Oct. 4, 2001
Vol. 21 No. 2

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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. To read many of the full newspaper stories mentioned in this column, visit In the News at the University News Office Web site, http://www-news.uchicago.edu/.

    Many members of the University faculty, student body and alumni community provided insights and commentary to the media in the aftermath of the Tuesday, Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Much of that commentary was published and broadcast in newspaper and television reports across the country, featuring a variety of expert opinions that ranged from the psychological, spiritual and physical impact of the attacks, to the political, financial and legal ramifications. Faculty members in many University departments and schools contributed to these reports.

    Faculty members

    Charles Lipson, Associate Professor in Political Science and the College and Director of the Program on International Politics, Economics and Security, was interviewed for a story published Sunday, Sept. 23 in the Chicago Sun-Times, which reported on international support to the United States from nations around the globe. He also was a guest on WMAQ-TV’s City Desk on Sunday, Sept. 23.

    Lloyd Rudolph, Professor in Political Science and the College, was quoted in a story in the Sunday, Sept. 16 Chicago Sun-Times, which attempted to explain why many in the Muslim world despise America. “Problem No. 1 is we’re the big guy on the block. As is frequently said in the Indian press, we’re the only superpower. It means that they have less voice, less influence, that they feel they matter less.”

    Neil Harris, the Preston & Sterling Morton Professor in History and the College, whose research includes the study of the history of technology, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story published Friday, Sept. 14, which described the victims’ use of cell phones during the hijackings of the American planes.

    Bennett Leventhal, Professor in Psychiatry, was interviewed for a Tuesday, Sept. 25 story in the Chicago Tribune, which reported on the Palestinian youths who celebrated the attacks in America and why children are capable of expressing hatred toward others. “Children learn to hate from their parents and from other adults in their lives,” explained Leventhal.

    Eve Van Cauter, Professor of Endocrinology in Medicine and a sleep researcher, was quoted in The Washington Post, Tuesday, Sept. 25. The story reported on the ways to manage stress and anxiety in the wake of tragedy.

    Alan Leff, Professor in Medicine and a lung specialist, was interviewed for a Thursday, Sept. 13 story in the Chicago Tribune, which reported the physical threat posed by the dust, fumes and toxic materials that enveloped thousands of people near the Trade Center towers in New York.

    Robert Kirschner, Clinical Associate in Pathology, was interviewed for a Wednesday, Sept. 19 Chicago Sun-Times story that described the forensic techniques that would be necessary to identify the victims of the Tuesday, Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Mort Silverman, Director of Student Counseling & Resource Services and Associate Professor in Psychiatry, commented in an editorial published Sunday, Sept. 16, in the Chicago Tribune on the New York firefighters and passengers on United Airlines flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania, whose acts of bravery led to certain death.

    John Rolland, Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry, was quoted in a New York Times article about the grieving process for the victims’ families, who still await word that their loved ones have been recovered and identified.

    Rashid Khalidi, Director of the Center for International Studies and the Council of Advanced Studies in Peace & International Cooperation and a Professor in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and the College, commented in a Saturday, Sept. 29 New York Times story, which included quotes from other Arab scholars in the United States. Khalidi also was quoted in a Chicago Tribune column that was published Thursday, Sept. 20; in an article that appeared in the online edition of BusinessWeek Tuesday, Sept. 18; and in a story published in the Chicago Sun-Times Thursday, Sept. 13. In the Sun-Times interview, Khalidi commented on Osama bin Laden’s hero status that followed Afghanistan’s defeat of the Soviet Union forces. “You cannot explain [Tuesday’s attacks] without Afghanistan. It was like a cauldron, a blast furnace, which shaped not just the organization, but also the beliefs. What shaped and formed [bin Laden] was that war. He and his comrades were the recipients of billions of dollars in training and assistance.”

    Fred Donner, Chairman and Professor of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations and the College, commented on the problematic use of the term “fundamentalist” in a story reporting on Islamists in the Monday, Sept. 24 Chicago Sun-Times.

    Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, was quoted in a Monday, Sept. 17 Wall Street Journal article that reported on the possible erosion of civil liberties in the United States following the terrorist attacks. Sunstein said citizens should be cautious about asserting their rights. “There are going to be police around in public places. Don’t assert your rights when they want to make sure you don’t have a gun.”

    David Strauss, the Harry N. Wyatt Professor in the Law School, was quoted in a Tuesday, Sept. 18 New York Times story, which described how new national security proposals, such as an increased use of electronic surveillance domestically, would inevitably limit privacy rights for American citizens.

    Dennis Hutchinson, the William Rainey Harper Professor in the College and a Senior Lecturer in the Law School, was interviewed for two stories published Sunday, Sept. 16, one that appeared in The New York Times and another in the Chicago Tribune. The stories reported on the possible loss of freedoms in America, a country that is now preparing for a “war on terrorism.”

    Edward Snyder, Dean of the Graduate School of Business; Sam Peltzman, the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor; and M.B.A. student David Iannelli all contributed to a story published in the Friday, Sept. 14 Chicago Tribune on the school’s efforts to stay in contact with its students and alumni via the Internet following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

    Robert Aliber, Professor in the GSB, was interviewed for a Thursday, Sept. 13 Chicago Sun-Times story that reported on the record losses of insurance companies. Aliber also wrote an op-ed that was published in the Monday, Oct. 1 Wall Street Journal. Aliber wrote about the terms he believes the federal government should impose on the airlines regarding the government’s loan guarantee. The guarantee came as promised assistance to the airlines, following the terrorist attacks, which grounded all U.S. commercial planes. “The major question is how much of the costs of the mistakes of management prior to Sept. 11, and of recent tragic events, should fall on the taxpayers, and how much on airline managers, stockholders and lenders,” he wrote.

    George Constantinides, the Leo Melamed Professor of Finance, was quoted in a Thursday, Sept. 20 article in the Chicago Sun-Times, which reported on an investigation into individuals who profited through options trading just prior to the terrorist attacks.

    Marvin Zonis, Professor in the GSB and an expert on the Middle East, wrote op-eds that appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 12; Thursday, Sept. 13; and Friday, Sept. 21 issues of the Chicago Sun-Times. Zonis, who teaches international political economy, also was quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times article published Sunday, Sept. 16, and was a guest on CNN Wednesday, Sept. 19, as well as BBC London and WBBM-TV in Chicago. “Eliminating the regimes of state that support terror is necessary to end terror. But bombing rarely results in a change of regime,” wrote Zonis in one op-ed.

    Members of the University alumni community and student body

    Alumnus Stephen Cohen (A.B. ’57, A.M. ’59), a Middle East analyst, was quoted in a New York Times op-ed published Friday, Sept. 14. “President Lincoln said of the South after the Civil War: ‘Remember, they pray to the same God,” Cohen was quoted as saying. “The same is true of many, many Muslims. We must fight those among them who pray only to the God of Hate, but we do not want to go to war with Islam, with all the millions of Muslims who pray to the same God we do.”

    Elliott Brennan, a fourth-year student in the College, was quoted in a Sunday, Sept. 16 Chicago Sun-Times article that included interviews with university students who were born during the post-Cold War era in America. “If people in other countries think we’re tyrants and we go around in displays of patriotism that start off well-intentioned and end up misguided and sad and ugly, if people call us tyrants and we start acting like tyrants, we’re dishonoring all the people who just died in this horrible event.”

    Jeremy Posadas, a third-year student in the College, was featured on a 190 North panel discussion broadcast on WLS-TV on Sunday, Sept. 23. Posadas shared his perspective on the terrorist attacks with other panelists John Rogers Jr., CEO of Ariel Capital Management and a University trustee; Colleen Connell, executive director of ACLU Chicago; Robert Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times film critic; Bob Greene, Chicago Tribune columnist; Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Northern suburbs); and Bob Reed, editor of Crain’s Chicago Business.

    The University’s interfaith prayer vigil, which was held the day after the attacks and was the first such event on campus sponsored by Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, was covered in a story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune Thursday, Sept. 13.

    University scientists David Grier, Associate Professor in Physics and the College; Milan Mrksich, Associate Professor in Chemistry and the College; and Daphne Preuss, Assistant Professor in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, were interviewed for a Chicago Tribune story about their current research to develop a new class of adhesives that will be stronger and smaller than any existing ones. These new adhesives could become a powerful aid to a wide variety of new technologies and lead to the self-assembly of tiny machine parts. Robert Zimmer, Deputy Provost and Vice President for Research and Argonne National Laboratory, also was quoted in the Monday, Sept. 17 story, which highlighted the University’s interdisciplinary research and how that practice will continue to evolve and grow once the University’s new Interdivisional Research Building is completed.

    Robert Gertner, the Wallace W. Booth Professor of Economics and Strategy in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in the Monday, Sept. 17 cover story in Forbes magazine. Gertner commented on regulation of the cellular telephone industry.

    Research being led by Elizabeth Grove, Assistant Professor in Neurobiology, Pharmacology & Physiology and the College, was covered in an article published in the Chicago Tribune Friday, Sept. 21. Grove’s research team successfully manipulated a mouse brain into making a second set of touch neurons in a different area of the brain than where the original set of neurons were located. The study may help scientists understand how the fetal brain develops.

    Kevin Murphy, the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Economics and Industrial Relations in the Graduate School of Business, was interviewed about recent research on the future of the Social Security system for a story published by The New York Times Sunday, Sept. 2.

    Brigitte Madrian, Associate Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in a Sunday, Sept. 9 Chicago Tribune story reporting on job satisfaction and employee loyalty. Madrian also was featured in a Boston Globe story about her research on 401(k) retirement savings plans.