My Professor the Plagiarist

Philosophical ruminations.
Dec. 21 1999 3:30 AM

My Professor the Plagiarist

66000_66974_stamaty_ehdecoderring

The Human Decoder Ring Chromosome 22 has been almost completely decoded by an international team of scientists. As reported in a recent issue of Nature, the very first sequenced chromosome may offer new insights into many human diseases, including schizophrenia. (The human species has 23 pairs of chromosomes.) The researchers, who hail from Australia, Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United States, discovered that Chromosome 22 contains 33.4 million different letters of genetic code and at least 545 genes. Thanks to the Internet, the data has reached other scientists around the world, many of whom are using it in their own studies.

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Milestones in PR

The chairman of the department of mass communication, advertising, and public relations at Boston University stepped down from his administrative post after being accused of plagiarism. In a lecture delivered to 400 undergraduates, John Schulz used a 64-word sentence from a recent Nation article by Alexander Stille without attribution. The line was identified by a student, who publicized the transgression in an Internet chat room and sent a letter to the school of communications' dean. According to the Boston Globe, Schulz says that he didn't give the proper citation for the quote because he was pressed for time. Still, he insists that his "ethical lapse" must be punished.

66000_66976_stamaty_ehy2krazy

… and a Two-Year Supply of Cheese

Did Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wis., over-prepare for Y2K? The public school's $130,000 general disaster-recovery plan, in the works for two years, provides enough food, water, fuel-oil tanks, and electrical generators to sustain 500 people for a week. Lakeshore President Dennis J. Ladwig insists that the program was designed for other contingencies, such as bad weather. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel disputed this, publishing a story headlined "College preparing for worst from Y2K." Wisconsin state senator Bob Jauch denounced the planning as "nutty behavior that isn't fitting of a public institution."

East Meets West

Last year, Duke University students and professors debated the value of studying Eastern cultures instead of Western ones when a call was made to establish a new curricular concentration in Hindi. Editors of the DukeReview, a conservative campus periodical, avowed that Western values are "superior to the values of a primitive, impoverished country like India." Now that the academic concentration has been approved, Anand Shah, co-president of Diya, Duke's South Asian student organization, told the Raleigh News and Observer, "I don't foresee further debate about the issue." But Jay Strader of the DukeReview complained, "This is another example of Duke administrators bowing to the interests of special-interest groups."

Buying the Court

New York University School of Law--a k a "The Global Law School"--is supplying the International Court of Justice at the Hague with its very first batch of law clerks. The intern program, which will send five NYU graduates to the Hague for a year, is fully funded by money raised by NYU from (as yet) anonymous sources. Court President Stephen Schwebel, an American who once taught at Johns Hopkins, told the AmericanLawyer that NYU's assistance was appreciated because "the United Nations is in poor financial shape."

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