Emory Faculty Prolific Newsmakers

July 16, 2013

Emory faculty have been showing up regularly in a variety of media outlets. Here’s a summary of their recent contributions.

Charles ShanorThe June 7 New York Times includes an op-ed by Charles A. Shanor, professor of law, about the recent revelation that the Federal government has been sifting through mountains of telephone call data and secretly collecting information from internet companies.

“We cannot rule out the possibility that the voluminous records obtained by the government might, some day, be illegally misused,” he wrote. “But there is no evidence so far that that has occurred.” It’s also possible, he added, that some terrorists planning activities may have begun using alternate channels of communication because of their new knowledge of the government’s large-scale data gathering.          

He concluded that “Privacy advocates, civil libertarians, small-government activists and liberal media organizations are, of course, welcome to continue working to keep them honest. But I will move back to my daily activities, free from paranoid concerns that my government is spying on me.”

Shanor also took on U.S.-Russian relations and the Boston Marathon bombings in a June 4 blog entry for the Huffington Post. The common wisdom, he wrote, is that Russia let us down by not disclosing more information about the bombers. This sentiment, he went on, is “naïve, and deters future Russian counterterrorism alerts. This carping should stop. We should thank the Russians for what they did provide, not disparage them for withholding further information.”

To read the entire New York Times op-ed, click here.

To read the entire Huffington Post article, click here.

Mary DudziakMary Dudziak, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, discussed the Supreme Court’s recent decision on affirmative action in higher education in the June 25 CNN website. She wrote that “Since it is racial diversity that’s at stake, this puts educational institutions in the awkward position of trying to achieve a policy indirectly, since they may only work to foster racial diversity by adopting policies that appear not to involve race at all… As colleges and universities work toward this goal – redressing disparities that linger after a long history of racial discrimination – there must also come a day when the Supreme Court stops micromanaging college admissions. The Fisher ruling takes us further from this goal.”

To read the entire article, click here.

In the wake of that same Supreme Court decision, Sheryl Heron, an emergency medicine physician, wrote in the June 24 issue of The Health Care Blog about why affirmative action still matters: “Though we can’t yet confirm that physicians and patients of the same race improve health for minorities, we can still argue that increasing diversity in the healthcare professions is a worthy goal. We must move to a place where physicians can comfortably care for people of all cultures and patients can feel comfortable being cared for physicians from different cultures.  If the Supreme Court had ruled in favor of Abigail Fisher in Fisher vs. The University of Texas today, which they did not, opportunities for physicians of color who could establish that rapport might have been significantly diminished.”

To read the entire article, click here

Weighing in on the recent mass protests across Brazil that were sparked in part by rising public transportation costs, Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs professor of Brazilian Studies, wrote in the June 19 New York Times that “Activists see transportation as an example of inequality: the lowest-paid workers pay the same as the wealthiest. Without public transportation, most Brazilians cannot make a living. . . . This really is a new Brazil: The public does not accept more state support for the national team than for the national citizenry.”

To read the entire article, click here.

In the June 17 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ruth Parker, professor of medicine, pediatrics and public health, co-authored a guest column calling for clearer prescription labels to cut back on the number of potentially serious errors involving consumers taking the wrong medications. According to the article, “The Institute of Medicine states that more than a third of U.S. adults, or roughly 77 million people, have “limited health literacy,” which includes the inability to comprehend such prescription label instructions… this is a serious public health risk... today’s labels are needlessly complicated. Fonts are small, and letters are too close together. Instructions are sometimes unclear, lengthy and use complex terms; that can be dangerous.”

This piece on the AJC website is behind a paywall

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