Emory Report
October 20, 2008
Volume 61, Number 8



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October 20, 2008

Is gold overrated in times of crisis?
With the financial world in crisis, many people are wondering what to do with their savings. Beware of ads for gold as an investment, warned Ray Hill, assistant professor of finance, during a recent Chapel Tea talk.

“The last time the price of gold peaked was in 1980,” he said. “Inflation was up, the economy was going to heck in a hand-basket, and people were asking, ‘What should we do? Buy gold, right?’”

The value of gold today, however, is about half as much as its value in 1980, when adjusted for inflation, Hill said. “Gold may be a smart investment, I don’t know. But when somebody asserts that gold is a great investment in a time of crisis, you should be aware that there is nothing in history that confirms that.”
— Carol Clark

Archbishop on capital punishment
Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory spoke about the Catholic Church’s revised stance on capital punishment as the first lecturer in a new Center for the Study of Law and Religion series. Gregory’s Oct. 7 address was cosponsored by Emory’s Aquinas Center of Theology.

“There has been a change in the church’s moral position on the use of the death penalty,” Gregory said. “The key distinction is the way in which purposes of punishment are defined.

“The only purpose that would render an execution morally licit is the defense of society from the criminal whose sentencing is under question” — a situation not likely to be found in a modern, industrialized society with a secure prison system, said Gregory, who is among those who have appealed for clemency for Troy Davis in the Georgian’s death penalty case. — Mary Loftus

A poetic approach to women’s health
“Many HIV-prevention programs talk about the epidemiology of HIV or why people are at risk. That’s one way to communicate with people, but if you want to reach people, you have to talk about something that’s comfortable,” said Gina Wingood, professor in the Rollins School of Public Health during the Mary Lynn Morgan Annual Lectureship for the Center for Women at Emory.

Wingood and her research team use discussions of poetry and role models to help get women at risk for HIV involved in prevention strategies. “What you want to do is listen. What you want to do is engage. What you really want to do is connect,” Wingood said. “Part of our program is not just teaching about HIV and AIDS. It’s connecting with women.” — Carol Clark