March 29, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 13

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    In the News

    The Chronicle’s biweekly column In the News offers a digest of commentary and quotations by a few of the University faculty members, students and alumni who have been headlining the news in recent weeks. Chicago faculty members are some of the most frequently quoted experts; however, space does not allow the Chronicle to print all of the quoted material published or interviews broadcast by media outlets. To read many of the full newspaper articles mentioned in this column, visit the In the News column at the University News Office Web site at: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/.

    C.M. Naim, Professor in South Asian Languages & Civilizations, wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Thursday, March 8 Chicago Tribune. Naim wrote about the Taliban’s recent destruction of the Great Buddhas of Bamiyan and how world leaders are reacting to their destruction, including an appeal made by the United Nations secretary general to preserve the statues. Naim wrote that the zeal with which opponents of the Taliban express their outrage over this destructive act, does not equal a level of concern for the people of Afghanistan or elsewhere, for that matter. “Why is the saving of these statues so important to the world but not the lives of children in Iraq and Palestine? Why is there not the same unanimous and loud condemnation of the actions denying millions of these children the right to live in security and peace?” he wrote. The Chicago Tribune’s editorial page also carried a political cartoon based on Naim’s op-ed.

    Michael Dawson, Professor and Chairman of Political Science, was interviewed about President Bush’s tax reduction plans on WBEZ-FM Radio’s Odyssey program on Friday, March 9. In an editorial, which followed the release of the Chicago area’s Census 2000 figures, the Chicago Tribune quoted Dawson, whose research has included polling of African Americans’ attitudes. The New York Times also quoted Dawson on the census results in a story that appeared in the Thursday, March 15 issue. “Chicago is absolutely still a segregated city. And it still has a long way to go with the public schools. There’s still been a significant portion of population that has not been able to partake in the economic expansion of the ’90s.” He also was interviewed for a story on the census results published Thursday, March 15, in the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Tom Smith, Director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the University, was quoted in the same Chicago Tribune editorial as Dawson about the Census 2000 figures for Chicago and its suburbs. Smith also commented on the census data for a story published Wednesday, March 14, by the Christian Science Monitor.

    Diana Mendley Rauner, a Senior Researcher at the Chapin Hall Center for Children, wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Monday, March 12 Chicago Sun-Times. Mendley Rauner described the factors she believes could have saved the lives of students who died in the recent shooting at Santana High School in Santee, Calif. “What makes any community, including a school, safe is the commitment and shared responsibility of its members. This is more than self-interested social exchange or some utopian ideal: It is a moral belief that recognizes that our efforts to care for each other create a shared public good.”

    Philip Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in Music, was interviewed for an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, March 14. The story reported on a joint preservation project between the Library of Congress and the St. Petersburg-based Kirov-Mariinsky Opera.

    Craig Futterman, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Law School, discussed in a Sunday, March 11 Chicago Tribune story the recent acquittal of Jeremiah Mearday in the Cook County court case that alleged Mearday had assaulted two Chicago police officers. Futterman described it as “a prototype of a case that should not have been brought. I think it was entirely done for political reasons, rather than because the case had merit.”

    A story about the new book Republic.com, written by Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor, was published in the Christian Science Monitor Thursday, March 15. According to the story, Sunstein warns that Internet readers who can set their preferences in place before receiving news from the Web, deliberately limiting their focus and screening out unwanted information, pose a threat to the future of democracy.

    Elliott Gershon, Foundations Fund Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry, was quoted in a story in the Tuesday, March 20 Chicago Tribune about a group of German researchers who claim they have found a gene that may be responsible for a rare form of schizophrenia. He also was interviewed for a story that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday, March 14, which reported on the use of electroconvulsive therapy for those who suffer from severe depression.

    William Schweicker, Professor in the Divinity School, commented in an article, published in the Boston Globe Saturday, March 3, on the Family Christian Center in Indiana putting a Starbucks cafÈ in its church building. “This happened in the ancient temple. It has an inner court and outer court that Jesus cleansed. It was an area of money changing and economic exchange. So the problematic relationship between worship and commerce is longstanding.”

    Neil Shubin, Professor and Chairman of Organismal Biology & Anatomy, was photographed while leading one of the University’s Mini-Med School sessions at the Chicago Cultural Center. The photo accompanied a story about the program, which educates laymen on medical topics and is a response to the public’s interest in medicine.

    Christopher Faraone, Professor and Chairman of Classical Languages & Literature, was quoted in a Monday, March 19 story about students who study the classics. The story, published in the Chicago Sun-Times, also quoted doctoral student Neil Coffee and pictured him with fellow graduate student John White in the Classics CafÈ on the University campus.

    Bruce Cumings, the Norma & Edna Freehling Professor in History, was interviewed for a Chicago Sun-Times story that appeared Friday, March 9, and reported on South Korean President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kim Dae-jung’s visit to the United States. Cumings, who has known Kim since 1973, was part of a delegation that accompanied Kim to South Korea in 1985 after his exile here ended.