In the News

Marie Felde

04 April 2001 | The Sunday Telegraph of London didn’t exactly shout “hallelujah.” But the newspaper, reporting March 11 on a German scholar’s discovery of a new choral work by Handel, did seek out Handel expert and Berkeley music professor John Roberts to lend credibility to the find.

“I am convinced that this is an authentic new work. The density of the texture together with certain rough edges suggests to me that it dates from the very beginning of Handel’s time in Italy. It is certainly a major discovery,” Roberts said of the 1707 composition.

Fast forwarding four centuries, Dierdre Mulligan, the new director of the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic, was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer March 8. The topic was the assault on personal privacy by new technologies.

“Privacy is to the information age what environment is to the industrial age: something that needs to be attended to on the front end,” said the lawyer and Internet privacy expert.

In a long piece on China’s “Olympic Dreams,” Newsweek magazine sought out Graduate School of Journalism dean and China culture and politics expert Orville Schell for his views. Noting that Beijing “desperately wants to host the 2008 Games,” the news weekly asked if this fact would give the West leverage to push for more reform.

Awarding the games to China, said Schell, “would be a way of anchoring China to the West for the next eight years.”

A series of news reports on the release in March of U.S. Census Bureau statistics featured several Berkeley demographers and social scientists.

The validity of the 2000 count came into question when the Census Bureau itself said it had missed about 3.3 million Americans. The question, “What to do about it?” The answer, according to statistics professor David Freedman, was not much.

He told The New York Times that methodological improvements have improved the accuracy of the count nearly as much as possible.

Even without counting everybody, it is clear that there’s been dramatic growth in the nation’s minority population. Kenneth Wachter, chair of the demography department, was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News: “The sheer growth in numbers and the amount of adjustment is going to be a social challenge for the country.”

The New York Times, probing the finding that Latinos are on the verge of becoming the nation’s largest minority group, looked to Jewelle Taylor Gibbs, social welfare professor emeritus, for insight.

“In California, we are not using the word minority much anymore,” she said. “One out of three people (in California) speaks Spanish or is of Spanish descent. By 2001, they will be the largest ethnic group in California. So they don’t feel much like a minority. There’s a very, very strong sense of empowerment,” she said.

Earlier in the month, President Bush’s reversal of new workplace injury rules made news, and the San Francisco Chronicle called upon Laura Stock, director of the Labor Occupational Health Program here, for her view. Stock had testified in favor of the stronger rules. “These rules were the result of many years of research and study. There’s really an epidemic of injury out there,” she said.

Marie Felde is director of media relations in the Office of Public Affairs. “In the News” is a monthly look at Berkeley faculty, staff and research that makes news around the world.


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