SCIENCE COLUMN | Levine: What does it take to feel someone else’s pain?

March 25, 2009
Last month, Jewish writer and Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel was quoted in The New York Times as wishing a particular punishment on Bernie Madoff, the mastermind behind the Ponzi scheme that essentially destroyed Wiesel’s charity. “I would like him to be in a solitary cell with only a screen, and on that screen for at »

SCIENCE COLUMN | Levine: ‘It’s gross’: Dissecting the disgust reaction

February 11, 2009
Recently, I’ve been taking note of the instances in which people use “It’s just gross!” as an argument or explanation. Everyone has a disgust response to some things. When we see, smell or even imagine something gross, we have a physical reaction. Most notably, we make a characteristic face that involves crinkling up our noses »

Levine: Goodbye, or not, to autism patients

January 21, 2009
This article has been corrected. You may view this article’s correction here. Last semester, I interned at Chapel Haven, a residence for individuals with autism transitioning from living with their parents to living on their own. The internship was part of a class — “Autism and Related Disorders” — so, at the end of the »

Levine: Love is more than just science

November 19, 2008
As a scientist, I am, at times, guilty of aggressive empiricism — the notion that truths can only be learned (inasmuch as there are truths to be learned) through observation of the world. Anyone who claims to be finding truth any other way is wrong, wrong, wrong. Sometimes, aggressive empiricism isn’t a problem. No one »