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Ethics Center Seminar Report
"The Socialization of the Professions and the Humane University: Reconsidering the Contract for a Scholarly Community" (Discussed on pages 4 and 5 of the December / January issue of the Academic Exchange).
Emory Biostaticians Invoke the Muse of Election Haiku
The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently printed winning verses from their contest for the best haikus on the presidential election. Bringing glory to the university was John Hanfelt, Associate Professor in the School of Public Health, who captured second place. The haunting images of his colleagues in Biostatistics, Lance Waller, Bob Lyles, and Paul Weiss, were also recognized. Enjoy all four verses.
Soft poke on ballot
Gentle water in canyon
Produce big results
And the dimple, pregnant chad
Wonder: "Will we count?"
What if we decide
the leader of the free world
by one dimpled chad?
Let us hearken back
To a time-tested method:
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Patent Royalties Growing at American Universities
Columbia University ranks first in royalties with more than $89 million, according to an annual survey by the Association of University Technology Managers. The University System of California and Florida State University took second and third place. Royalties increased overall by 10 percent, a slower rate of growth than in recent years. For an overview of the study, see the Chronicle of Higher Education's website or visit the Association's homepage. For background on technology transfer issues at Emory, read the 1999 Academic Exchange article, "Ideas for Sale."
More on Learning Disabilities
Several authors claim their Attention Deficit Disorder has helped them in their careers. Michael Zane, founder of Kryptonite Bike Lock Corporation, argues that his A.D.D., once it was properly treated, was vital to his business success in Running Around Your Backhand: A Successful Entrepreneur's Guide to Leveraging A.D.D. Dr. Lynn Weiss, a psychotherapist, similarly argues that her condition equips her with special skills in A.D.D. on the Job: Making Your A.D.D. Work for You.
Campus trends head in opposite direction from the larger culture
As a committee reviewing the tenure system at Boston University announced its recommendation that professors be required to be on campus at least four days a week, more businesses than ever before embrace telecommuting and flex time. For the details of the report from Boston University, see a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. See the latest issue of Fast Company to read more about the trend in business. For statistics on trends in Atlanta, visit the Metro Atlanta Telecommuting Advisory Council.
Bellesiles's Book Draws Fire and Praise
An NRA supporter flings mud at Emory historian Michael Bellesiles recent book on the origins of America's gun culture in a letter to the editor in the Chronicle of Higher Education dated October 27,2000. Clayton Cramer writes, "I have found numerous examples of Bellesiles's fabrication and misrepresentation of sources -- and I have spent only about 12 hours at it so far. " Bellesiles answers Cramer's charges and notes that "as a nonhistorian, Mr. Cramer may not appreciate that historians do not just chronicle the past, but attempt to analyze events and ideas while providing contexts for documents. A citation therefore generally refers to the exact document being examined or quoted. To contextualize every footnote would require an additional volume. Mr. Cramer says that he spent 12 hours on his research. I spent 10 years . . . ."
Click here to read the the full text from The Chronicle. See also Richard Slotkin's review of Bellesiles's Arming America on The Atlantic Unbound, the web version of The Atlantic Monthly. Slotkin writes: "Michael Bellesiles's Arming America will compel both sides in the gun debate -- and historians of American culture in general -- to reconsider that history. Bellesiles has made a detailed study of the records of gun ownership and militia service in the thirteen colonies and the United States, from the beginnings of European settlement through Reconstruction. Blending quantitative analysis with a careful reading of public documents, he paints a new picture of the role of privately owned firearms in American history."
October What's New
Graduate Education at a Crossroads, continued . . .
Another call for Ph.D. programs that emphasize teaching highlighted in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Food for thought at Halloween
Excerpt from: "Doctoring Death in Twentieth-Century America: Mortuary Science in the Shadow of Medical Science" (a recent lecture by Gary Laderman).
"There are a number of interesting
parallels between the funeral industry and the medical industry
in the 20th century. Funeral directors have in many ways aped
the medical profession in the way they've shaped their professional
mythology and institutional organization.
But the funeral home collapses a number of different categories in a way you don't see in hospitals or other medical settings. It is first of all a domestic space where the funeral director and his family live. It is also a space for financial transactions, an economic space where the funeral director sells all his accoutrements and services. And it's a kind of sacred space, a religious space in the sense that the activities that go on there are critical and complex meaning-making activities carried out in the face of death. As funeral homes evolved, they also developed a free-standing space called a "chapel" where funeral services are conducted. So this makes the funeral home a very confusing space in terms of its status in the community. For many, the funeral industry "doctors death" by falsifying its reality and beautifying the face of the deceased. On the other hand, men and women in the industry see much of their work--particularly embalming--in medico-scientific terms. Funeral directors have become the ritual specialists in our society for the disposal of the dead. And despite our culture's deep skepticism about funeral directors, this phenomenon can't be solely explained in economic terms."
--Gary Laderman, associate professor of religion, speaking in a History of Medicine seminar sponsored by the Center for the Study of Health, Culture, and Society on October 25, 2000.