Summer reading

To appeal to a generation that rarely reads for pleasure, colleges are assigning summer reading books that have been published just within the last two decades and focus largely on current events and cultural issues, according to a recent study by the National Association of Scholars.

The University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science was one of only eight schools in the country to assign a summer reading book published before 1990, according to the study. That book was To Engineer Is Human, by Henry Petroski.

Experts pay

Forensic psychologists and psychiatrists testifying in trials tend to side with the lawyer writing their paycheck, a new study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Sam Houston State University says.

In a real-world experiment, experts who believed they were working for prosecutors tended to conclude that sexually violent offenders were at greater risk of reoffending than did experts who thought they were working for the defense, the researchers found.

“The findings were fairly alarming,” UVA researcher Daniel Murrie (Educ ’98, ’02) said. “We suspected to find some of what we call the ‘allegiance effect’—some difference between the sides—but the difference was more than we were expecting.”