George Mason in the News

Posted: October 26, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Sunday, Oct. 21, Philadelphia Inquirer

Religious Right’s Giuliani Dilemma

“For the leaders of the religious right, the dilemma is obvious and troubling: how to deal with a Republican presidential front-runner when he is not with you on your core issues and you haven’t agreed on an alternative. Yesterday, the source of their predicament, the pro-choice former mayor of New York, tried to ease their worries, addressing their Values Voters Summit. If activists on the Religious Right agree on anything right now as they grapple with the available options, it’s that these are trying times. Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University, said: ‘They have no great options. But the death of the Christian Right — like their taking over the Republican Party — is a story that has been written too many times.’”

Sunday, Oct. 21, Boston Globe

Bug Bomb — Why Our Next Terrorist Attack Could Come on Six Legs

“One of the cheapest and most destructive weapons available to terrorists today is also one of the most widely ignored: insects. These biological warfare agents are easy to sneak across borders, reproduce quickly, spread disease, and devastate crops in an indefatigable march. Americans largely believed that only underdeveloped nations had to worry about insect-borne diseases until the summer of 1999, when West Nile virus arrived. A natural experiment in entomological warfare unfolded as public-health agencies scrambled to explain and then control a debilitating disease. But given our losing battle against West Nile virus, the greatest concern is its African cousin, Rift Valley fever. It would not be difficult to introduce Rift Valley fever, according to Charles Bailey, director of the National Center for Biodefense at George Mason University. A person with $100 worth of supplies, a set of simple instructions, and a plane ticket from an afflicted African nation to the United States could introduce the disease with virtually no chance of being caught, he said.”

Monday, Oct. 22, Inside Higher Ed

Are IRB’s Needed for War Zones?

“The anthropology blog Savage Minds published an analysis last Thursday of a kind of anthropology work involving human subjects that is apparently not being subjected to IRB [institutional review board] review: work for the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. The analysis suggests that there is considerable confusion about whether IRB’s must review projects done by their professors who work for the military, and that there are no signs of such reviews taking place. The lack of such review, according to some experts, raises serious ethical questions. To anthropologists opposed to any role for their discipline helping the U.S. military, the case exemplifies their concerns about ethics. ‘It seems to me that the militarized anthropologists try to have it both ways,’ said Hugh Gusterson, a professor of anthropology and sociology at George Mason University. ‘They come to the anthropology meetings and complain that they’re not taken seriously, say they’re doing serious anthropological work, and talk about establishing a new sub-field in anthropology. Their talk is all about academic legitimacy. Then, in this context, they say they’re exempt from the rules that academics play by.’”

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