11 No. 1
Knowing Your Worth
Negotiation and the academic marketplace
“Why don’t we have, for the person who’s been at the institution for ten years whose equipment is all ratty, a refresher package?”
“I don’t think Emory should ever concede that it will lose people to better schools. I think it has long done that, has not tried to remain competitive, and sometimes I fear that it is still just trying to be good enough.”
Book Review and Reflections
Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women’s Changing Lives by Anna Fels
Making Academic Writing Unpalatable
Examining violence without sensationalizing or sanitizing
Wine and trade routes in ancient Egypt
Wine was not known to have been cultivated in [ancient] Egypt. It had come from the area of Turkey and the Zagros mountains and then made its way southward. It was also cultivated in Palestine, and we know about the trade routes along the northern coast of Sinai. That trade route, interestingly, is called the way of Horus. Horus is the falcon God, also the king God, and there are many speculations as to why it’s called the way of Horus. Maybe it was under the protection of the king or the God Horus. I think there’s another explanation. A fragment of a ceremonial palette shows different animals destroying city walls. I think this is a kind of historic commemoration of different kings who step-by-step conquer different cities in lower Egypt. We know that the first predynastic kingdom was established only in upper Egypt, and then this kingdom expanded step-by-step northwards. Why? I think the main reason was to safeguard the trade routes. They wanted to safeguard their wine imports, among others, but probably wine was one of the most important commodities at that time, at least for the upper class. . . . I think this ruler, Horus, really existed in the predynastic period, and he was the first one who started safeguarding that trade route by conquering settlements near that trade route.
—Guenter Dryer, director of the German Institute of Archaeology, Cairo, from his talk “Distribution to the Dynasties: How the Wine Trade created Egyptian Civilization,” April 23, 2008, sponsored by the Carlos Museum
Vigilance and prevention in bioethics and research
Regulatory law and funding policy are blunt and imperfect instruments for realizing even uncontested ethical goals [in translational research]. Human social interactions are complex far beyond our capacity to comprehend in retrospect, let alone anticipate and regulate prospectively to words and phrases on paper to achieve finely tuned ethically sound policy results. Regulatory law governing, for example, the treatment of patient information or conflicts of interest may overshoot or undershoot or misfire in our considered ethical judgment. But the law applies nonetheless and governs our conduct with significant implications for the flourishing and funding of our research programs if we misstep. One practical implication for translational research is that prospective vigilance and prevention are worthwhile investments. . . . IRBs, research compliance officers, research ethics training courses, and research ethics consultations are among the most useful resources that universities provide to researchers for ensuring the continued flourishing and funding of translational research projects.
—Roberta Berry, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Georgia Tech, from her talk “Policymaking in the Era of Translational Research: What Gets Funded? Why? How?,” May 15, 2008, sponsored by the Center for Ethics