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Quick Takes: Professors Protest 'Islamophobia' in Campaign, Emory Grant Frozen, Scholars From Afghanistan Missing, Trying to 'De-Nerdify' MIT

October 15, 2008
  • Scores of professors of Islam, religious studies and other fields have signed a petition decrying anti-Islamic statements that have been made during the presidential campaign, largely by those seeking to promote false claims that Sen. Barack Obama is Muslim. "Regardless of your final choice for the voting booth on November 4, the decision should be based on the crucial issues facing the nation and the individual character of each candidate rather than spurious hate speech that demonizes the faith of some eight million citizens of the United States and more than a billion adherents worldwide," concludes the Statement of Concerned Scholars about Islamophobia in the 2008 U. S. Election Campaign.
  • In the continued fallout from a scandal over alleged conflicts of interest in federally supported research, the National Institutes of Health has frozen a $9 million grant to Emory University, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The move follows a U.S. Senate investigation into Charles Nemeroff, who apparently received more support from the pharmaceutical industry than he supported -- while doing work that helped several new drugs. The Journal-Constitution also reported that Nemeroff has withdrawn as chief investigator of some existing research grants.
  • Five scholars from Afghanistan, visiting the University of Washington for a three-month research and training program, have been missing for more than a week, The Seattle Times reported.
  • Sorority parties and calendars featuring scantily clad students are nothing new in higher education. But at MIT? Some students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are engaging in and publicizing activities that they hope will "de-nerdify" their university, The Boston Globe reported. While some students applaud the effort, others are critical, saying that MIT would be foolish to move away from an image that reflects its intellectual leadership in science and technology.
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