Nov. 30, 2001
Vol. 21 No. 6

current issue
archive / search

    In the News

    The recent findings of University researchers led by Susan Goldin-Meadow, the Irving B. Harris Professor in Psychology and the College, were published in a story in the Thursday, Nov. 15 Chicago Sun-Times and by Reuters English News Service. “Gesture is very integrally linked to speech. We wanted to ask the question: Does it do any good? It looks like it makes thinking easier. We just don’t know how.” The study was published in the November issue of the journal Psychological Sciences.

    After conducting an initial study on the psychological responses of Americans to the Tuesday, Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the National Opinion Research Center at the University has been awarded a $220,000 grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to further its investigations. “Now we will follow up on those same people to follow the long-term and chronic responses of people to the attacks as opposed to short-term acute psychological responses,” said Tom Smith, Director of NORC’s General Social Survey, in a Monday, Nov. 12 Chicago Sun-Times story. The Chicago Tribune also reported on the grant awarded to NORC.

    A study on the phenomenon called the “Brazil nut effect,” conducted at the University and led by Sidney Nagel, the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor in Physics and the College, was described in two stories that were published in The Independent-London and The Times of London on Thursday, Nov. 15. An explanation for the Brazil nut effect, how grains of different sizes separate when shaken during transit, with the largest ones ending up on the top and the smallest on the bottom, was the problem in question. “The actual effect is more complicated than we thought previously,” said Nagel in The Independent-London story. “Air pressure plays an important part, irrespective of the density of the grains. Our results indicate an intricate interplay between vibration-induced convection and fluidization, drag by interstitial air and intruder motion.” Nagel’s study was published in the journal Nature.

    Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law & Ethics in the Law School, was interviewed by The San Francisco Chronicle about her philosophical theories and her new book Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions

    Janet Johnson, Professor in the Oriental Institute and the College, and Robert Ritner, Associate Professor in the Oriental Institute and the College and academic adviser to the Cleopatra exhibition at the Field Museum, were interviewed for a Wednesday, Nov. 14 Chicago Tribune story. The story reported on the Field Museum show, which reveals that Cleopatra was not the first woman in Egypt to have power and authority as a head of state. Other women, including Hatshepsut and Nefertiti, were prominent rulers before the famous queen.

    Robert Fogel, the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in a Sunday, Nov. 11 New York Times article that reported on the economic growth in the health care industry in contrast to spending on such purchases as technology and housing. “A lot of people would rather have a new knee than a new Mercedes,” said Fogel, who explained that overall Americans have become richer and spend additional income on their physical well-being.

    The University’s Scholars at Risk Program and its Director Robert Quinn were part of an article published in the Monday, Nov. 12 Chicago Sun-Times that featured Naseem Rizvi, a native Pakistani who now teaches at Loyola University in Chicago. Rizvi acquired her teaching position there through the Scholars at Risk Program, which helps provide temporary academic appointments to professors, writers and other intellectuals who are threatened with censorship, violence or discrimination in their home countries.

    Cass Sunstein, the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, and Judge Richard Posner, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, provided opposing commentary on the Supreme Court’s intervention in the presidential election dispute in Florida and its ruling in Bush vs. Gore, following the release of ballot data collected by the National Opinion Research Center at the University. NORC was hired by a consortium of news organizations to examine Florida’s undervote and overvote ballots. Sunstein said, the ballot data suggest “the political institutions could have resolved it.” Posner described the court’s legal conclusions as “tenuous” and “a stretch, but it was a stretch justified by a reasonable concern about the consequences of doing nothing.” Multiple reports on NORC’s ballot review project results were published in The New York Times, the National Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Sun-Times.

    John Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and the College, was a guest on WTTW’s public affairs program Chicago Tonight on Thursday, Nov. 8. Mearsheimer commented on President Bush’s address to the nation about the war in Afghanistan. He also was quoted in a Monday, Nov. 12 story that appeared in The Straits Times, a Singapore newspaper.

    Two University students, Yusra Ahmad and Sumerah Bakhsh, were photographed and interviewed for a Monday, Nov. 19 Chicago Sun-Times story that reported on the hijab that is worn by some Muslim women. The two students, who follow the Muslim faith, discussed their decision to wear the hijab. “Hijab is meant to protect you, to accord you dignity and respect,” said Ahmad. “I wear it out of personal choice––no one, not my parents, not my family, not my friends coerced me to do this.”

    Dennis Hutchinson, the William Rainey Harper Professor in the College, wrote an op-ed that was published in the Sunday, Nov. 18 Chicago Tribune. Reflecting on the post-World War II Nuremburg trials, Hutchinson wrote about those who supported and those who opposed the trials. Hutchinson discussed the history of these trials, as critics and supporters today debate the possibility of a military commission deciding the fate of Osama bin Laden and members of the Al Qaeda network, once captured.

    Allen Sanderson, Senior Lecturer in Economics and the College, wrote an op-ed that was published in the Monday, Nov. 26 Chicago Tribune. In contrasting the customer service practices of private enterprise with public agencies, he wrote that because private firms face competition from rivals, they have an incentive to provide efficient, dependable and courteous service. Otherwise we would take our business elsewhere. On the contrary, government agencies and government-sponsored monopolies, including public utilities, the post office, cable television and even professional sports franchises, have little incentive to economize on their citizen’s money or time. He added, “We certainly do not consider our own time to be of no value or consequence; good government would not treat it that way either.”