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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

February 11, 2005

Research Briefs

Grandfather of Russian space program

Associate history professor James Andrews is working on a biography of Konstantin Tsiolkovskii, the "grandfather" of the Russian space program and the man who first conceived the multi-stage rockets that later were adapted for the U.S. and Soviet space programs.

"Stalin took Tsiolkovskii from a local provincial setting and made him a national hero after allowing him to speak to the Soviet nation from Red Square on May Day 1935," Andrews said. "That's why I think his story is so interesting and appealing."

The Russian scientist and physics teacher also wrote science fiction that included futuristic drawings of space stations.

"He was a science popularizer, novelist, technical inventor and ultimately, a visionary," Andrews said.

Forgive and forget

Nathaniel Wade, assistant professor of psychology, is researching what it takes for people to forgive and move on in their relationships.

"I have found some initial evidence that while explicit forgiveness interventions are certainly helpful, they may not be necessary for helping people forgive," he said.

Explicit forgiveness interventions (such as exercises to limit dwelling on the offense) are intended to promote forgiveness.

This spring, Wade will compare the effectiveness of an established group intervention that promotes forgiveness with a general psychotherapy group and a no-treatment comparison group.

"Age is certainly an issue in whether people forgive more quickly," he said. "Gender is also an issue because studies have shown that women are more forgiving than men, although women also report being hurt more frequently than men."