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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 14, 2004

'Naked Economics' Author Charlie Wheelan To Present Hughes Lecture Sept. 22

Author Charles Wheelan will present the John R. Hughes Lecture Sept. 22 at the University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie College of Business. The lecture, titled "It's the Economics, Stupid: What a Basic Understanding of Markets Can Tell Us About Trade, Health Care, Regulation and Iowa Business Issues," will be presented at 4:30 p.m. in the MidAmerican Energy Colloquium, Room W401 of the John Pappajohn Business Building.

The program, which starts with a networking reception in W401 from 4:30-5:00 p.m., includes presentations by three area venture funding groups.   Representatives from the Eastern Iowa Angel Investors, the Iowa First Capital Fund and the Wellmark Venture Capital Fund will provide an update on their activities, answer questions regarding their programs, and have materials available for entrepreneurs. The program will end by 6:15 p.m.

The Hughes Lecture is sponsored by the UI John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), the Small Business Development Center, the Henry B. Tippie College of Business and Hills Bank and Trust Co. To register for the lecture, which is free and open to the public, e-mail Paula McMartin at the JPEC at or call 319-335-3742 by Monday, Sept. 20.

Wheelan's book, "Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science," published in paperback in the United States in September 2003, is an accessible and entertaining introduction to economics for lay readers. The book has been translated into seven languages. Whelan is on the faculty at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Most recently, Wheelan was executive director at Chicago Metropolis 2020, where he turned ideas into concrete policy changes. The premise of the Metropolis Project was to address interdependent issues facing the region -- Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Will counties -- that were vital to the social and economic well-being of the Chicago metro area.

Focusing on a regional approach, Wheelan helped to develop collaborations with other organizations in a new kind of "civic entrepreneurship" in the region. The issues facing the Chicago region were related to six areas: education, economic development, taxation, governance, transportation and land use and housing.

Wheelan is a former Midwest correspondent for The Economist and has written freelance articles for the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. He was also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University and a contributor to the popular Eight Forty-Eight morning magazine program on Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM. 

Wheelan was born and raised in the Chicago region and is a graduate of Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook. He received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1988 and was a speechwriter for Maine Governor John R. McKernan Jr., from 1989 to 1991.

He received a master's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University in 1993, and a doctorate from the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago in 1998.

Wheelan is also the keynote speaker for the Iowa City Area Development Group annual meeting that will be held at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 22, in the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center in Coralville at noon.

The public is invited to attend the luncheon. The cost is $25 for reservations made by Sept. 10, and $30 for reservations made after that date. Reservations can be made by calling the Iowa City Area Development Group office at 319-354-3939 or by visiting the Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,