Stay curious. Your monthly scoop from the College of Letters & Science at UW-Madison. 
SALT timelapse
In South Africa, where skies are darkest and the dry climate preserves clues to ancient life, L&S researchers are exploring our beginnings. Join them via Origins, a stunning, immersive site that whisks you to the Southern African Large Telescope, the Makhonjwa Mountains, and the Rising Star cave system, known as the Cradle of Humankind.
Propaganda created by a Russian agency sought to divide U.S. voters before the 2016 presidential election. Journalism professor Young Mie Kim studied Facebook ads to glean insights about the group's influence, particularly in swing states like Wisconsin. "The extent to which these unknown actors were running campaigns was a lot worse than I thought," Kim tells Wired
What started as a way to celebrate African American graduate students across the country has become a social media movement, with thousands of Ph.D. and master's students posting photos of themselves at commencement using the #BlackandHooded hashtag. Co-creator Brian Allen, a 2015 L&S grad, says the movement highlights black achievement and combats stereotypes.
When Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen tells people that she is an American intellectual historian, she often hears, "Ha! It must be a short history!" As Ratner-Rosenhagen explains, American intellectual history seeks to understand the origins of certain preoccupations in American thought, and why some ideas, which used to be important to Americans, have faded.
Botany professor Don Waller, in a Wisconsin Public Radio story about how Wisconsin forests managed by native tribes exhibit more plant diversity than non-tribal forests.

About Sift & Winnow
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May 2018 Edition | Questions or comments? Email us at siftwinnow@ls.wisc.edu.

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