Jan. 24, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 8

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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, so space allows publishing references to only selected examples. 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/.

    Leon Kass, the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, was in the news last week after President Bush announced the members of his new Council on Bioethics, which Kass serves as chairman. Janet Rowley, the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics, was appointed by Bush as a member of the new council that began talks last week on human cloning. Stories that reported on the council appointments were published Thursday, Jan. 17, in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

    Brigitte Madrian, Associate Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in a Sunday, Jan. 13 New York Times article about the bankruptcy collapse of Enron Corp. and the loss of its employees’ 401(k) savings plans. Jeffrey Milyo, Assistant Professor in the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, was quoted in a Thursday, Jan. 17 San Francisco Chronicle story about the bankrupt Enron. Other University faculty members who provided commentary for reports about Enron were Douglas Baird, the Harry A. Bigelow Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School, who was quoted in a Saturday, Jan. 12 Chicago Tribune article, and Roman Weil, the V. Duane Rath Professor of Accounting in the Graduate School of Business, who also was quoted in the Chicago Tribune in its Sunday, Jan. 13 issue.

    Lewis Fortner, Associate Dean of Students in the College and Academic Director of the Study Abroad Programs, and Susan Art, Dean of Students in the College, were both quoted in a story in the Sunday, Jan. 13 Education Life section of The New York Times. The story reported on how college students experience apprehension about graduating and leaving school as their senior year approaches its end, and how this year is particularly difficult, following the Tuesday, Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “It isn’t just the end of four years,” said Fortner, “It’s the end of 16 years or 17 years of education, which is a highly artificial form of existence. The abyss of freedom yawns.”

    John Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science, was one of the sources quoted in a story that was published by The New York Times Saturday, Jan. 12. The story reported on the differing opinions of experts concerning America’s role in the world today, following last September’s terrorist attacks. “We told all those states that were not allied with us, ‘You are either with us or against us, and if you are against us, you will pay a price.’ That’s unilateralism.”

    The Houston Chronicle published a feature story on alumnus David Auburn (A.B., ’91) and his hit play Proof, for which he has won both a Pulitzer Prize in Drama and a Tony Award for best play. The play recently completed its run at the Wortham Theater Center in Houston, Texas.

    A story reporting on a study completed by Elbert Huang, Instructor in Medicine, appeared on the Associated Press Newswires Sunday, Jan. 13. Huang’s study shows that physicians may be inflating the costs of treating urinary tract infections and possibly promoting resistance to antibiotics by ignoring treatment guidelines. “If every drug can work and one drug is promoted more heavily, doctors tend to prescribe the one they’ve heard more about,” said Huang. A story about the study also was published in USA Today Monday, Jan. 14.

    Herschella Conyers, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, provided commentary for a Sunday, Jan. 6 Chicago Tribune story that reported on the urging of some legal experts for law enforcement officials to videotape police interrogations of suspects in addition to videotaping criminal confessions. “You can’t not tape the 50 hours of denials, and not tape the time the police strike someone in the head, and not tape the way the person is coached into saying whatever he says, and then only flip on the camera for the actual confession,” said Conyers. Conyers is a lawyer for Corethian Bell, who had confessed to the murder of his mother after a lengthy police interrogation. The charges against Bell were dropped after DNA test results failed to link him to the crime.

    Donald Lamb, Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, appeared on Public Broadcasting’s WTTW-TV Nova program, “The Death Star,” which aired Tuesday, Jan. 8. The program told the story of gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the universe. A dozen or more radio stations across the country interviewed Lamb earlier that day for programming that was linked to the Nova show.

    Alumni AndrČ Pluess (A.B., ’96) and Ben Sussman (S.B., ’94) were profiled in the January issue of American Theatre magazine. The two former University students, who have been theatrical sound designers for theater groups in Chicago and Los Angeles, began their collaboration as a team when they worked together on University Theater productions. They currently are in residence with Court Theatre on the University campus.

    Behavioral economist Richard Thaler, the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Behavioral Science & Economics in the Graduate School of Business, was interviewed for a Sunday, Jan. 13 article published in The New York Times. The story focused on Americans’ savings, especially retirement savings, and what strategies encourage people to save more for their later years in life. Thaler also was interviewed for a story that appeared in The Wall Street Journal, which reported on his project “Save More Tomorrow.”

    Michael Turner, the Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, was quoted in a Thursday, Jan. 10 Chicago Tribune story about discoveries made concerning the center of the Milky Way galaxy and in a Tuesday, Jan. 8 New York Times article reporting on scientists’ studies on dark matter in the universe.

    Ellen Rudnick, Executive Director and Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Graduate School of Business, and James Schrager, Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management in the Graduate School of Business, were featured in i-Street magazine’s list of the “Top 100 People of Chicago’s High-tech Economy.” According to the magazine, the list is based on individuals who had an impact on building a culture of entrepreneurship in the region.