Vol. 7 No. 1
September 2004

The Present Past
The science and art of memory

Memories of emotional events, especially aversive ones, tend to attach themselves to anything around them.
Kerry Ressler Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Center for Behavioral Neuroscience

Trauma in a weird way is about the future. . . . It's the sense that it's probably going to happen again.
Angelika Bammer, Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts

Upon My Return to the Chair
Identity and academic sacred space in Middle Eastern and South Asian studies
Gordon D. Newby, Professor and Chair, Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies

Neuroscience for Bird Brains
An unconventioal frontier for understanding social behavior
Donna Maney, Assistant Professor of Psychology

The Politics of Advice
Biased scientific information in government agencies
Mike Kuhar, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Neuropharmacology

Crossing Boundaries
How intellectual initiatives form and flourish
Paul Jean, Associate Director of New Research Initiatives, Emory College Office of Research, and Daniel Teodorescu, Director of Institutional Research, Office of the Provost


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There’s a broad march toward expanding copyright to cover anything that anyone considers creative, and soon we will have nailed everything down to the point where we won’t be able to use anything without a license. If you own a copyrighted work, you have the exclusive right to engage in certain kinds of acts, including reproduction. This means that, with a few exceptions, you are the only one who can make copies of your work; that is, you have the right to keep others from copying it. In addition, you have the exclusive right to distribute copies of the work you created, and you are the only one who can adapt the work. You also are the only one who can perform your work or display your work, as appropriate. If anyone else does any of these things without falling within one of the few (and limited) exceptions in the copyright law, he or she engages in copyright infringement. It’s that simple. We don’t say, Well, is this use valuable to society? Is it something we should encourage? The infringement question is fairly straightforward. Neither intent nor social value is part of the calculus. So if you want to argue social value, you move on to the lovely “fair use” defense, which means anything that the judge thinks it means.

—Sara Stadler Nelson, Assistant Professor of Law, from the “Copyright and Permissions” panel discussion, co-sponsored by the Provost’s Manuscript Development Program and the Academic Exchange, April 15, 2004

The business of biotechnology
Lots of people are speculating about biotechnology; billions of dollars are invested in the stock market. Getting a product out, certified, and onto the market is not a cheap process. I simply have very great doubts that the products of biotechnology are suddenly going to be given free to the people who need the products in agriculture the most. James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, tells us that about 1.3 billion people in the world live on 1 dollar or less a day, that 3 billion people live on 2 dollars or less a day. Those are the people who need food. They are not going to be able to pay for biotech food. Are we now suddenly going to be overcome with compassion and give this food to the starving masses? I don’t find that to be a credible claim. So let’s get rid of this whole hoax that biotechnology is needed to feed the starving masses of the world. It’s just not true.

—David Suzuki, environmentalist, geneticist, and broadcaster, from the symposium “Genetically Modified Organisms: Our Genes, Our Future,” sponsored by the Program in Science and Society, April 9, 2004