September 23, 2021

Volume XXXII, Issue XII

Editor's Note

Dear Reader, Welcome back! After nearly three semesters away, FM is back to in-person meetings, reporting, editing sessions. But most importantly, and regardless of our physical presence on Harvard’s campus, we missed you over the summer and are thrilled to bring you our first issue of the semester. This week we have two thought-provoking conversations with leading scientists of human emotions, brains, and psychology. DCB and HL profile the work of Lisa Feldman Barrett, who has revolutionized how psychologists and neuroscientists conceptualize “feelings.” In the other profile, TS talks to Susan D. Block, a professor of psychosocial oncology and palliative care who, in the middle of teaching a freshman seminar on caring for patients with severe illness, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer — which had repercussions for her outlook on life, work, and teaching. On the lighter side, MVE offers a levity about a fictional character whose adherence to Covid protocols will put the most hygienic reader to shame. And MSB has a moving endpaper about growing up in her forced time away from her home in India during the pandemic. HNL and SJL ground the issue with a tour de force of archival research, reporting, and writing: A meticulous scrutiny about the “Muddy Pond,” a tract of wetland in Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum in which several children drowned over the course of two decades, possibly due to the University’s neglect and dumping of waste and garbage byproduct from the Arboretum. It is a story about institutional responsibility, about activism, and above all a story that questions who Harvard has and has not deemed worthy of being taken seriously and treated with dignity. With that, we sign off — enjoy this issue, a small but very mighty start to the fall. Love, MNW + OGO