Do debates change people’s minds?

The latest issue of University of Utah Magazine is hot off the presses. Check out the features, including investigating if debates change people’s minds, a COVID-19 timeline and how the U responded to an earthquake in the middle of a pandemic.

Opposing Arguments

In a world of deepening partisanship, does facing off onstage change anyone’s mind?

For nine decades, Kingsbury Hall has been the University of Utah’s center stage, hosting VIPs such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, Maya Angelou and Ta-Nehisi Coates. But on Oct. 7, 2020, its curtains will open to its biggest audience ever as the 2020 vice presidential candidates square off in their one and only debate. “We predict 100 million people from all over the world to tune in,” says Jason Perry, director of the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. “And hundreds of student volunteers will get experience in the political process that you cannot get any other way.”

Read the full story here.

Our Fault

In the midst of a pandemic, the U responds to a startling earthquake.

At 7:08 a.m. on March 18, 2020, the power grid in Salt Lake City hummed along, bricks on buildings sat squarely mortared in place, and dishes and knickknacks rested quietly on shelves.

The number of people in the Salt Lake Valley who knew what a moderate-sized earthquake felt like was small. Maybe they’d lived in California or Alaska or another part of the world where earthquakes are frequent. Maybe they had been around in 1962 when a magnitude 5.2 quake shook the valley.

Read how U scientists are learning all they can about this event and helping Utahns get ready for the next one.

Sudden Impact

In less than eight months, more than 16 million people were diagnosed and upwards of 650,000 died from COVID-19 worldwide. See a timeline of the rapid succession of events and learn how the U community is on the front lines fighting the effects of the virus, giving back to those in need and searching for new treatments.