IMAGE:  February 2003 GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
Volume 95, Issue 3
LINK:  Research
Next Generation  
LINK:  Features
Deep into the Landscape  
Minority Report  
Practice Shots
Searching for Respect  

Chicago Seven: One Year Later


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Alumni News  
Alumni Works  

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From the President  

GRAPHIC:  ResearchInvestigations
Fostering a new system
Mark Courtney wants foster teens to have a fairer shot at adulthood.
Every year an estimated 30,000 foster children turn 18, age out of government-run programs, and are expected to transition smoothly into adulthood on their own. Within the first year more than one-third are in jail, homeless, or the victims of physical or sexual assault. That’s according to Chapin Hall Center for Children director Mark Courtney, who tracked 141 foster youth who “graduated from” the Wisconsin system in 1995 and 1996. Courtney, associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration, wasn’t surprised by the bleak findings. “The idea that we stop providing a home at age 18 is shortsighted,” he says. “Parents don’t kick kids out at 18 these days. Why would we expect foster youth to be more likely to make it at 18?”
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Mars, Venus, and the race to the top
Could all-girls schools teach corporations a lesson in hiring practices? “It depends on the job being filled,” says Uri Gneezy, but probably. Such schools have long argued that they offer pupils an advantage merely by eliminating males from the competition—and perhaps even high-pressure competition itself—but little empirical research has been done to support those claims. Two recent studies by Gneezy, assistant professor of behavioral science in the Graduate School of Business, and Aldo Rustichini of the University of Minnesota reveal a deeply ingrained difference in the way men and women react to competition in the short term.
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When marriage raises AIDS rates
Although many parents in sub-Saharan Africa believe early marriage will shield their adolescent daughters from the region’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, in fact the opposite may be true, according to research by Shelley Clark, assistant professor in the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. As a demographer with the nonprofit Population Council before coming to Chicago in 2001, Clark studied adolescent girls in South Africa.
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How to calculate health risks
Environmental policy in the United States, law professor
Cass Sunstein says, results more from “short-term panics and scare tactics” than “the best understanding of the facts.” In Risk and Reason: Safety, Law, and the Environment (Cambridge University Press) he outlines a more efficient risk-regulation plan: cost-benefit analysis. Although critics accuse number crunchers of overlooking human factors, Sunstein believes the calculations can help generate the thoughtful judgment now lacking in environmental policy.
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Next Generation
Four days after Christine Fulara’s defective kidney was removed, the 70-year-old was taking walks around the block. Fulara had the U of C Hospitals’ first robotic operation, performed in early December by associate professor of surgery Arieh Shalhav with the new, $1.2 million Da Vinci surgical system. Instead of a big scar, she is left with only the marks on her belly from several small incisions. Da Vinci’s cluster of arms operated through two of the holes, and a tiny camera entered through another to give Shalhav a 360-degree view.
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Fig. 1
Why Brad and Kristen beat out Jermaine and Ebony
Could the name at the top of a résumé prompt racial discrimination? According to Marianne Bertrand, associate professor in the Graduate School of Business, and MIT economist Sendhil Mullainathan, it can. Answering more than 1,300 help-wanted ads in Boston and Chicago, the researchers sent four résumés—two higher quality, two lower quality, one of each with a black-sounding name—to companies seeking sales, administrative-support, clerical, and customer-service employees.
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