March 2, 2006
Vol. 25 No. 11

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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: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/. If you are aware of news articles that feature the University or its faculty, students and/or alumni, feel free to bring them to the attention of the Chronicle editor to be considered for In the News. News clips may be sent to ldavis@uchicago.edu.

    The new Nubian Gallery in the Oriental Institute Museum was featured in an article published in the Wednesday, Feb. 22 Chicago Tribune. The gallery is the last in a series of gallery reinstallations at the Oriental Institute, which also renovated its space for offices, workrooms and climate-controlled storage. The ancient African civilization of Nubia flourished 5,000 years ago alongside Egypt, a culture that influenced the Nubians. Although the Nubians borrowed from the Egyptians, including the building of pyramids, the Nubians also had their own artistry. “These objects tell the historical story, but we think they also express a clear notion of the Nubians’ love of form, color and shape that evoke both their own African sensibilities and sensibilities they shared with the Egyptians,” said Steve Harvey, Professor in the Oriental Institute and co-curator of the exhibition. Bruce Williams, and Harvey’s co-curator, and Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute, also were quoted in the article.

    Steven Kaplan, the Neubauer Family Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance in the Graduate School of Business, was quoted in a Tuesday, Feb. 21 New York Times story that reported on the decisions facing entrepreneurs whose start-up businesses have become successful. Often these business owners have to ask themselves whether or not they want to expand their business, hand it over to a professional manager to operate it or sell it and start something new. Said Kaplan, “You’re taking it from a company where you can make all the decisions to one where you have to delegate.”

    News about University scientists’ research project with NASA’s Stardust mission, which is collecting tiny dust particles streaming from the nucleus of comets that the spacecraft has flown by, was reported by the United Press International newswire service. Samples of the dust have returned to Earth in the Utah desert in a canister that is expected to hold 2,300 particles measuring at least 15 micrometers. The Chicago scientists, including Andrew Davis, Senior Scientist in Geophysical Sciences, Larry Grossman, Professor in Geophysical Sciences and the College, and Steve Simon, Senior Research Associate in Geophysical Sciences, will study the dust with an electron microprobe and a scanning electron microscope.

    Andrew Davis, Senior Scientist in Geophysical Sciences, appeared on the NOVA documentary “The Ghost Particle,” which aired Tuesday, Feb. 21. The program describes the Nobel-Prize-winning neutrino research of Ray Davis Jr., Andrew’s father. Also appearing in the film was the late John Bahcall, a collaborator of Ray Davis’ who received his S.M. in physics from the University in 1957, and Masatoshi Koshiba, who shared the 2002 Nobel Prize with Davis. Koshiba was a Research Associate in the Enrico Fermi Institute from 1955 to 1958. (See Chronicle story on Page 4.)

    Benjamin Abella, Assistant Professor in Medicine, was interviewed for a story published Tuesday, Feb. 21 in the Chicago Sun-Times that described how a hypothermia treatment given during a woman’s cardiac arrest helped minimize brain damage in the patient. Without the cooling treatment applied to her body, Abella said, “Chances are she would have had severe disabilities and brain damage.” According to the Sun-Times article, the University Hospitals uses an internal cooling system, in which a catheter is inserted into a large vein and threaded to a spot near the patient’s heart. Cool salt water is circulated through the catheter in a closed loop, helping to cool blood as it flows over the loop. With regard to further applications, such as using hypothermia treatments on stroke and heart attack patients, Abella said, “It will take a few more careful studies to determine if it’s a benefit.”

    Thomas Gunning, the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in Art History, Cinema & Media Studies and the College, was interviewed for a story that appeared in the Sunday, Feb. 19 Chicago Tribune. The article described shifts in consumer behavior with regard to Hollywood films and how they now are offered via multiple platforms such as DVDs, high-definition satellite TV, iPods and cell phones. Going to a theater to view a film is becoming less and less popular as technology leaps ahead, making the viewing experience smaller and smaller. Gunning noted that even though television hurt movie ticket sales, that technology was not solely to blame for the dip in movie attendance. “There was a whole new emphasis on domesticity,” said Gunning, as World War II veterans returned home and ushered in the suburban leisure culture. He compares the current home-entertainment boom to the time when people in the 1950s and 1960s entertained friends with hi-fi stereo sound demonstrations. The article also quoted W.J.T. Mitchell, the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor in English Language & Literature and the College. “I find no substitute for the big-screen experience. I mean, who wants to watch ‘King Kong’ on a cell phone? I just like watching movies with a lot of strangers and experiencing the shared reception of something.”

    Samuel Peltzman, the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics in the Graduate School of Business, discussed the health of the U.S. economy during a Tuesday, Feb. 14 appearance on WGN Radio’s Extension 720 program, moderated by Milton Rosenberg, Professor Emeritus in Psychology and the College. The discussion also included a look at globalization and global markets.

    The late Mark Krupnick, Professor in the Divinity School and the Committee on Jewish Studies and one of the nation’s leading scholars of Jewish-American intellectual life, was memorialized in an essay published in the Sunday, Feb. 12 Chicago Tribune. The essay described Krupnick’s early years growing up in New Jersey and his time spent at Harvard University as a literature student. The essay also noted his last published work, Jewish Writing and the Deep Places of the Imagination, in which he returned to those earlier years when he wrestled with being “a bookish Jew in a gentile world.” “I identified with [Alfred] Kazin’s Whitmanesque effort to absorb American culture into himself and assume an American voice,” recalled Krupnick in the book. “That he had actually achieved this leap, the son of a barely literate immigrant house painter, gave me hope.”