Campus Buzz

Justice talks on campus: “Justice Talking,” the NPR program focusing on legal and constitutional controversies produced by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, has moved its tapings to the Penn campus. The first two tapings took place on January 14 in the Wistar Institute’s Grossman Auditorium, the show’s new home. You’re invited to join the audience for future tapings; the next one’s scheduled for Feb. 2. To reserve seats for a taping, or to find out more about the show, visit or call the show’s publicity coordinator, Gary Kalman, at 215-573-3623.

’Twas a merry Christmas: Thanks to the generosity of the campus community, hundreds of children and families in West Philadelphia shared in the joy of the season. Penn VIPS Coordinator Isabel Mapp reports that the annual Penn VIPS Holiday Toy Drive collected more than 700 toys and gifts that were distributed to local service agencies, and staff in 15 University offices “adopted” local families for the holidays. In related news, the Wharton Evening students who organized a food and clothing drive for the holidays (“Campus Buzz,” Current, Nov. 29) collected more than 200 items of clothing and 500 food donations—and the gifts just keep on coming. That last fact led Mohammed Islam (WEv’02), one of the drive’s organizers, to make a request: Please, no more donations—the drive ended Dec. 19. Those still interested in helping out can contact Project HOME, the drive’s beneficiary, directly at 215-232-7272.

Telecom guru makes splash in the heartland: “Felt better than a quote in The New York Times to me.” That’s the reaction of Internet guru David Farber, the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunications, to an essay that ran in The Tonganoxie (Kan.) Mirror Jan. 2. The essay was written by the paper’s news editor, Lisa Scheller, who is also a graduate journalism student at the University of Kansas. She had interviewed Farber for a research paper on the government’s “Carnivore” system, which intercepts e-mail and Web traffic, and had asked him what she could do to raise public awareness of the privacy issues involved. “You suggested that Americans need to understand what stands behind the flag,” she told him in an e-mail. She explained the issues—and quoted Farber liberally—in the essay, which is available at the Mirror’s Web site,

Penn in ink: “Wow, this sounds awfully familiar.” That was Professor of History Thomas Childers’ reaction as he read a passage in historian Stephen Ambrose’s book “The Wild Blue,” according to an item in People Jan. 21. It turned out that the passage was familiar—Ambrose had lifted it verbatim from Childers’ 1995 book “Wings of Morning,” about his uncle’s flight squadron in World War II. Childers stayed mum about the plagiarism at the time, but it became a national scandal when The Weekly Standard broke the story Jan. 14. Ambrose has apologized to Childers.

Originally published on January 24, 2002