Emory Report
April 20, 2009
Volume 61, Number 28


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April 20, 2009

DNA’s Watson on life’s discoveries
Nobel Laureate James Watson, best known for co-discovering the structure of DNA, entertained and educated a packed Glenn Memorial Auditorium on April 14. Based on his book “Avoid Boring People: And Other Lessons from a Life in Science,” the 81-year-old scientist chronicled what he deemed “manners” — a series of lessons drawn from his life experiences.

Spanning from his early youth to his lab years, which led to receiving the Nobel Prize, he advised: “Never accept a dare that puts your life at risk… Put more spin on balls…Never be flippant with teachers …Go to college to ask why, not what.” —Christi Gray

Trethewey is native guard of memory
With the poetry collection “Native Guard,” Natasha Trethewey set out to reclaim what had been erased from public memory of the Civil War: the African American experience. The title poem remembers the all-black regiment of the Union army who served near Trethewey’s hometown of Gulfport, Miss.

“In positioning myself as a native guardian of Mississippi’s past, I wanted to explore the rift between public and personal memory to which I am a legacy, and to grapple with the things of home and exile, memory and history, which occupy the forefront of the landscape of imagination.”

Delivering the 6th annual Sheth Lecture April 14, the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair said her Pultizer Prize-winning poems were in memory of her mother. “If history is the spine of the book, the elegies to my mother are the heart.” —Kim Urquhart

China competes with money, minds
David Michael Lampton used his book, “The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds,” to share conclusions on “What Chinese Power Means for America” at a Halle Institute talk April 15.

“Frankly, I think the Chinese strategy is on the money and the minds, not the might,” explains the dean of faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Lampton notes: “China is increasingly becoming a buyer . . . and increasing its influence by virtue of its capacity to buy.

“China is becoming more and more competitive and as it moves up that value-added chain, we’re going to have to move up that ladder,” he says. —Leslie King