November 1, 2007
Vol. 27 No. 4

current issue
archive / search
Chronicle RSS Feed

    Chicago in the News

    The Chronicle’s biweekly column Chicago 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.

    Who's watching bad cops?

      Craig Futterman
    Craig Futterman

    Craig Futterman, Clinical Professor in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the Law School, who is the author of a forthcoming study on police brutality in Chicago, was quoted in a Thursday, Oct. 25 Chicago Sun-Times column that reported on recent news reports about complaints against Chicago police officers. “We’re not talking about a department that is filled with corrupt officers,” said Futterman. “Just 5 percent had amassed 11 or more complaints. But there were some who had over 50 complaints within the last five years and had never been disciplined, never been flagged.” Futterman added that some lower-income communities had more concentrated abuse complaints. “What was disheartening was that no one was looking at this information and really didn’t want to know.”

    Shaped by intense competition

    The published results of 20 years of research that Dario Maestripieri has completed have been released in his new book, Macachiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World. Interviews with Maestripieri, Associate Professor in Comparative Human Development and the College, have appeared in a United Press International story and on ScienceDaily.com. He writes that the rhesus macaques may owe their survival to the Machiavellian behaviors they share with humans. “Rhesus macaques are one of the most successful primate species. What rhesus macaques and humans may have in common is that many of their psychological and behavioral dispositions have been shaped by intense competition between individuals and groups during the evolutionary history of these species.” He added: “Our Machiavellian intelligence is not something we can be proud of, but it may be the secret to our success.”

    Farther left than the rest?

    A blog posting written by Gary Becker, University Professor in Economics, Sociology and the Graduate School of Business, and Richard Posner, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, was published in the Sunday, Oct. 21 Chicago Sun-Times. The two scholars, who regularly write a blog on various topics that cover their areas of expertise in economics and law, sometimes with opposing views, agreed in this recent posting that the faculties of American universities “are well to the left of the population as a whole.” Posner pointed out in his commentary that “an ironic counterpoint to university leftism is the increasing, and increasingly successful, imitation of business firms by America’s colleges and universities,” and he concluded that “the modern American university system allows its faculty and administrators to live right, while thinking left.” Becker further argued that intellectuals not only lead the politically correct movement, but also are hostile toward capitalism. “A belief in free markets requires confidence that both sides to a trade generally gain from it … even when everyone is motivated solely by their own selfish interests. It is much easier to believe that governments are more likely than private individuals and enterprises to further the general interest,” wrote Becker.

    Avant Gaudy a finalist

    Deborah Umunnabuike, a second-year in the College, was featured in BusinessWeek magazine as a best young entrepreneur finalist for her online vintage clothing shop, Avant Gaudy. “I’m looking to learn how to create a more socially responsible business,” said Umunnabuike, who operates the business with her sister, Jessica. The two sisters recruited Hong Kong native Vincent Choi, who is assisting the company in reaching more customers in Asia. The BusinessWeek article also noted that Umunnabuike is involved in the Forte Foundation, a group dedicated to creating young women business leaders.

    Slowing down AMD

    William Mieler, Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, was quoted in a story that appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 23 Chicago Sun-Times. The story reported on how certain foods, such as whole-grain breads, rice and pasta, could help slow the process of age-related macular degeneration if added to a person’s diet. Mieler noted that he thinks diet plays a large role in AMD and makes his patients aware of that.  “We can’t stop growing older, but we can modify what we eat.”

    Popularity of bhangra

    Bhairavi Nallanathan, president of the University’s South Asian Student Alliance, was quoted in a Thursday, Oct. 18 Chicago Tribune article that reported on the popularity of the traditional South Asian dance called bhangra, which is performed in cultural shows at many universities throughout Illinois. The SASA show at Chicago is performed in the spring and includes elaborate costumes and intricate dance steps. Photos from the Chicago spring show accompanied the article. “It’s exhilarating and a huge adrenaline rush,” said Nallanathan.