February 18, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 10

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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.

    Jean Bethke Elshtain, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor in the Divinity School, debated the Rev. J. Philip Wogaman, senior pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., where President Clinton regularly attends. The Monday, Feb. 1 debate, which took place at Fourth Presbyterian Church, was covered by WBBM radio. Elshtain also debated Wogaman on Chicago Tonight on that date. Ted Koppel interviewed the two ethicists Tuesday, Feb. 2, on ABC’s Nightline about using religious terms in civic debate. Don Browning, the Alexander Campbell Professor in the Divinity School, appeared in the set-up segment.

    Locke Bowman, Legal Director of the MacArthur Justice Center of the Law School, was quoted in the Sunday, Feb. 7 Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times about the release of Anthony Porter, an Illinois Death Row inmate, and the ramifications of his case. “Porter came within 48 hours of being executed for the basic reason that his IQ was 51,” said Bowman. “If you enhance his IQ by 50 points, he would now be a dead man, and that’s not the way anybody, pro or con the death penalty, wants to run our criminal justice system.”

    John Carlstrom, Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, was interviewed about his recent $1 million James S. McDonnell Centennial Fellowship to research the origins of the universe. Carlstrom was a guest of WBBM-AM radio on Wednesday, Jan. 27, and was mentioned in the Chicago Tribune on the same date.

    Edward Laumann, the George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman of Sociology, was quoted in newspapers across the country, including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and USA Today, about the latest data from the 1992 National Health and Social Life Survey. The data, which was also reported on ABC World News Tonight, CNN, Dateline (NBC), The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Radio network and Channels 5 and 7 in Chicago, show that about 43 percent of women and 30 percent of men experience sexual dysfunction.

    Saskia Sassen, Professor in Sociology, was quoted in Part I of a series of stories in the Chicago Tribune about the city of Chicago’s status as an influential, urban power in the fast-growing global economy. Sassen, is the author of The Global City and other books examining the trends in global financial markets, including electronic trading.

    David Strauss, the Harry N. Wyatt Professor in the Law School, wrote an op-ed in the Tuesday, Feb. 2 New York Times about reports that independent counsel Kenneth Starr may believe President Clinton can be indicted while in office. Strauss said Starr must follow the Justice Department policies, which clearly state that a president cannot be indicted while in office.

    Michael Turner, the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman of Astronomy & Astrophysics, was quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune about the recent Pritzker Symposium on Inflationary Cosmology, for which he served as co-chairman. Leading cosmologists gathered here to discuss and assess current theories and findings about the expansion of the universe. “Two years ago, we couldn’t have had this meeting,” said Turner in the Tuesday, Feb. 9 New York Times article. “We didn’t have the data. Now we do . . .” ––data that supports the inflationary theory.

    Linda Waite, Professor in Sociology, appeared on Fox TV’s evening newscast Tuesday, Jan. 26, for a story about the disadvantages of cohabitation. Waite was also quoted in the Monday, Feb. 1 issue of USA Today on the same topic.