Emory Report
September 29, 2008
Volume 61, Number 6



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September 29, 2008

‘Artists & Critics’ dish over lunch
Following the Emory visit of New York Times film critic A.O. Scott and director, screenwriter and actor Todd Field as part of the “Artists & Critics” series sponsored by the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship and the Center for Creativity and the Arts, the duo dished on the industry at a lunch gathering.

Fields said he can spend six to eight months in post-production for a film, often mixing different visual and audio takes to create the best scene. When asked if his contract specifies the amount of supervision he exercises in post-production, he quipped, “No, I just exhaust people.”

Although Scott shared a funny encounter with Angelina Jolie at the Cannes Film Festival (“’They put a reviewer at this table?’”), he said feels the need to distance himself somewhat from people within the industry. When writing reviews, the audience he has in mind can include readers, friends and “my grandfather.” — Beverly Clark

Green chemistry gets good reaction
”Sustainability is not just hugging a tree – it’s getting everyone to hug a tree,” said Charles Liotta, chair of chemistry at Georgia Tech, during a recent talk sponsored by ChEmory, Emory’s undergraduate chemistry club. Green chemistry is an important component of sustainability, said Liotta, who described his research into solvent systems to help prevent waste in industry.

“We’re staying away from the classical solvents and trying to be very innovative,” he said. Although many of the solvent systems his team is developing may never be used in industry, “they are very useful in sparking new ways to think about solvents,” Liotta added. — Carol Clark

Honoring an HIV vaccine pioneer
Leaders in the HIV vaccine field gathered Sept. 19 at Yerkes to honor Harriet Robinson, who was microbiology/immunology chair at Yerkes and a pioneer in the development of DNA vaccines in the 1990s.

HIV vaccine researchers have been re-evaluating their approaches since last year’s failure of a large international clinical trial called STEP.

Robinson’s “prime-boost” vaccination strategy is being developed by the Atlanta company GeoVax, where she is now chief scientific officer. That strategy may be important in future efforts, speakers said.

“Harriet embodies tenacity, and tenacity is what we need to have a HIV vaccine,” said Rafi Ahmed, director of the Emory Vaccine Center. — Quinn Eastman