April 26, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 15

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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 members of the alumni community 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 stories mentioned in this column, visit the In the News column at the University News Office Web site at: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/.

    David Auburn (A.B., ’91), was featured in several news stories that announced Monday, April 16, his Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his play “Proof.” The production is set in Hyde Park with characters from the University. Referring to the set’s verisimilitude, Auburn said in a Chicago Tribune interview, “When people from Chicago walk into the theater and see that set, the first thing they do is give a little gasp.” The Los Angeles Times also published a story on the play and its author.

    Kevin Murphy, the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Economics and Industrial Relations in the Graduate School of Business, cowrote an op-ed with Gary Becker, Professor in Economics, on U.S. antitrust policy that appeared in the Feb. 26 issue of The Wall Street Journal. “The Microsoft case shows how an aggressive antitrust policy is likely to help competitors but hurt consumers. A simpler, new approach is needed,” they wrote. Murphy is a consultant to a company helping to defend Microsoft in its antitrust case.

    Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, was the lead source for a Sunday, April 8 Chicago Sun-Times story that reported on the book The Vote. The book was edited by Sunstein and Richard Epstein, Interim Dean and the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, and is offered online in a draft version by the University Press. The Vote’s essays, written by University legal scholars, provide opinions on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the controversial presidential election dispute in Florida. The book will be published in the fall.

    John MacAloon, Associate Dean of the Social Sciences Division and an Olympic historian, was quoted in a Wednesday, April 11 New York Times story about Beijing’s bid to serve as host to the 2008 Summer Olympics and whether or not the recent tensions between the United States and China over the U.S. spy plane incident would influence that bid. “The U.S. Congress is not in position to instruct the I.O.C. (International Olympic Committee) about a decision that has to do with the interest of the entire world,” said MacAloon, commenting on any possible attempt by Congress to influence I.O.C. members to not vote for Beijing.

    Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law & Ethics in the Law School, was quoted in a story published by The New York Times, Saturday, April 7. The story, which involved a discussion of disgust and shame and their relationship to legal cases, presented Nussbaum’s opinions from a lecture she gave at the Remarque Institute at New York University. “Disgust is never a good legal argument,” said Nussbaum, who explained that people learn to hate by linking their natural sense of disgust to certain people. The article also cited writings of Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Senior Lecturer in the Law School. “The law cannot be expected to be flatly for or flatly against emotion or emotionality any more than it could have a uniform policy toward information or belief.”

    An article on how to avoid mental mistakes in the stock market, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal, quoted Nicholas Barberis, Associate Professor of Finance in the Graduate School of Business. Investors are more likely to sell if they have seen their stock-market profit completely melt away, Barberis said in the March 20 story. “Some of the early dips in Nasdaq weren’t taken that seriously, because people still had very healthy gains from the past few years. But after the big drops in the past month, some people have had their entire gains wiped out. That’s when they get really scared and head for the exit.” This story also appeared in The Asian Wall Street Journal and The Wall Street Journal Europe.

    Michael Turner, the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics and Chairman of Astronomy & Astrophysics, was quoted in news stories that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times and online at Space.com. The stories reported on an announcement at the Space Telescope Science Institute, where scientists presented evidence of a mysterious anti-gravitational force called dark energy. The find was part of a Hubble telescope observation of an 11-billion-year-old star explosion.

    Charles Lipson, Associate Professor in Political Science, was a source for two Chicago Sun-Times stories that reported on the standoff between China and the United States over the U.S. spy plane that made an emergency landing in China. The first story, which appeared Tuesday, April 10, before the incident was resolved, quoted Lipson speaking about the distribution of power among Chinese leaders. “The point about a dictatorship, like the one the Communist Party runs in China, is it’s often hard to tell what the lines of decision-making are.” The second story, which was published Thursday, April 12, after the Bush administration sent a letter of apology to Chinese leaders, quoted Lipson discussing key issues that he and other experts believe would have been considered during the negotiations. Those issues were Washington’s annual review of arms sales to Taiwan, China’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization and Beijing’s hopes to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

    Lauren Berlant, Professor in English Language & Literature, addressed on National Public Radio the filing of a lawsuit by the estate of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind. The estate objects to an upcoming novel by Alice Randall, The Wind Done Gone, which is a parody of the classic novel, told from the perspective of a young slave girl.

    Homi Bhabha, the Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities, and Kimerly Rorschach, the Dana Feitler Director of the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, were guests on WBEZ’s Odyssey program, Thursday, April 18. Bhabha and Rorschach discussed the cultural significance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and plans to build a new gallery to house the painting in the Louvre.

    Janel Mueller, Dean of the Division of the Humanities and the William Rainey Harper Professor in the College, was a guest on WBEZ’s Odyssey, which focused on Elizabeth I: Collected Works, a book of Elizabeth’s collected writings, which Mueller co-edited with Mary Beth Rose and Leah Marcus.

    New research on Internet commerce by Austan Goolsbee, Associate Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, was featured in the March 19 issue of Time magazine. “Online insurance sites accounted for as much as half the decline in term-life prices from 1995 to 1997, according to Goolsbee’s research, which was conducted jointly with Jeffrey Brown of Harvard University.

    Dali Yang, Associate Professor in Political Science, was quoted in a Thursday, April 12 New York Times story that reported on what China gained from the United States in the aftermath of the spy plane incident. According to Yang, China gained respect and attention. “Now channels are open and they (members of the Bush administration) are learning that this relationship requires a lot of attention and adaptation.”

    Steven Davis, Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, wrote an op-ed on the Microsoft antitrust case that appeared in the Feb. 28 issue of The Los Angeles Times. Davis is a consultant to Microsoft.