In an unconventional lecture to first-year Columbia University students on Monday, physics professor Emlyn Hughes stripped off his clothing, played video footage featuring clips of 9/11 and sat in a fetal position, all to the background music of Lil Wayne’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” before later giving a lecture on quantum physics, The Columbia Spectator reported. The students entered a darkened auditorium before Hughes commenced the scene, which included two figures dressed in black chopping a stuffed animal in half on a stool. Though Hughes later gave a full lecture, he never removed the sunglasses or hoodie he had donned, said students interviewed by The Spectator. Hughes has previously shown nude photos of Woodstock attendees to students during a lecture.
A new military research center set to open at Yale University Medical School has drawn criticism from the school’s alumni and current Yale undergraduates, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Critics claim that the proposed center, named the Center of Excellence for Operational Neuroscience, will use local immigrants as “pawns” and Yale’s resources to advance military research in interrogation techniques. Yale associate clinical professor of psychiatry Charles Morgan, who hopes to direct the new center, wrote in an email to The Chronicle that the center would not train interrogators but would work to provide soldiers with training in more conversational approaches to interrogation. Boston University professor of community health sciences Michael Siegel, an alumnus of the medical school, recently called the center “blatantly unethical.” Students have circulated a petition on Twitter to protest the planned center, which is still waiting on Department of Defense funding, according to The Chronicle.
At a rally held Monday at Boston Medical Center, a diverse group of politicians, scientists, and medical researchers protested hundreds of millions of dollars in automatic federal sponsorship cuts set to take place March 1, The Harvard Crimson reported. The impending 5 percent cuts to non-military programs could spell trouble for Boston’s hospitals and universities, including Harvard. Stressing the positive societal benefits of medical research, speakers including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and researchers from the University of Massachusetts system and Harvard Medical School cautioned that the cuts could have devastating effects on health research. Congress has already delayed the sequester earlier this year with a short-term solution in January.