Nobel Prize Winner Changed Field of Economics

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 11, 2014 | Go to article overview

Nobel Prize Winner Changed Field of Economics


Byline: From Daily Herald news wires

* Gary Becker, a University of Chicago professor who received the Nobel Prize in economic sciences and is credited with pioneering the approach to economics as the study of human behavior, has died at age 83.

"I was interested in social problems but felt that economics had the tools by which to handle these long-term interests and social questions," Becker said when he became a Nobel Laureate in 1992.

Becker was cited for applying economic analysis to a wide range of human behavior and interactions. The economics and sociology professor studied issues such as marriage and divorce, crime and punishment, addiction and household decisions.

Becker's mentor was famed economist Milton Friedman. The school honored them in 2011 with The Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics and Becker was named chair of the institute.

* Dr. Andres Carrasco, an Argentine neuroscientist who challenged pesticide regulators to re-examine one of the world's most widely used weed killers, has died. He was 67.

Carrasco, a molecular biologist at the University of Buenos Aires and past-president of Argentina's CONICET science council, was a widely published expert in embryonic development whose work focused on how neurotransmitters affect genetic expression in vertebrates. But none of his research generated as much controversy as his 2010 study on glyphosate, which became a major public relations challenge for the St. Louis-based Monsanto Company.

Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup brand of pesticides, which have combined with genetically modified "Roundup-Ready" plants to dramatically increase the spread of industrial agriculture around the world. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators have labeled it reasonably safe to use if applied properly. But few countries enforce pesticide rules as rigorously as the United States, and farming's spread has increasingly exposed people to glyphosate and other chemicals.

* Veteran actress, director and producer Nancy Malone has died at age 79 in Los Angeles.

She was a producer of the 1970s series "The Bionic Woman" and directed episodes of numerous TV shows, including "Melrose Place" and "Diagnosis Murder."

She starred in the groundbreaking 1950s series, "Naked City," and appeared in dozens of TV and film roles as well as on live radio.

* Harlan Mathews, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Al Gore after he was elected vice president in 1992, died Friday. He was 87.

Lamar Alexander, a former two-term governor who succeeded Thompson in the Senate, said Mathews was a much loved figure in state government.

* Florida State officials say the composer of the music for the university's fight song has died. Tommie Wright was 95.

Wright joined the faculty as a music professor in 1949 and composed the music for the "FSU Fight Song" in 1950. He retired in 2008. Wright taught more than 58,000 students during his time at the university.

* Herb Lotman, the Philadelphia businessman who founded Keystone Foods and developed a mass- production system for making McDonald's Corp.'s frozen hamburgers, has died. He was 80.

Keystone Foods developed the first total distribution concept for McDonald's with the use of cryogenics and helped conceive the Chicken McNugget in the 1980s. Over a 40-year period, Lotman turned Keystone into a multinational operation with $5 billion in sales, earning a rating among Forbes magazine's list of America's largest private companies in 2010.

* Lee Marshall, one of the actors who supplied the booming voice of Tony the Tiger in commercials, has died. He was 64.

Marshall began voicing the Kellogg's Frosted Flakes mascot in 1999, filling in for the original actor, Thurl Ravenscroft.

* Colin Pillinger, an ebullient space scientist who captured the popular imagination with his failed attempt to land a British probe on Mars, has died. …

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