern Storage Complex (NSC; blue dashed box) and the trench (red

Ancient Earthquake May Have Destroyed Ancient Canaanite Palace

September 15, 2020

Professor of Classics and Anthropology Eric Cline co-directed a team of Israeli and American researchers that uncovered evidence of an earthquake that may have destroyed a flourishing Canaanite palatial site about 3,700 years ago. Funded by grants from the National Geographic Society and the Israel Science Foundation, the group made the discovery at the 75-acre site of Tel Kabri in Israel, which contains the ruins of a Canaanite palace and city dating back to 1900-1700 B.C.

Casts of two key specimens: Paranthropus aethiopicus (left) and P. boisei (right).

Changing Landscapes, Changing Diets: How Fossilized Teeth Reveal Ancient Dietary Shifts

August 25, 2020

Enquye Negash, a postdoctoral researcher in the Columbian College’s Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology, led a new study that documents dietary shifts in herbivores that lived between 1 to 3 million years ago in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley. By examining the fossilized teeth of herbivores such as antelopes and pigs, she found a shift away from woody vegetation foods to foods representative of grasses and sedges. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

a chimpanzee at Gombe National Park

For Chimps, Salt and Pepper Hair Not a Marker of Old Age

July 15, 2020

Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Bradley and PhD candidate Elizabeth Tapanes uncovered significant variation in how chimpanzees, our closest ape relatives, experience pigment loss. While silver strands and graying hair are signs of aging in humans, graying occurs in chimps until they reach midlife and then plateaus as they continue to age, making it an unreliable indicator of age. The study by the researchers from the CCAS Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The first system-level picture of nearly 100 million individuals expressing vaccine views among Facebook's 3 billion users

Study: Rampant Online Distrust of Health Expertise

May 13, 2020

Professor of Physics Neil Johnson led a research team that developed a first-of-its-kind map to track COVID conversations among 100 million Facebook users. Along with Associate Professor of Political Science Yonatan Lupu, the team’s findings, which were published in the journal Nature, revealed that online communities that distrust establishment health guidance are more effective than government health agencies at reaching and engaging audiences.

A photo from the decay experiment

Breaking Down Wood Decomposition by Fungi

May 11, 2020

Associate Professor of Biology Amy Zanne was part of a research team that developed a better understanding of the factors accounting for different wood decomposition rates among fungi. Using a combination of lab and field experiments, they revealed how an understanding of fungal trait variation can improve the predictive ability of early and mid-stage wood decay, a critical driver of the global carbon cycle.

Capitol Building

Flemming Awards Midcareer Feds’ Achievements

April 20, 2020

The 71st annual Arthur S. Flemming Awards honored the accomplishments of 13 federal employees from agencies across the federal government. Among the achievements recognized were creating the most accurate clock in the world, developing ways to see crime scene evidence invisible to the human eye and finding new ways to track influenza around the world. The Arthur S. Flemming Awards Commission partners with the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration.

GW Politics Poll

Politics Poll: Misinformation Concern Bipartisan. But Democrats Blame Foreign Powers, Republicans Blame Media.

February 28, 2020

The GW Politics Poll revealed a stark partisan divide over who is to blame for misinformation circulating during the presidential election season. A nationwide survey led by Associate Professor of Political Science Danny Hayes and Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs Kimberly Gross found Republicans and Democrats are highly concerned about the spread of misinformation and the potential impacts it might have on American politics and society.  However, when asked who is at fault, Democrats are more likely to blame foreign governments while Republicans largely fault the media.

GRB 190114C, located about 4.5 billion light-years away in the constellation Fornax.

Researchers Discover Highest-Energy Light From a Gamma-ray Burst

November 20, 2019

Professor of Astrophysics Chryssa Kouveliotou and Assistant Professor of Astrophysics Alexander van der Horst were members of an international team of scientists who identified previously unseen components of gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the cosmos. These explosive events emit extreme amounts of energy and are accompanied by an afterglow of light over a broad range of energies that fades with time. The researchers observed a gamma-ray burst with an afterglow that featured the highest energy photons—a trillion times more energetic than visible light—ever detected in a burst. Their discovery was published in the journal Nature.

A world map with lines spreading across continent tracking destinations of hate language on social media platforms

First of Its Kind Mapping Model Tracks How Hate Spreads and Adapts Online

August 21, 2019

Professor of Physics Neil Johnson led a team of researchers in developing a mapping model, the first of its kind, to track how online hate clusters thrive. Online hate spreads globally through self-organized, scalable clusters that interconnect to form resilient networks across multiple social media platforms, countries and languages. Published in the journal Nature, the team’s project seeks to understand how hate evolves online by mapping how clusters spread their narratives and attract new recruits. The mapping model could help social media platforms and law enforcement in the battle against hate online.

A student sitting at a production control board next to another student standing and wearing a headset.

Knight Foundation Investment to Fund Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics

July 23, 2019

The Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics (IDDP), a newly created GW research platform supported by a $5 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will fight the rise of distorted and misleading information online. With a team of researchers spanning political communication, journalism, physics, international affairs, computer science and engineering, IDDP will work to educate national policymakers and journalists on strategies to grapple with the threat to democracy posed by digital propaganda and deception. IDDP is supported by a $5 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Archaeologists study the sediments at the Bokol Dora site.

Oldest Evidence of Stone Tool Production Discovered in Ethiopia

June 03, 2019

Associate Professor of Anthropology David Braun joined an archaeological team in Ethiopia that discovered the oldest evidence of stone tool production, dating back more than 2.58 million years. The excavation took several years before the researchers exposed a layer of animal bones and hundreds of pieces of chipped stone representing the earliest evidence of our direct ancestors making and using stone knives.

Sea-level rise, marked by ghost forests and abandoned farm fields, will mostly impact rural land

Study Highlights Vulnerability of Rural Coast to Sea-Level Rise

May 27, 2019

Assistant Professor of Biology Keryn Gedan co-authored new research that highlights the growing recognition that sea-level rise will mostly impact rural land—much of which is privately owned—complicating the complex tradeoffs between the value of different land uses. Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, their work is the first to synthesize the growing number of studies of land conversion driven by sea-level rise.