May 10, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 16

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    In the News

    John Carlstrom, the S. Chandrasekhar Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, was interviewed for numerous stories on television, radio and in newspapers about his latest research results from Antarctica, which support the cosmic inflation theory of the early evolution of the universe. Carlstrom, who studied the cosmic microwave radio background using DASI, or the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer, was interviewed for stories that appeared on the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times and The Washington Post and on National Public Radio. Stories about the research findings also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Arizona Republic, The Canadian Press, the Associated Press Newswires and the Xinhua News Agency wires. “We’re looking back as far as you can go with light–14 billion years, or roughly the age of the universe,” said Carlstrom in the Washington Post story. 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 many of the stories, as well.

    Steven Levitt, Professor in Economics, was featured in a story published Friday, April 27, in The Wall Street Journal. The story reports on Levitt’s recent, controversial research, which argues that the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s had a large impact on dropping crime rates in the 1990s. The story also reported on Chicago’s Nobel Prize-winning economists Milton Friedman, the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Economics; the late George Stigler; and Gary Becker, Professor in Economics and Sociology.

    Don Coursey, the Ameritech Professor in the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, was the lead source for a Wednesday, April 25 Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan’s largest national daily newspaper) front-page story that examined American interest in the Kyoto Protocol. In the article, Coursey noted that Americans’ largest environmental concern is balancing the country’s demand for energy–specifically home heating and transportation needs–against desires for strong air quality standards.

    In a Chicago Sun-Times story about a survey taken to find out if women have a gender preference when choosing an obstetrician-gynecologist, Sandra Culbertson, Assistant Professor in Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology, was quoted and pictured. Culbertson told the paper that even though many of her own patients tell her they believe she understands them better because she is a woman, she believes personality and bedside manner are more important than gender.

    Recent research by John Cochrane, the Sigmund E. Edelstone Professor of Finance in the Graduate School of Business, was featured in the Monday, April 16 issue of The Financial Times of London. Academic studies traditionally have calculated the return on companies that have initial public offerings and those that are acquired, while ignoring the failures–an approach that Cochrane tries to correct, the paper reported. Cochrane calculates how the probability of going public or being acquired rises as the value of a company increases and the point at which private companies go bankrupt, together with the underlying return, volatility and beta of VC investments, the story reported.

    James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, was quoted in a Washington Post story that reported on President Bush’s new economic plan, which includes cuts in taxes and federal spending. “It is easy to say tax cuts are broad-based and everyone will benefit. These tax cuts won’t help [poor] families,” said Heckman.

    Research on class sizes conducted by Larry Hedges, the Stella M. Rowley Professor in Sociology, was the subject of a Chicago Sun-Times story published Wednesday, May 2. Hedges’ study, which was released Tuesday, May 1, was the first study to document the carryover effect of small class size into high school. “This demonstrates that small classes in the early grades can have a lasting effect on student achievement, and these effects are big enough to make a difference in students’ lives,” said Hedges.

    Richard Stern, the Helen A. Regenstein Professor in English Language & Literature, wrote an essay titled “Autumnal Accounting Endangers Happiness” for The New York Times’ Writers on Writing series that appeared in its March 26 edition. Stern elaborated on his writing process as one that often involves prolonging personal, painful situations because describing them becomes more important than eliminating the pain.

    Richard Thaler, the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Behavioral Sciences & Economics in the Graduate School of Business, was interviewed for a National Public Radio Morning Edition report on a study about Americans’ savings, which was conducted by the Consumer Federation of America. Thaler, a pioneer of behavioral economics, described a case study he and his colleagues worked on at a Chicago company. “I think the bottom line is that there are lots of ways we could increase the saving rate that don’t require any government intervention, don’t require the government to spend any money. They just require firms to offer their employees a gentle nudge.”

    Hamza Walker, Director of Education at the University’s Renaissance Society, was featured in a New York Times article about art museum curators that appeared Wednesday, May 2.

    Judith Chevalier, Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, was on the predicted short list of young economists being considered for the John Bates Clark Medal, according to a Wall Street Journal article published Friday, April 27. The American Economic Association gives the award once every two years to the most outstanding economist under the age of 40. Chevalier “is helping to lead the charge into research on how the Internet is changing the nature of business,” the story reported. Kevin Murphy, the George Pratt Shultz Professor in the GSB, won the Clark medal in 1997.

    George Chauncey, Professor in History, who was part of the gay liberation movement that rose out of the 1969 Stonewall rebellion in Greenwich Village, was featured in the Capital Times of Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, April 24. The story reported on Chauncey’s current research, which indicates the existence of a generation gap between gay men. “Earlier generations of gay men found it relatively manageable and acceptable to maintain multiple personas, to be ‘gay’ in certain social milieus and not others,” he said.

    Ellen Rudnick, Executive Director and Clinical Professor of the Entrepreneurship Program in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story published Monday, April 30. Rudnick suggested the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, even though dot-com start-ups are dwindling as the economy slows and new-venture funding dries up.

    A medical conference on computerized simulations of health-care emergencies that took place at the University Hospitals was covered by the Chicago Tribune in a Tuesday, May 1 story.

    Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Thursday, April 26 New York Times. Sunstein wrote about the federal judiciary and how he believes ideology is tipping the balance in the high court. “We are in the midst of a remarkable period of right-wing judicial activism,” wrote Sunstein. “In the 1970s, Republicans were right to attack undemocratic, overly ambitious rulings of the Warren court. Yet by focusing so carefully on judicial appointments, Republicans have produced an equally undemocratic judiciary–one with far too little respect for the prerogatives of the elected branches.”

    In his column that first appeared in The Washington Post and then in the Chicago Tribune, Charles Krauthammer suggested that the best candidate for the next surgeon general may be Leon Kass, the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought. “A doctor by training, a philosopher by nature, he is one of those rare Socratic beings who can get you to see what you have never seen–and get you to like it. He has practiced medicine, published papers in biochemistry, written and reflected on everything from Darwin to Babel, from cloning to euthanasia,” he wrote of Kass.