01/13/2016As the university gears up for the start of a new semester, our campus experts weigh in on what’s in store in the year ahead - on subjects ranging from who will win at the Grammy Awards to the future of Uber.
Music"Looking out to the Album of the Year at this year’s Grammy Awards, I'd say it's a toss-up between Taylor Swift’s “1989” and Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly.” Swift has established herself as a long-term career artist, with a track record of consistently good pop song craft. But I'm really hoping Lamar takes it. His album is an instant classic with a staggering artistic vision sustained over 75 minutes. It’s musically and lyrically experimental, challenging and confident. And it’s timeless, yet utterly of the moment."
Business"Oil’s continued collapse will further offset the United States’ traditional high cost of doing business. As the economy thrives, the divide between the strong and weak will be accentuated and, as a result, mergers will occur across all sectors. The strong will eat the weak (i.e. Amazon will acquire eBay). And as Millennials continue to shift to on-demand lifestyles, profound changes will hasten the adoption of the sharing economy. Numerous legal challenges to Uber will fail, and taxi cabs will be gone in 10 years.”
Politics"The first woman presidential candidate to be nominated by a major party will be chosen next summer and the presidential race in the fall between Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee will be one of the most intense and potentially nasty we’ve ever seen. The consequences are tremendous, not only economically, but also because our stature and role in the world hinges on the next president’s approach. The next president could have as many as three appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
"I predict we’ll see new findings about the importance of the gut microbiome and of having healthy bacteria living in our intestine. These bacteria assist in many functions including proper nutrient absorption, production of some nutrients and signaling to our brain that we have eaten enough. The American diet has, in many ways, disrupted this important bacterial balance. To maintain it, we need to increase our intakes of prebiotics, meaning dietary fiber from vegetables, legumes and whole grains; and from probiotics, like yogurt, kimchi or other healthy fermented foods."