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The Poisoner’s Handbook

Toe tag

At the turn of the 20th century, patent medicines, health elixirs, and consumer products of all manner were laden with toxins as their active ingredients, making poison prevalent and handy. UW-Madison journalism Professor Deborah Blum’s best-selling “The Poisoner’s Handbook,” tells a yarn of chemical toxins and the people who used or were affected by them. Tonight at 7 on PBS, Blum’s book comes to the small screen in all its toxic glory in a two-hour "American Experience" documentary.  

Top Stories

Finalists named for UW System president

Van Hise Hall

Three finalists – Raymond W. Cross, Peter H. Garland and Robert L. King – interviewed Monday as part of the search for a new UW System president. The Board of Regents is expected to make its choice in a special meeting Thursday. Related: A message from Interim UW System President Richard Telfer.

Group to explore revised research leadership structure


As a follow-up to the establishment of a vice chancellor for research in 2010, the University Committee and Chancellor Rebecca Blank have appointed a working group to explore the efficacy of a leadership structure that involves two positions – a vice chancellor for research and graduate studies and a dean of the Graduate School.

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Reach faculty, staff and graduate students with ads for upcoming events, activities and exhibits. Learn more about advertising with Inside UW-Madison.

Around Campus

Heiss named interim secretary of the faculty

William Heiss will serve as the new interim secretary of the faculty for a six-month appointment that began Jan. 6. Heiss replaces Andrea Poehling, who will continue to manage three current administrative searches that are already underway.

OpenBook website reports expenditure data

Screen shot of OpenBook website

The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) last week launched the OpenBook Wisconsin website. The site includes the operating expenditure data of state government agencies, including the University of Wisconsin System.

Help create CALS’ 125th anniversary ice cream

Babcock ice cream

In 2014 we celebrate the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences’ 125th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, a new flavor of Babcock ice cream will be made — and you are invited to help develop the new flavor and name it.

Inside Info

Vitamin E slows progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, already shown to reduce cholesterol and the threat of cancer, is also instrumental in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. That’s according to a study that included the William S. Middleton Memorial VA Hospital in Madison.


On and off the field, lots to be proud of in athletics

Rebecca Blank

"One reason I’m proud to be at Wisconsin is that our athletics program takes the academic responsibilities of student-athletes seriously," Chancellor Rebecca Black says in her blog, "Blank's Slate."  "Athletic Director Barry Alvarez has consistently sent the message that the sports program and the coaches need to pay attention to the scholastic performance of UW athletes."


McElroy named chief information security officer

Lori McElroy

Lori McElroy has been named chief information security officer (CISO) at UW-Madison after serving in a similar role for six years at Texas State University. The CISO is responsible for IT security resources campuswide, as well as within the Division of Information Technology.

In Memoriam

Littleton, the ‘Father of Studio Glass,’ dies at 91

Harvey Littleton

Professor Emeritus Harvey K. Littleton, the trail-blazing artist who founded the nation’s first university-based studio program in art glass more than five decades ago, passed away on Dec. 13 at his home in Spruce Pine, N.C. He was 91.

In the Media

Jignesh Patel’s big data revolution

Jignesh Patel in Madison magazine

Madison Magazine features computer science Professor Jignesh Patel, whose research has the potential to transform the digital revolution and democratize data as we know it. “The influence of Wisconsin, going back to its legacy as being the pioneer in ... building database technology, is at the heart of technology today,” he says.


Inside UW-Madison appears weekly this week and next

Lincoln statue

Inside UW-Madison will appear once a week on Tuesdays until classes resume on Jan. 21, when the regular Tuesday and Thursday publication schedule begins. Thanks for reading!

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