American Beauty, Tuesday, July 25, showing at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., GSU Conference Auditorium

Vol. III No. 36   ·   Week of 23 June 2000

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In the News

“Videos and film are significant in the socialization of young people, and technology allows them the tools to create their own stories,” says Chris Cavalieri, a lecturer in COM’s department of film and television, in a June 6 USA Today story on the increasing number of teenagers — and preteens — who are turning to film for self-expression. The story notes that enrollment in BU’s summer film workshop for teens is up 20 percent.

“We are probably decades away from having a jar of bacteria computing on your desk, but we are nearing the point where you can have cells programmed for different functions,” says James Collins, an ENG professor of biomedical engineering, in the June 1 New York Times. The Times notes that a step toward a future of synthetic, programmable gene circuits was taken two years ago by both Collins and Timothy Gardner (ENG’00), who was then a graduate student. “We were looking for the equivalent of a light switch to flip processes on or off in the cell,” Gardner says. “Then I realized a way to do this with genes instead of with electric circuits.” Collins was awarded BU’s 2000 Metcalf Cup and Prize for excellence in teaching.

“We need some reckoning with the racist past, but reparations encourage the wrong kind of reckoning,” writes Glenn Loury, director of the CAS Institute on Race and Social Division, in an op-ed piece in the May 29 New York Times. “Debts are things that are calculated and (sometimes) paid off. But the oppression of millions of human beings, orchestrated and abetted by national and state governments, is an atrocity of an altogether different order.” Deprecating the moral utility of a financial reparation, Loury suggests, “The deepest and most relevant ‘reparation’ would entail constructing and inculcating in our citizens an account of how we have come to be as we are.”

“There remain some few areas of public life where integrity still matters. National security is — or should be — one of them,” writes Andrew Bacevich, a CAS professor of international relations, in the June 5 issue of National Review. Alluding to attempts by the Pentagon to suppress evidence that the air war in Kosovo was less effective than national leaders claimed, Bacevich warns, “To refuse to see Kosovo for what it was is to draw the wrong lessons from that conflict. This refusal perpetuates illusions that air power will permit the United States to accomplish its purposes by waging sanitized war — without costs, without sacrifice. It invites political leaders to engage in further flights of martial fancy. Quite simply, it courts disaster.”

“Webster’s American Dictionary would become our nation’s dictionary, a national treasure and the founding document for the American English that has become the global language,” writes Jill Lepore, a CAS assistant professor of history, in the June 4 Los Angeles Times. Her essay marks the 200th anniversary of Noah Webster’s first Dictionary of the American Language.

"In The News" is compiled by Alexander Crouch in the Office of Public Relations.


23 June 2000
Boston University
Office of University Relations