Vol. 11 No. 5
April 2009

Return to Contents

The New Reality
Emory faculty respond to a transformed economic world

Schools adjust to hard times

“To suddenly have to do a complete, 180-degree about-face and think about where we can slow down, where we can cut, and constricting ourselves while trying to maintain some of our momentum and simultaneously go in the opposite direction—that's quite disconcerting.”

We are very stretched in a number of important areas. Our challenge is to find the right balance between reductions in staffing versus reductions in the collections.”

Conflict of Interest and Ensuring the Public Trust
Historical perspectives and current concerns

Hearing the Music
A composer considers audience response

Making Love to the World
The practices that sustain research


Islam, the individual, and the state
There’s a perception that among some self-identifying Muslims is this notion that Islam and the state are fused—that the state must be Muslim, or so-called Islamic, or the notion that Sharia [Islamic religious code] is to be enforced by the state. My own work, in fact, has shown that this notion is not true-that it is not true throughout Muslim history or throughout Muslim intellectual history that the notion of an Islamic state is dominant or that Muslims accepted that religion and the state have to be united. Very much I’ve found this to be postcolonial discourse, which paradoxically uses a European ideal of the state to talk about a notion of an Islamic state. The term “state” does not occur anywhere in the Koran. The term “state” does not occur in the Sunna [the way of life prescribed in Islam].

—Abdullahi An-Na’im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, from his Distinguished Faculty Lecture, “American Secularism and American Muslims: Challenges and Prospects,” February 4, 2009, sponsored by the Faculty Council

Addiction: behavioral syndrome or brain disease?
Neuroscience [has not] resolved the core question of excessive appetite disorders in general, which is, When is an impulse not resisted and when is it irresistible? I don’t know if we will ever be able to answer that, but we certainly haven’t yet. The bottom line is that you can look at brains all day, but you would never call anyone an addict unless they acted like one. To me, that is key, and that’s why if I were forced to define addiction—and we see the need to in a clinical setting—I would call it a behavioral syndrome or condition. The behavior is the point of entry for addiction. So why call it a chronic and relapsing brain disease? The chronic and relapsing part isn’t even right most of the time. Clearly the biological changes are there . . . but still, why does that make it a brain disease just because the brain is involved? For the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that apparently is enough of a reason, and it’s not wrong necessarily. My point is it’s not salient to how we help patients.

—Sally Satel, Staff Psychiatrist, the Oasis Clinic, Washington, D.C., Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine, from her talk at the “Addiction, the Brain, and Society” Conference, February 27, 2009, sponsored by the Rollins School of Public Health