The Levitt Center has recently published the spring 2011 edition of Insights, the academic journal that features the best undergraduate social science research papers written by Hamilton students. The journal is edited by students and Associate Professor of Government P. Gary Wyckoff. This year’s featured student contributors are Catherine Ferrara ’11, Chris Shi ’12, Brent Palmer ’11, and Sophie Boehm ’11.
Ferrara won the Kirkland Endowment Essay Prize for her paper “The Science Behind ‘Organic:’ Conflict Among Government Standards, Public Perceptions, and Scientific Findings,” which examines discrepancies between public perceptions and actual standards of organic food.
In “America’s Newest Health Crisis: The Childhood Obesity Epidemic,” Palmer discusses subsidized corn and wheat farming, and how lower food prices have led to childhood health problems.
Shi writes, in “Capital Market Liberalization in China: Opportunities and Dangers,” that investment of foreign capital into developing nations can lead to economic instability due to short-term financial speculation.
Boehm discusses the dangerous political consequences of misappropriated American aid to Uganda in “The Politics of American Aid and Conflict in Northern Uganda.”
The four featured papers in this year’s Insights are thematically related—“this issue is all about unintended consequences, the unintended dark side of government policy,” said Wyckoff.
As director of Hamilton’s Public Policy Program, Wyckoff had long felt that outstanding student work all too often ended up on “some professor’s dusty shelf, never to be read again.” He created Insights as a forum for exceptional student research to be read, discussed, and critiqued by members of the academic community.
Insights accepts submissions from every field of the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, government, history, public policy, sociology, women’s studies, world politics and psychology. The journal targets not only academic scholars but all readers with interest in contemporary issues in the social sciences.