Notebook: January 24, 1996

Rhodes and Marshall Scholars
Enrollment by Race at the Ivies
Class Act: Sex, Babies, Genes, and Choices
Oberdorfer, West to Receive Awards
In Memoriam
In Brief


Four seniors and an alumnus will study in England next fall

One senior and a recent alumnus won Rhodes scholarships, and three seniors won Marshall scholarships in December. The awardees will study in England next year. Harvard produced the most American Rhodes scholars, seven undergraduates and one from the medical school, and the most Marshall scholars, four. Stanford came in second for Rhodes scholars with three. Like Princeton, MIT and Indiana University had three Marshalls.
Senior Kristen G. Fountain is one of 32 American Rhodes scholars who will study at Oxford University. Neil M. Fenton '95, of Alberta, Canada, is one of 11 Canadian Rhodes scholars. Among the 40 Marshall scholars who will study at British universities are Amy N. Kapczynski '96, Derek C. Kilmer '96, and Jonathan M. Orszag '96.
Last year Princeton had three Rhodes scholars and six Marshall scholars.
At Oxford, Fountain, a philosophy major, plans to continue studying philosophy of science, which is the subject of her thesis. She has elected to write a second thesis, a collection of poetry, in the creative-writing program under the direction of Professor of English and poet James Richardson '71.
A trainer for Outdoor Action, Fountain is a peer educator in Princeton's counseling program for victims of sexual harassment and assault and an on-air host for WPRB, the campus radio station. Fountain also serves on a student-government subcommittee that deals with student-dining options and is a member of a student-run vegetarian eating and dining cooperative.
Fenton is currently earning a master's degree in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). At Oxford next fall he expects to begin studying toward a doctorate in international relations. Eventually, he would like to work for the United Nations on third-party mediation efforts.
While earning his master's at LSE, he has been tutoring inmates at a local prison and is organizing a prison-outreach program for students. He is a correspondent for Spare Change, a Canadian newspaper that homeless people sell for a profit. Fenton also finds time to play on LSE's rugby club and is copresident of its rowing club.
A politics major and a member of the women's-studies program who attended the UN Women's Conference in Beijing, Kapczynski will use her scholarship to continue studies in modern political theory at the University of Cambridge. She plans to enroll in a broad-based master's course in intellectual history and political thought. Kapczynski, who is considering a career either in academia or social services, spent most of last summer in Berlin doing research for her senior thesis, which will look at reunification and the women's movement in East and West Germany.
Kilmer is interested in returning to his hometown of Port Angeles, Washington, to address the social problems that have resulted from a distressed timber industry, the town's chief business. A Woodrow Wilson School major, he will study in the comparative social-research program at the University of Oxford. The vice-president of his senior class, Kilmer has political experience off campus, too. In the summer of 1993, he interned for U.S. Representative Al Swift, a Democrat from Washington, and last summer he worked in the White House Office of Domestic Policy.
Orszag is an economics major who spent the 1994-95 academic year working as a special assistant to Alan B. Krueger, a professor of economics and public affairs who is on leave while serving as chief economist for U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Orszag also assisted Democratic political consultant James Carville in preparing a forthcoming book, We're Right, They're Wrong: A Handbook for Spirited Progressives. Orszag will return to Washington, D.C., this spring to work in the office of President Clinton's National Economic Adviser, Laura D'Andrea Tyson. Orszag's senior thesis is entitled "Productivity Is Up, But Wages Are Not: What's Going On?"


Table of Enrollment

The U.S. Department of Education compiled enrollment by race and ethnicity at colleges and universities across the country. Collected in the fall of 1993, this information is the latest data available. The distribution is based on each school's total enrollment, including full-time and part-time students and undergraduate and graduate students.
Princeton adopted an affirmative-action policy in 1963 when President Goheen announced that the university would actively seek to attract and enroll qualified students of color. In 1995-96, minority students make up about 26 percent of the freshman class.


Difficult questions pervaded the discussion in Lee M. Silver's freshman seminar, "Sex, Babies, Genes, and Choices," offered this fall. In one class, the molecular-biology professor lobbed a topic at his young students-"Should a woman be allowed to implant and bring to term an embryo that is genetically her clone?" He watched as they responded with a mixture of amazement and disgust. Most said the woman shouldn't be allowed to bear a child that would be both her identical sister and her daughter. But within 10 minutes, the majority of students had changed their minds. As one young woman concluded, "It's weird. But if she wants to, I say fair play to her."
Silver says the course, which considered the potential of genetic technology and its consequences, often provoked such reactions. "They're freshmen; they have an immediate response to things-like a lot of people do-without thinking them through. But I tried to force them to consider things logically." The students discussed current complex practices like diagnosing genetic diseases (e.g., cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, or sickle-cell anemia) and birth defects in embryos, "wombs for rent," and the selection of children-to-be from embryo pools. They also considered potential genetic technologies: shared genetic motherhood or fatherhood for gay couples; profiling the physical and behavioral characteristics of embryos (predicting attributes such as the shape of the child's nose, intelligence, musical talent, and personality); and genetic manipulation of embryos (enhancing strength and coordination to maximize athletic potential, for example).
Each class began with an introduction to the scientific problems and techniques that underlie genetic technology.
Among other issues the class discussed was determining whether certain choices by parents-to-be constituted child abuse. The students talked about an unusual case in which a husband and wife, both of whom were deaf, wanted to use genetic technology to ensure their child would also be deaf. Most felt making a child deaf was abuse, but one student argued it might bring the child closer to its parents.
With the help of the campus-computer network, arguments about this case and others continued between classes in electronic form. Students were required to react to each week's assigned reading and E-mail their thoughts to every classmate.
The E-mail conference not only made it possible for students to debate issues at length, but it also gave students more confidence. "Some students were shyer about talking in class than others," says Silver. "For instance, one guy didn't say much in class, but his E-mail messages were fantastic." The professor hopes the spirited debates in class and via E-mail taught his students how to consider difficult problems. "I forced them to give answers to moral and ethical questions that have no answers. I wanted them to realize that many, many problems don't have simple answers."
Silver studies how genes affect embryonic development and their relation to reproductive biology and behavior. By examining genes that are common to humans, mice, chickens, flies, and worms, he traces how specific genes evolved over time -"DNA archaeology." Silver also uses mice to identify how specific genes can affect human behavior. He's particularly interested in the genetic components of reproductive and aggressive behavior. (For example, scientists have discovered that damaging a particular gene in mice made males rapists.)
Studying genetic control of development will enable scientists to help parents, doctors, and society determine how to use biotechnology, says Silver. Although the potential for abuse is "very, very great," he thinks the overwhelming majority of parents won't use genetic technology. "When I ask parents, 'Would you want a way to make your child bigger and stronger?' they say no. But I bet that if I found a gene that conveyed resistance to AIDS, people might reconsider. . . . Other than that, I can't think of anything that would make people go through the hassle of in-vitro fertilization. The woman has to have eggs removed, the man has to give sperm . . . it's all done in a laboratory. You're separating sex from reproduction. Most parents who aren't carriers of a genetic disease are probably just going to have children the old-fashioned way."
-Paul Hagar '91

Reproductive Ethics
A reading list by Professor Lee M. Silver
In His Image: The Cloning of a Man, by David Rorvik (Simon & Schuster, 1978)-Originally presented as a true story, this entertaining book of fiction gives one perspective on the ethics of cloning. (The science, however, is not always accurate.)
The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins (Oxford University Press, 1989)-A fascinating essay on the meaning of life from a molecular point of view.
Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes, Laurence H. Tribe (W. W. Norton, 1990)-A nuanced discussion of the abortion debate from ethical, biological, and policy perspectives.
The Human Animal: A Personal View of the Human Species, by Desmond Morris (Crown Publishers, 1994)-Written by the author of Naked Ape, this book provides an understanding of the biological and evolutionary basis for sexual behavior in human beings.
Sex in America: A Definitive Survey, by Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann, and Gina Kolata (Little, Brown and Company, 1994)-A survey of the sexual habits of Americans.
The Facts of Life: Science and the Abortion Controversy, by Harold J. Morowitz and James S. Trefil (Oxford University Press, 1992)-An introduction to the basic science of embryogenesis with an emphasis on understanding the meaning of "humanness" and its acquisition during evolution and development.
Children of Choice: Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies, by John A. Robertson (Princeton University Press, 1994)-A glimpse of new reproductive technologies from an ethical point of view.


A former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post and a former director of the African-American studies program will receive the university's highest awards for alumni and give lectures on Alumni Day, February 24. Don Oberdorfer '52, a journalist-in-residence at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), in Washington, D.C., will receive the Woodrow Wilson Award, given to an undergraduate alumnus or alumna who exemplifies "Princeton in the nation's service." Cornel R. West *80, currently a professor of Afro-American studies and philosophy of religion at Harvard, will receive the James Madison Medal, which recognizes an outstanding graduate school alumnus or alumna.
A journalist for 38 years before his retirement from The Washington Post in 1993, Oberdorfer was the newspaper's diplomatic correspondent for 17 years. He also served as the White House correspondent and the Northeast Asia correspondent, based in Tokyo. Oberdorfer brought his expertise to Princeton students when he served as the Ferris Professor of Journalism in 1977, 1982, and 1986.
Oberdorfer is the author of three books, including Princeton University: The First 250 Years (Princeton University, 1995), a history book celebrating the university's 250th anniversary. He is now writing a history on North-South relations in Korea since 1972.
A celebrated scholar and orator, West is a primary voice in the national dialogue on race relations. Through his academic work and public appearances, he exhorts his audiences to think critically about the state of race relations in our society. A former professor of religion at Princeton and an honorary member of the Class of 1976, he believes we must listen to our differences if we are to overcome this "terrifying moment in this experiment we call American Democracy." He speaks to both this nation's most powerful and most disenfranchised citizens to bring them both toward common ground.
Alumni Day weekend marks the official beginning of the 15-month celebration of the 250th anniversary. Opening Ceremonies will be held on February 23, in Alexander Hall, where former President Robert F. Goheen '40 *48 will speak. The weekend will include lectures, on-campus alumni colleges, and a hands-on computer tour of campus.


Edward D. Sullivan, a professor of humanities, emeritus, and a former dean of the college and chairman of the Council of the Humanities, died of a stroke on November 21 at the Medical Center at Princeton. He was 82.
A scholar of 19th-century French literature, he was a professor of French and comparative literature, emeritus. Sullivan earned his BA (1936) and PhD (1941) at Harvard. He taught at Harvard and Radcliffe, served four years in the Navy during World War II, then came to Princeton as an instuctor in 1946. He served another year in the Navy during the Korean War and spent a year in Paris as a Fulbright research professor at the Sorbonne before being named a full professor at Princeton in 1958. From that year until 1966, he chaired the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.
As dean of the college from 1966 to 1972, Sullivan played an important role in the introduction of undergraduate coeducation at Princeton in 1969. He chaired the Council of the Humanities from 1974 until his retirement in 1982. Sullivan was an honorary member of the Class of 1936.

E. Dudley H. Johnson '34, a leading authority on life and manners in Victorian England, died of cancer on December 9. He was 84.
The Holmes Professor of Belles-Lettres, emeritus, Johnson retired in 1978 after teaching at Princeton for 34 years. He joined the faculty as an instructor in 1939 and left in 1941 to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. He returned to Princeton in 1946 as an assistant professor.
Johnson developed popular undergraduate and graduate courses in Victorian literature and intellectual history. He served as chairman of the English department from 1968 to 1974. Later in his career, he turned to the study of British painting.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Johnson was a Rhodes scholar and received a second undergraduate degree from Oriel College, Oxford, in 1936. He earned his PhD from Yale in 1939.

Werner E. Schmid, an associate professor of civil engineering and operations research, emeritus, died of prostate cancer on October 23 at his home in Madrid, Spain. He was 68.
A specialist in soil mechanics, foundation engineering, and construction management, Schmid taught at Lafayette for two years before joining the Princeton faculty in 1956. As director of the university's soil mechanics laboratory from 1957 to 1979, he led projects in the stress-strain characteristics of soils, lateral-earth pressures, permeability of soils, and vibratory-pile driving. A native of Germany, Schmid graduated in 1953 from the Technical University in Munich, earned his MS at Lehigh in 1955, and his doctorate from the Technical University in Vienna in 1965.

Thomas R. Walker, a professor of music, died of cancer on October 22. He was 58. Walker was an expert on 17th-century Italian opera and the music of the early 20th-century Danish composer Carl Nielsen. Appointed professor of music at Princeton in 1989, he served as acting music-department chairman in 1991-92. A 1961 graduate of Harvard, he studied at the University of Copenhagen for a year under a Fulbright scholarship and did his graduate work in music at the University of California, Berkeley.


Awards: Professor of Mathematics Andrew J. Wiles and Robert Langlands, of the Institute for Advanced Study, were named cowinners of the Wolf Prize in mathematics. Two decades ago, Langlands defined a series of conjectures that unified and generalized certain results in number theory. That became the basis for new work that provided the foundation on which Wiles built his 1994 solution to Fermat's Last Theorem. The two mathematicians will share a $100,000 prize, which they will receive at an awards ceremony to be held in March in Jerusalem. Professor of Engineering David P. Billington '50 was selected as the 1995 New Jersey Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The award recognizes "extraordinary dedication to teaching and commitment to students." Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures André A. Aciman was among 10 writers who received the 1995 Whiting Writers' Awards. He was recognized for his first book, Out of Egypt (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995), which chronicles his childhood in Alexandria, Egypt. The awards are worth $30,000 each.

Physics gift: An $8 million gift honoring aerospace pioneer James S. McDonnell '21 will be used to build a new facility for the teaching of physics located between Jadwin and Fine halls, which house the physics and math departments, respectively (Notebook, December 6). His sons, James S. '58 and John F. '60 *62, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation donated the funds. All three McDonnells studied in the physics department as undergraduates. The building will be named in honor of McDonnell, the founder of McDonnell Aircraft Corp., which later became McDonnell Douglas Corp. The McDonnell family has given more than $18 million in recent years to fund professorships and research.