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Washington, Tehran, and Rome



When professors make news, it's usually in arcane subjects of interest only to their colleagues. But several academics found themselves the focal points of widespread media attention this summer in areas as diverse as nuclear energy, the Iranian hostage crisis, and sexual depravity.

In July, President Carter nominated Albert Carnesale, professor of Public Policy, to take over as chairman of the much-maligned Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

An arms control specialist, Carnesale served as senior adviser to the United States' delegation to the first strategic arms control talks with the Soviet Union. He also taught Social Sciences 159, "Technology, War and Peace."

Earlier in the summer, three Cambridge-area academics joined a group of Americans attending a Tehran conference on U.S. intervention in Iran, violating Carter's ban on travel to that country and risking prosecution.

But Mary B. Anderson, a development economist, Charles A. Kimball, a proctor at the Divinity School's World Religions Center, and George Wald, Higgins Professor of Biology Emeritus, all said they thought their visit had been a positive step toward opening communication with the Iranians. They also said they had no fear of legal action, and so far there has been none.

Glen W. Bowersock '57, former associate dean of the Faculty for undergraduate education, became embroiled in a legal scuffle of an entirely different nature. An expert on classical history, Bowersock took part in the obscenity trial of Penthouse magazine's sexually explicit film "Caligula."

Bowersock, who said he was no fan of dirty movies, told the court the film was historically accurate. A number of professors from other universities testified as well, and the judge ruled the film not obscene.

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