Oct. 19, 2000
Vol. 20 No. 3

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    In the News

    James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, was the subject of numerous television, newspaper and radio news reports, upon the announcement of his Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Reports appeared in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Agence France Presse, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The Washington Post story, as well as others, quoted Heckman’s colleague Gary Becker, Professor in Economics and Sociology and a 1992 Nobel Laureate. Becker said in the Post article: “Jim has no political agenda. He cares about getting scientifically defensible data, not satisfying some ideology.”

    Rashid Khalidi, Director of the Center for International Studies, wrote an op-ed that appeared in The Los Angeles Times Wednesday, Oct. 4. Khalidi wrote about the violence and political unrest between Palestinians and Israelis over occupation of East Jerusalem. Khalidi criticized chairman of the Likud party Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Al Aqsa mosque, calling it an “ostentatious provocation” that caused more violence to erupt between the two sides. Khalidi also wrote an op-ed in the Saturday, Oct. 7 Chicago Sun-Times opposite an op-ed written by Sharon. Khalidi also discussed the Mideast crisis as a guest of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered on Monday, Oct. 2, and was a guest of Newshour on the Public Broadcasting System on Monday, Oct. 10.

    Menachem Brinker, the Henry Crown Professor in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, discussed the Middle East crisis on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and on Newshour on the Public Broadcasting System on Sunday, Oct. 9.

    Gemma Cooper-Novack, a first-year student, was the subject of a New York Daily News story in its Sept. 26 issue. Cooper-Novack won a national prize for her play I’m Coming In Soon, which will be performed by members of the Young Playwrights Conference, a professional theater and arts education organization founded by Stephen Sondheim.

    The New York Times featured the work of Ronald Coase, Senior Fellow and the Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus in the Law School, in a full-page story about the economic ideas that won him a Nobel Prize in 1991 and are being revived by executives of the Internet economy. “What Coase–and everything that follows from him–helps us do is answer the question, ‘What’s the boundary of the firm, and how hard should that boundary be?’” said Charles Conn, chairman of Ticketmaster Online/CitySearch. “It helps you think about things like whether to buy, build or partner.”

    Jean Bethke Elshtain, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor in the Divinity School, was a guest on a commentary segment of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered on Thursday, Sept. 28, speaking on the issue of abortion in the wake of the FDA’s approval of the abortion-inducing drug RU-486. She stated in her commentary that society looks for quick solutions to problems and in so doing avoids discussion of some of our deepest concerns and questions.

    The work of Jonathan Lear, the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, was the subject of a Village Voice article, which also reported on his new book, Happiness, Death and the Remainder of Life (Harvard University Press). The article said of Lear’s book: “Here’s an intricate, heavyweight treatment of Aristotle’s eudaimonia, Freud’s Thanatos and the role of the unconscious in ethical life that demands a lot of intellectual effort. Yet there’s no jargon or obfuscation in it. Lear is doing real philosophical work–engaging both with ideas and with us.”

    Abner Mikva, Visiting Professor in the Law School, was interviewed by syndicated columnist Charles Levendosky for a column that appeared in the Seattle-Post Intelligencer Sunday, Oct. 1. In his column, Levendosky criticized Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s support of speaker fees for federal judges. Mikva said, “The appearance is that the private sector, whoever is providing these honoraria, is buying some kind of access to the judges. Now, I happen to know that most judges are not for sale. The overwhelming majority of judges are not for sale, but the appearance of these matters is almost as important as the substance.”

    Alumnus James Elkins (M.F.A., ’83, A.M., ’84, Ph.D., ’89) was featured in a Chicago Tribune Magazine article on Sunday, Oct. 8. Elkins is a professor at the School of the Art Institute.

    The research of S. Jay Olshansky, Associate Professor in Medicine, and colleague Bruce Carnes, was the subject of an article that appeared in The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) Wednesday, Oct. 4. Their research, which focuses on the nature of the dying process, a new field of study called biodemography, has been published in the book, The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging. “People are selling one substance after another that many people want to believe will work. But the fact is, you could do everything right with exercise and diet and there’s still a 70 to 75 percent chance you will die of heart disease, cancer or stroke.”

    Norma Field, the William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor and Chairman of East Asian Languages & Civilizations, was a guest of WBEZ-Radio’s Worldview program on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Field discussed the current Japanese sex industry and the Japanese government’s failure to make reparations to so-called Korean “comfort women,” who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II.

    In a story about a new national wireless company Cingular–a merging of BellSouth Corp. and SBC Communications Inc.–Stijn van Osselaer, Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted. The story appeared on the front page of the Business section in the Friday, Oct. 6 issue of the Chicago Tribune.

    Dali Yang, Associate Professor in Political Science, was a guest on WBEZ-Radio’s Worldview program on Friday, Oct. 6. Yang discussed current affairs in China and the anniversary of the Chinese revolution.