Yale Bulletin and Calendar

February 15, 2008|Volume 36, Number 18
















In the News

“[Negative campaigning] has always been around. In 1800, John Adams’ campaign spread rumors that Thomas Jefferson was dead. If you have democratic elections, you are going to have dirty campaigns.”

Joanne Freeman, professor of history, “Negative Politics: The Pros and Cons,” Kentucky Post, Feb. 2, 2008.


“[Economists assume that] everything is subject to market pricing unless proven otherwise. The problem is not that economists are unreasonable people, it’s that they’re evil people. They work in a different moral universe.”

Paul Bloom, professor of psychology, making a joke while arguing that analyzing some activities, such as selling human organs, solely in terms of their ­marketability sidesteps the question of their morality, “Economists Dissect the ‘Yuck’ Factor,” The New York Times, Jan. 31, 2008.


?“The U.S. is not immune to vector-borne viruses [those spread by insects or animals] and dengue [a fever spread by mosquitos] re-emerging globally should be an eye-opener that it could be the next West Nile virus that hits the United States. It’s endemic in Mexico. It’s endemic in Puerto Rico. It’s all throughout the Caribbean. It’s knocking on our door.”

Barry W. Alto, postdoctoral associate in ecology and evolutionary biology, “Tropical Disease Threatens U.S.,” Kansas City Star, Jan. 20, 2008.


“No vaccine is 100% effective. We know that the [chickenpox] vaccine is extremely effective in preventing severe cases. What we now see are very mild cases. But what we do know — what we are almost 100% certain — is that the solution to that is another dose of the vaccine.”

Dr. Marietta Vazquez, assistant professor of pediatrics, “Despite Vaccinations, Chickenpox Numbers Up,” San Antonio Express-News, Jan. 21, 2008.


“The main difference [between the centuries-long tradition of reading the Bible aloud and the new audio versions of the book] is that in oral cultures, hearing is a communal experience. Between the headphones we tend to be closed in on ourselves. Yet even in that private place, really good stories take us into other worlds with other people. And the Bible has some awfully good stories.”

Wayne Meeks, the Woolsey Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, “The Bible — in Surround Sound,” Christian Science Monitor (MA), Jan. 23, 2008.


“There is literally no question that [an unratified mutual defense compact between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Malik] is unprecedented. The country has never entered into this kind of commitment without Congress being involved, period.”

Oona Hathaway, associate professor of law, “Bush Plan for Iraq Would Be a First; No OK From Congress Seen; Constitutional Issues Raised,” Boston Globe, Jan. 25, 2008.


“While disclosure [of a researcher’s conflict of interest] may warn an audience to cover its ears, it may also license the expert to yell even louder.”

Daylian M. Cain, lecturer at the School of Management, “Universities’ Conflict-of-Interest Policies are Doomed to Fail, Scholar Says,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 1, 2008.


“Indeed, it is never obvious how the government should foster well-functioning markets. The fundamental role of governments in promoting markets is clear, but the design of their instruments must make creative use of a great deal of information about financial theory, human psychology and existing institutions and practices. The successful markets we have are a result of considerable inventive effort.”

Robert J. Shiller, the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics, in his article, “To Build Confidence, Try Better Bricks,” The New York Times, Jan, 27, 2008.


“You’ve got hard-fought contests for [the presidential nomination in] both parties, and whenever you have a contested election with challengers, those get the highest turnout. There’s no more engaging political story than that. People want to vote when they think their vote will make a difference.”

Alan Gerber, professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of American Politics, “Open Field of Candidates Fans Interest,” New Haven Register, Jan. 27, 2008.


“[N]o area is more in need of reconceptualization — a problem-solving reformulation — than education. It is the most important issue because family, workforce and economic well-being, national defense, domestic tranquility, and the maintenance and improvement of our democracy are all interrelated and all tied to the quality of our system(s) of education. ... Begin this effort with a program that is open to all, but weighted toward communities that demonstrate a commitment to helping students develop in a way that promotes not only their academic achievement, but also their preparation for meeting adult tasks and responsibilities. Do not create a massive federal and/or state(s) program. And don’t promise a quick fix.”

James P. Comer, the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry, in his article, “An Open Letter to the Next President,” Education Week, Jan. 16, 2008.


“It used to be that managements always won these battles [against activist stockholders] because the bulk of the investor base was inclined to support management in any challenge. Those days are gone.”

Stephen M. Davis, lecturer at the School of Management, “Phoenix: We Like The Plan We Have,” Hartford Courant, Jan. 29, 2008.


“Other things being equal, you would expect that if interest rates are lower and earnings expectations are higher, that would drive stock prices up. This time, people may be more pessimistic about earnings due to mortgages and other issues.”

Ray Fair, the John M. Musser Professor of Economics, on why stocks have not rebounded after a Federal Reserve rate cut, “Hitch Your Wagon to a Rate Cut?” The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 28, 2008.


“But as economists, we’re here to tell you that plain, old-fashioned financial incentives — the risk of losing a substantial amount of money — are a pretty effective tool. Commitment contracts are a way for people to steel themselves today against tomorrow’s temptation. ... Rob Harrison, a lecturer in legal writing at Yale Law School, has been using commitment bonds for the last decade to help students overcome writer’s block. Students have given him checks of up to $10,000 written to charity and authorized Rob to mail the checks if they failed to turn in a paper by a particular time. For the first five years, students made the checks payable to charities that they liked, but about five years ago, a student suggested that making the checks out to charities they didn’t like would be an even more effective incentive. The great news is that Rob has never had to mail one of these commitment checks.”

Ian Ayres, the William K. Townsend Professor of Law, in his article, “You Bet Your Life; Can’t Stick to that New Year’s Resolution? Try Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 27, 2008.


“For most Americans it is all but impossible to imagine a time when murder, torture and intimidation — terrorism — determined our own elections. But in the election violence of 1868-1876 during Reconstruction, we can find a homegrown brand of American terrorism that forever mars America’s claims as a political model for the world. ... Such violence [by anti-Reconstruction Southern Democrats] included dragging blacks who had voted or organized as Republicans from their homes and subjecting them to torture and sometimes ritual execution. It also included assassinations of constitutional convention delegates as well as Republican sheriffs and members of state legislatures. Rifle clubs tended to carry out killings and intimidations in the comfort of groups, targeting local politicians and citizens, while their goals were the broader destruction of black civil and political rights and the end of Reconstruction regimes.”

David Blight, director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, and the Class of 1954 Professor of American History, in his review of Stephen Budiansky’s “The Bloody Shirt,” “After Appomattox,” New York Sun, Jan. 30, 2008.


“While nuts are indeed rich in fat content, it is, for the most part, of the healthful variety. … The one potential downside to nuts in their native state is the high calorie content they provide, although the jury is out on the effects of nut consumption on weight. It appears thus far that nuts are particularly good at satisfying appetite, in which case the calorie cost of nuts may be a price well paid. The other concern about nuts is what we do to them. Often, they are not in their native state when consumed. By the time we’re done roasting, coating and salting, the nutritional profile of a naturally nutritious nut may be a shadow of its former self.”

Dr. David L. Katz, associate professor adjunct in public health practice, in his article, “Going Nuts for Health,” New Haven Register, Jan. 28, 2008.


“The search for safe and effective treatments to improve and rejuvenate the tone, color and texture of the aging face is never ending.”

Dr. Jeffrey S. Dover, “Keep Father Time From Marching On: New Laser Treatments Offer Gentle and Effective Skin Resurfacing in a Flash,” EarthTimes.org, Feb. 3, 2008.


“[D]epression may be multifactorial, and therefore treatment approaches should include medication, talk therapy, lifestyle changes and exercise. However, it is important to note that if patients don’t respond to treatment provided by primary-care doctors, they may consider getting a referral to see a psychiatrist. Patients who fail to respond to treatment may need a more complex medication regimen, usually offered by specialists in mental health.”

Dr. Jacob Moussai, resident in psychiatry, in his letter to the editor “Dealing with Depression,” U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 28, 2008.


“As they drafted and debated the Constitution [and its requirement that a president be at least age 35], the founders knew that the sitting English prime minister was William Pitt, the younger, whose father (William Pitt, the elder) had headed the ministry before the American Revolution. Young Pitt had entered Parliament at age 21 and had become prime minister at age 24. America’s Constitution aimed to prevent something similar from happening here. By 35, a favorite son of a famous father would have his own record on which he could be judged. Conversely, meritorious low-born men would have time to rise through the ranks.”

Akhil Reed Amar, the Southmayd Professor of Law, in his article “The Constitution and the Candidates; What Would the Framers Say?,” Slate, Feb. 4, 2008.


Geneticist cited for research on hypertension

Researcher focuses on heredity in quest to understand . . .

Exhibit traces linkages on the ‘Tree of Life’

‘Rolling’ offers honest, sometimes shocking, look at life in a wheelchair

Study: Older women more likely to suffer depression than older men

Researchers seeking new test for detecting kidney injury . . .

Yale Rheumatic Diseases Research Center awarded $3.2 million . . .

One Law Clinic, Two Cities

Conference will look at issues surrounding nuclear disarmament

Former Yale architecture dean to give Chubb Lecture

Study gives high marks to use of bypass surgery for those in their 90s

Yale Ob-Gyn researchers discussed current work . . .

Several Yale Ob-Gyn presentations are awarded honors at meeting

Judith Resnik wins prestigious honor for her ‘outstanding scholarship’ . . .

Lectures explore mythmaking in Hollywood westerns

Panel will explore ways to promote diverse faculties

‘Images 2008’ exhibition includes works by three Yale staff members

Memorial service for Dr. Barry Goldberg

Yale affiliates to be honored guests at benefit event for LEAP

Campus Notes

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