This Week in the News…

Posted: October 11, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Friday, Oct. 4, USA Today

Antitrust Chief to Leave Justice Post

“But [Justice Department antitrust chief Charles] James also forged a consensus approach to antitrust enforcement by pursuing Clinton administration cases some Republican regulators might have dropped, including a price-fixing case against American Airlines, says Ernest Gellhorn, law professor at George Mason University. ‘These were cases one might have predicted wouldn’t go forward,’ he says.”

Friday, Oct. 4, National Public Radio, Morning Edition

Progress in Anthrax Investigation One Year After Attacks

Ken Alibek, director, Center for Biodefense, George Mason University: “My major point is this: We shouldn’t narrow down our charge until we know something for sure. We shouldn’t rule out some probability that this product could be manufactured somewhere overseas.”

Sunday, Oct. 6, Agence France-Presse

Afghan War Resurrects Tensions Between Journalists, U.S. Military

“The use of special forces and air power for most of the fighting in Afghanistan has shifted the balance of power from the news media to the military bureaucracy–and the public is the biggest loser, said Richard Rubenstein, a professor at the George Mason University Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Fairfax, Virginia. ‘There’s a kind of strange naivete on the part of journalists, especially in a war situation when it comes to accepting official explanations,’ he said. ‘One gets the feeling that the press is being played.'”

Monday, Oct. 7, Associated Press Newswires

Supreme Court Refuses to Review Case of Man Banned From Having More Children

Ronald D. Rotunda, a law professor at George Mason University, said the court’s refusal to intervene is not an endorsement of the theory that ‘rich people can procreate and poor can’t.’ For now, justices are not ready to take up the subject, he said. ‘There hasn’t been a case quite like this,’ Rotunda said.”

Monday, Oct. 7, Boston Globe

Terror-War Issues Head for High Court

Nelson Lund, a constitutional law professor at George Mason University School of Law, said: ‘My guess is the court is going to be very, very careful about this, particularly not to rush to get at any of these cases. If you look back at history, often the cases that were decided quickly during a war were cases the court has come to regret later.’ The justices, he added, ‘are going to be very, very sure before taking a case, that it has worked its way fully through the lower courts.'”

Tuesday, Oct. 8, Associated Press Newswires

Iraq May Have Smallpox

“‘I have no doubt in my mind that Iraq does have the smallpox virus,’ said Dr. Ken Alibek, a top official in the former Soviet Union’s biological weapons program before defecting to the United States in 1992.… ‘The only explanation is they used [camelpox] to see how to grow smallpox, how to concentrate it, how to deploy it. It’s a perfectly good and safe model for this,’ said Alibek, now director of the George Mason University Center for Biodefense in Manassas, Va. ‘It’s hard to believe Saddam would do this work to protect his camels.'”

Wednesday, Oct. 9, Wall Street Journal

Scientists Say Lie Detector Doesn’t Always Tell the Truth

“‘We stress that no spy has ever been caught by the use of the polygraph,” said Kathryn Laskey, a systems engineering expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. She and other scientists on the panel said the agencies that rely on polygraphs face a ‘difficult choice’ between interpreting the tests too strictly and catching large numbers of innocent employees, or giving the results low weight and missing people who may be security risks.”

Thursday, Oct. 10, New York Times

A Nobel That Bridges Economics and Psychology

“Daniel Kahneman, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University, who is also a citizen of Israel, and Vernon L. Smith, a professor of economics and law at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., shared the prize, which is worth approximately $1.07 million before taxes. Their work shed light on strategies for explaining everything from stock market bubbles to regulating utilities and countless other economic activities.… ‘It took me several years,’ Professor Smith said at a news conference yesterday, ‘to realize that the textbooks were wrong, and the people in my class were correct.'”

Thursday, Oct. 10, Washington Post

Two Americans to Share Nobel Prize in Economics

Vernon L. Smith, 75, a professor of economics and law at George Mason, will share this year’s $1 million prize with Daniel Kahneman, 68, a psychologist at Princeton University…. Smith’s prize was also a major coup for George Mason, at one time a suburban satellite of the University of Virginia system that has recently embarked on a campaign to pull itself up into the ranks of prestigious research universities by attracting academic stars, often late in their careers.”

Thursday, Oct. 10, National Public Radio, All Things Considered

Vernon Smith Discusses His Development of Economic Experiments That Won Him the Nobel Prize

Dr. Vernon L. Smith, George Mason University: “It began small. I didn’t begin with the idea that, you know, I’m going to create a field here called experimental economics. I wanted to address the problem of being a more effective teacher in the introduction course in economics. So I came up with a procedure to sort of demonstrate the principle of supply and demand in an auction market.… I thought there must be something wrong with the experiment, because, you know, we usually say markets have to have a very large number of buyers and sellers, or they have to have complete information. There are a lot of stories we tell in economics that turn out to be wrong.”

Thursday, Oct. 10, CNNfn

Vernon Smith, Study of Best Structures for Commodity Markets

Vernon Smith, professor, George Mason University: “I think the simple message is that what the experimental laboratory has shown is that markets are affected and efficient under much weaker conditions than has traditionally been supposed in economic theory. And I’m particularly talking about the commodity markets…. Asset markets are far more volatile, like stock markets, because of the very large component of expectations in the determination of value. And both of these propositions can be demonstrated and have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments.”

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