Special Issue: Media Draws on Faculty Expertise

20 September 2001 |

Every day, reporters seek out UC Berkeley faculty to feature their work and expertise in stories. In this week of non-stop, far-reaching news, university experts helped shed light on a broad range of topics — from national security to structural engineering, from the economy to how our society can cope with the tragedy.

Below are just a few of the quotes that appeared in media outlets across the country in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

“No one has the reach, politically, militarily, economically or culturally, for better or worse, that we do. People in bad shape ascribe their problems to our power.”
—Michael Nacht, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, on the reasons for anti-American sentiment
San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 13

“U.S. investors have lacked a sense of vulnerability that previous generations have had. World War II and the Depression gave previous generations a clear sense of economic insecurity.”
—Terrance Odean, assistant professor of finance, Haas
School of Business, on fallout for individual investors
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 12

“The design criteria for tall buildings do not include the impact of airliners.”
—Gregory Fenves, professor of structural engineering, on the World Trade Center collapse
Newsday, Sept. 12

“This will definitely leave a void. It was a great technological achievement when it was built. Skyscrapers have always stood as symbols of hope, and the World Trade Center stood for as high as we could reach.”
—Charles Benton, chair of the architecture department, on the destruction of the World Trade Center
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 12

“If it was really just confined to what happened (Tuesday), as terrible as the damage was, it’s really not of huge significance,” he said, noting natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes have caused more widespread destruction. “But if there’s continued uncertainty about safety, about international trade, and shipping and flights, this could be a serious problem.”
—Alan Auerbach, chair of the economics department, on how the terrorist attacks will affect the U.S. economy
Austin American-Statesman, Sept. 12

“In this case, because the structures were steel structures, the columns were able to tolerate easily the impact, and even they could tolerate the fire if you were able to reach the fire and extinguish the fire. But since it wasn’t possible … the steel lost its strength and collapsed after one hour. But that one hour of time apparently was enough for many people … to evacuate from the 91st floor after the fire started. So they were out before the collapse.”
—Hassan Astaneh, professor of structural engineering, on how the strength of the World Trade Center succumbed to the fire, not the impact of the crash.
Jim Lehrer News Hour, Sept. 11

“Something unbelievably horrible can happen. It did happen. We look at the world differently than we did. It’s going to take time before that backpack goes back to being a simple backpack.”
—Ann Kring, associate professor of psychology, on jitters, anxiety and suspicious packages
San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 14


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