Features

Who Owns The Past?

KARIN HALVORSEN ’97 HAS NO TROUBLE REMEMBERING AN AFTER-DINNER DEBATE she witnessed as an undergraduate on a dig in Morgantina, Sicily, co-sponsored by Wesleyan and the University of Virginia. The archaeologists around the table were arguing passionately about the so-called Elgin Marbles. Should the British return these sculptures from the Parthenon to Greece, now that the…

Biology’s New Data Mavens

PEOPLE ARE DATA. That’s the mantra for a new breed of biologists who use computers to sort through vast databases comprising billions of bits of information about genes. They are searching for patterns that reveal why one person is different from another, why one person’s genes portend cancer while another’s augur a long, healthy life.…

Out Of This World

MARTHA GILMORE IS GOING TO MARS. Again. In fact, this time she’s not only responsible for helping pick a landing site, she’ll be doing some of the driving on the red planet, too. Gilmore, an assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences who frequently visits colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), has been making…

Food for Thought

DURING HIS 1995 SABBATICAL, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT JOHN FINN did something a bit unusual for a constitutional law scholar of his age and reputation: He went to culinary school. Three days a week for nine months he took the long train ride from Connecticut to the French Culinary Institute in New York City for five hours…

Campaign Artistry

THE SHUTTER CLICKS AND BROOKS KRAFT ’87 CAPTURES President George W. Bush whispering in the ear of Senator Ted Kennedy, the president’s hand lightly resting on the senator’s shoulder as both men smile. It’s a quintessential Bush moment: a touch of personal charm delivered while other Senate leaders are milling about. “Hands Across the Aisle,” says…

What’s Eating Us?

“A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK EATING DISORDERS are based in vanity,” says Professor of Psychology Ruth Striegel-Moore. “Bulimia is ‘the stupid thing vain women do.’ But they’re really disorders of identity.” That crucial insight lay well in her future when Striegel-Moore, as an undergraduate, accompanied her mentor on a visit to a hospital ward for patients…

Critical Care

DR. JOSEPH J. FINS ’82 WAS A FIRST-YEAR FELLOW in general internal medicine in New York when Eunice Thomas*, a black woman from Guyana with a problem-plagued medical history, was wheeled in by her daughter, Jennifer. Stroke, chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure, and rheumatoid arthritis had left her sound in mind but slow in speech.…

Fire Fights

THE HELICOPTER CIRCLES THE FIRE in the Sky Lakes Wilderness area of Oregon. The “spotter” on board identifies a break in the trees where firefighters can rappel down. With the side doors open, the roar of the helicopter rotors and the howling wind makes conversation impossible. The crew uses hand signals to alert Sarah Berns ’98 and her…

The Art and Craft of Location

OCCASIONALLY A NIGHT’S WORTH OF RAIN will come through Los Angeles and clear away the smog. It’s then possible to see Downtown from Hollywood, the mountains from Downtown. Homes in the hills are visible for the first time in months and the landscape appears in bas-relief in the rearview mirror. This is the perfect day to explore…

Playing Politics

YOU MIGHT THINK THAT BRADLEY WHITFORD ’81, award-winning actor on NBC’s The West Wing, could take a lunch break that lasted as long as he wanted. But his beeper goes off and immediately he’s due back on the set, despite the half-eaten tuna sandwich in front of him at the WB commissary (a linen-napkin-and-fresh-sliced-fruit sort of…