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Volume 55, Number 23   February 25, 2008         

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Owning words
In response to allegations that Barack Obama plagiarized a public speech given by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in 2006, Professor of Communications Joseph Tuman told the Feb. 19 Baltimore Sun that borrowing, stealing and mimicry are common in politics. "Having been a speechwriter myself, I can tell you there’s seldom such a thing as an original idea," Tuman said. He added that although the "pretty clear lifting" might not be stealing because Patrick didn’t mind - it's still fraught with ethical concerns because Obama made it seem as if the thought were his own.

Universal diversity
A Feb. 18 Arizona Daily Star feature raised a question of increasing importance and controversy among astronomers: What is a planet? Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Debra Fischer, who led a team discovery of a record-breaking fifth planet in a distant solar system, finds the positive in what makes planets so hard to categorize. "The amazing thing about them is their diversity," Fischer said.

Sanctioned independence
In a Feb. 18 CBS 5 Eyewitness News broadcast, Diplomat-in-Residence and former ambassador to the United Nations David Fischer offered insights about the U.S. and Europe’s recent decision to recognize Kosovo as an independent nation. "It has nothing to do with morality. It has nothing to do with legality. It has everything to do with power," Fischer said.

Designed instruction
A front-page story in the Feb. 18 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle highlights the Industrial Design Outreach (iDo) project in SF State's Design and Industry Department. iDo, founded by Associate Professor of Design and Industry Martin Linder in 2003, offers San Francisco high schools free hands-on instruction to encourage students to be creative thinkers and consider careers in industrial design. At Thurgood Marshall Academic High School in the Bayview neighborhood, students are building and designing a community bench. Upon completion, the bench will be donated to the high school.

For more media coverage of faculty, staff, students, alumni and programs, see SF State in the News.

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Last modified Feb. 25, 2008 by University Communications.