Two plays by Federico Garcia Lorca - Blood Wedding at the BU Theatre Studio 210 through October 13, and Yerma at SFA's Studio 104 through October 14

Vol. V No. 9   ·   12 October 2001 


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Boston Globe: Treatment study offers hope for alcoholics

Scientists at Boston Medical Center and 10 other hospitals are testing what they believe to be a "supertreatment" for alcoholics -- a combination of two addiction-fighting medications and two types of psychotherapy, reports the October 9 Boston Globe. Within the next three years, they hope to establish a single approach to treating alcoholism that could be used with equal effectiveness by the high-priced celebrity treatment center or the urban clinic. "This is the most important study in a generation," says Domenic Ciraulo, a MED professor and chairman of the psychiatry department and a lead researcher on the trial. "If it's successful, it will tell us what kinds of psychotherapies are helpful and which combinations of drugs are helpful, and the relative costs of delivering the treatment." Although the research is just a few months old, some patients say the treatment already is changing their lives.

New Republic: Do fundamentalists fear "girl power"?

Freedom of opportunity for women may help explain why Islamic societies find the West so culturally threatening, according to Richard Landes, a CAS associate professor of history, in an article he cowrote in the October 8 New Republic. "Israel -- where women don bikinis on the beach, attend university in large numbers, and are required to serve in the military -- represents a deeply subversive example for many of its Middle Eastern neighbors. Osama bin Laden, in particular, has voiced outrage at the presence of American women soldiers on Saudi soil. Might he be worried that the women of the Gulf are watching them and taking note? For bin Laden and his followers, these are not mere cultural differences. They are evidence of Islam's purity and the West's corruption, and part of an apocalyptic struggle for universal salvation through Muslim domination."

Boston Herald: Unified front is splintering by age group

While the nation came together in the hours and days following the September attacks, sociologists, psychologists, clergy, and other observers of human behavior say that even within that unity they see key differences, according to an article in the Boston Herald on October 7. Reactions among seniors have varied, says Elizabeth Markson, a MED professor, a CAS adjunct professor of sociology, and acting director of BU's Gerontology Center. One man in his 70s compared the terrorist attacks to the evil he saw as a child escaping Nazi Germany during World War II. "He said to me, 'What else is new? It's all very well to talk about stamping out evil, but we have had 3,000 years to try and do it.'" Markson also says that most of the seniors have expressed concern for their grandchildren's future.
"Our attitudes tend to change a bit with age," says David Barlow, a CAS professor of psychology and director of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.

A common human trait, known as illusion of control, helps most people get through the average day believing life is fairly predictable -- as long as appropriate precautions are taken, he says. That phenomenon tends to break down as we age. "People who have been through difficult times, depression and wars, know that life is full of threats and dangers, and they may tend to take greater precautions," he says. "But teenagers, unless they have been directly affected by a crisis, tend to distance themselves more readily from it." Not surprisingly then, concludes Barlow, the most striking differences in reactions to September 11 would be between the young and the old.

"In The News" is compiled by Mark Toth in the Office of Public Relations.


12 October 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations