[Currents headergraphic]

June 23, 1997


Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood earned notice recently in the world's two leading science journals, Science and Nature. Greenwood was one of the principal sources in a special news report in Science about possible reforms in the National Research Council, the operating arm of three prestigious scientific academies. In Nature, she commented about an expanded role for the National Science Board. Greenwood is one of 24 members of that board, which helps coordinate the government's policy on research.

Science also featured astrophysicists Doug Lin and Peter Bodenheimer in a long article about how planets might form around other stars. The pair's theories, the article made clear, are regarded as among the best in the world.

And Michael Soulé, professor emeritus of environmental studies, was quoted in a Science article about the possibility of cloning endangered species. Soulé fears that talk of cloning could distract attention from the urgent matter of habitat preservation.

Psychologist and penal system expert Craig Haney has been on the media circuit lately, fielding calls from the New York Times and National Public Radio about Timothy McVeigh's death sentence. He was quoted in a Santa Rosa Press Democrat article about the penalty phase of the trial of convicted murderer Robert Scully. The slaying occurred five days after Scully's release on parole from Pelican Bay Prison, and Haney testified about the "high level of brutality" at the prison.

The leading science magazine in Denmark, Illustreret Videnskab, pictured and quoted our own astronomer Sandy Faber in a colorful supplement about the Hubble Space Telescope. We have no idea what Sandy said, but we're sure it was appropriately cosmic.

Psychologist, and sometimes historian, Melanie Mayer was a consultant for a documentary about the Klondike gold rush, titled Gold Fever, which aired on PBS as part of the American Experience series. Mayer advised PBS on women's roles in the gold rush.

The San Jose Mercury News rang up Brian Walton, director of the Predatory Bird Research Group, for comment about declining levels of DDT in the environment. The front-page story focused on the recoveries of bald eagles, brown pelicans, and peregrine falcons, all of which nearly vanished in the lower 48 states thanks to DDT. Since DDT was banned, the birds have rebounded dramatically. The chemical still lingers, Walton said, but not at high-enough levels to damage the birds' eggs.

Sociologist Dane Archer's knowledge of gestures came in handy recently when the Los Angeles Times interviewed him for an article about human body language.

Math Department chairman Bruce Cooperstein lent his insights to the Santa Cruz County Sentinel for a pair of articles about strategies to raise the state's poor math scores and hire better math teachers. Prospects for the latter, Cooperstein noted, look grim because the number of math majors at universities nationwide has dropped by 50 percent or more.

Susie Bower of Student Organization Advising and Resources and UCSC student Corin Choppin spoke to a reporter from the online newspaper CommunicationsWeek Interactive for an article about the campus's spring student elections on the World Wide Web. The two were also interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The elections, held from April 28 through May 2, were the first UCSC general elections to be held entirely on the World Wide Web. Choppin, a UCSC senior, acted as election commissioner.

To the Currents home page

To UCSC's home page