Baker Institute rises to 24th
The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program ranked the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy 24th on its 2011 list of top United States think tanks. This ranking is an increase from the institute's 27th place finish last year.
"The success of the Baker Institute model stems from bringing scholars and practitioners together to produce timely and relevant research," Baker Institute Founding Director Edward P. Djerejian said.
Djerejian, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria and Israel, said that the Baker Institute effectively disseminates its research and findings to decision makers in both the public and private sectors. The access of a particular think tank to critical decision makers serves as one of the main criteria in the TTCSP rankings.
Some key areas of Baker Institute's research include health-care policy, tax policy and energy policy.
"The Energy Forum produces cutting-edge analyses and recommendations that are frequently presented in conferences to top corporate energy leaders and government officials," Djerejian said.
Some of the key recent developments for energy research at the institute include the rising global importance of natural gas and the expansion of the Energy Forum, Director of the Baker Institute Energy Forum Amy Myers Jaffe said. She said she attributes the prominence of the institute to its technological adaptability.
The Baker Institute now has a blog, which increases the institute's visibility and accessibility to a large crowd of researchers, according to Jaffe.
"In regards to both research and the manner in which we operate, those at the Baker Institute have made concerted effort to push into the 21st century," Jaffe added. "We have taken the Baker Institute on the road."
The Baker Institute has recently held academic gatherings in Mexico, China and the Middle East.
Djerejian said the institute is expanding its internship, leadership and mentorship programs for Rice students. For example, Director for Academic Affairs Allen Matusow is organizing the first Baker Institute public policy class for undergraduates, which will be taught by a team of Baker Institute fellows and scholars, Djerejian said.
Baker Institute Student Forum President Myles Bugbee said that BISF will continue to add to the list of upcoming high-caliber speakers.
Bugbee said some notable speakers to have been hosted by the Baker Institute include former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill and General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and the architect of President Barack Obama's health care reform, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber.
The TTCSP produces the Global Go-To Think Tank Index annually. A panel of more than 1,500 individuals participated in the nomination and rankings process. Of the more than 6,500 think tanks located in 182 countries invited to take part in the process, 5,329 think tanks were nominated for ranking.
More from The Rice Thresher
Rice will build two new colleges between Sid Richardson and Wiess
Rice intends to build two new residential colleges with an accompanying servery, President Reggie DesRoches and Vice President for Finance and Administration Kelly Fox announced in an email sent May 19. The old Sid Richardson College building will be demolished as part of this project. One of the new colleges will take its place, and the other will be positioned closer to Wiess College.
Rice’s James Tour and YouTuber ‘Professor Dave’ debate the origins of life
Dave Farina of the YouTube channel ProfessorDaveExplains came to Rice to debate organic chemistry professor James Tour on the topic of abiogenesis, the scientific theory that life on Earth originated from non-living compounds. The debate occurred May 19 in a full Keck Hall, with up to 2,800 viewers watching the event livestreamed on YouTube.
‘Always laughing, always smiling and singing’: Family, colleagues remember Triny Carranza
María Trinidad “Triny” Carranza, cook III at the Cohen House, passed away May 7 at the age of 50. Carranza’s daughter said Triny’s cause of death was complications from blood clots. Hailing from the city of Chihuahua, Mexico, Triny visited Houston in her early twenties and chose to stay after meeting her future husband, Salvador Carranza, in the same apartment complex. Once settled, she began working in the cooking industry that, according to her husband, she was in love with.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.