Feb. 20, 2003 – Vol. 22 No. 10

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    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: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/.

    Marvin Zonis, Professor of Business Administration in the Graduate School of Business, wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Friday, Jan. 31 Chicago Tribune, about President Bush’s State of the Union address. Zonis noted Bush’s reference to the “might” of the United States as a factor that defeated “the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism and communism.” Zonis wrote in response to that reference: “It omits what has traditionally been considered the most important reason for the triumph of the U.S.–its ideology. The commitment of the U.S. to freedom, democracy and civil liberties has underpinned the willingness of its citizens to fight and the appeal of the U.S. to its allies and to its enemies. But for Bush, what counted was military power.”

    Lawrence Casalino, Assistant Professor in Health Studies, was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal about a study he conducted with researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, showing how care management practices have benefited patients. The study revealed that physicians have been slow to adopt these practices, which are especially beneficial to patients with such conditions as diabetes, depression and heart failure.

    Michael Turner, the Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and Stephan Meyer, Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, Physics and the College, were quoted in a Wednesday, Feb. 12 Chicago Tribune story that reported on recent satellite images released Tuesday, Feb. 11, by NASA. The images provide the most accurate dating of the universe’s birth, 13.7 billion years ago, and they support earlier evidence of dark energy, a mysterious force in the universe that is steadily increasing. Meyer, a member of the team that monitored the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, which captured the images, said: “Today, the universe is apparently turning over a new leaf and shifting into an accelerating phase again. In some sense, it’s a middle-age crisis in that it is now taking on a new aspect of its evolution.” The New York Times also published a story on the WMAP results and quoted Turner.

    In an op-ed published Monday, Feb. 3, in The Nation, Saskia Sassen, the Ralph Lewis Professor in Sociology and the College, argued that bombing Iraq may put U.S. citizens at greater risk of terrorist attacks within the United States, specifically in cities. “The Bush Administration regularly warns Americans of the certainty of a major attack inside the United States. But this is used as an argument to persuade us that we need to bomb Iraq. The Bush team has yet to acknowledge that our military escalation could result in increased civilian deaths right here at home,” wrote Sassen.

    Jerry Sadock, the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman of Linguistics, was quoted in the Sunday, Feb. 2 Chicago Tribune. The story described how President Bush and some former U.S. presidents have throughout the years mispronounced the word “nuclear.” Bush’s folksy pronunciation “NOO-kyuh-luhr,” has two ending syllables that are more common, in words such as spectacular and particular, than are the syllables “klee-er,” said alumnus Jesse Sheidlower (A.B., ’89), principal editor for the North American Unit of the Oxford English Dictionary. Said Sadock: “If someone said this [the University of Chicago] was where the first sustained NOO-kyuh-luhr reaction was, they’d be right out of here.”

    Stefano Guandalini, Professor in Pediatrics, was interviewed for a story about his recent research into celiac disease among Americans. The story appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 11 Chicago Sun-Times. Guandalini explained that many members of the medical community are unaware of celiac disease, a digestive disorder that is caused by gluten. The study found that 1 in 133 people are affected by the disease, which can be diagnosed with a blood test and treated with a gluten-free diet. The study also was covered by the Chicago Tribune, WBBM-Radio and the Associated Press Newswires.

    John Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science, was an expert source for numerous newspaper stories and radio and television broadcasts reporting on pending prospects of war in Iraq. Mearsheimer, whose position on foreign policy regarding Iraq is for containment of Saddam Hussein, was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered programs; appeared on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program; and was quoted in Chicago Sun-Times and New York Times articles. Mearsheimer’s appearances and interviews took place within the past three weeks.

    W.J.T. Mitchell, the Gaylord Donnelly Distinguished Service Professor in English Language & Literature, Art History and the College, was interviewed for a report on the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, which appeared in the Sunday, Feb. 2 Chicago Tribune. The article described how people’s reactions to the Columbia crash have been much different than reactions they had in 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. Though both shuttle explosions resulted in the loss of seven astronauts and deeply saddened Americans, this most recent tragedy has possibly had a bigger impact on the American psyche, having followed the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and having happened as the nation’s leaders contemplate war with Iraq. “This is surrounded by much more momentous and grave issues,” said Mitchell. “I suspect the national mourning for this [Columbia] will be relatively subdued.”

    Charles Lipson, Associate Professor in Political Science and the College, responded to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s United Nations address in a Thursday, Feb. 6 Chicago Sun-Times article. Lipson noted that Powell “released unprecedented amounts of classified material… which showed persuasively they [Iraq] have no intention of disarming.” Lipson also was interviewed for a WMAQ-TV newscast Wednesday, Feb. 5, and was a guest on WGN-AM Radio’s Spike O’Dell program Thursday, Jan. 30, and on ABC-Radio’s Beyond the Beltway program Sunday, Feb. 9.

    A study being conducted in the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies was cited in a Sunday, Feb. 9 Chicago Tribune story that reported on the consequences of incarceration, especially its impact on children. Noting that the fastest growing prison population is women with children under age 18, the article cited the study’s statistics, which state that the number of incarcerated women in Illinois increased from 999 in 1990 to 2,892 a decade later. The Harris School study is looking into the social and economic costs of incarcerating mothers.

    Bruce Cumings, the Norman & Edna Freehling Professor in History and the College, discussed on WBEZ-Radio’s World View segment the tensions in North and South Korea, regarding North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Cumings was a guest on the program, which aired Friday, Feb. 7.

    Allen Sanderson, Senior Lecturer in Economics and the College, discussed the economic impact of a casino in Chicago in an interview that was broadcast on WBBM-AM Radio Wednesday, Jan. 29. Sanderson also was a guest panelist on WTTW’s News Hour, on which he shared in a discussion about the new name for Comiskey Park. The program was broadcast Tuesday, Feb. 4.