“Chen is seen not as an elite intellectual but as an ‘ordinary person’ who taught himself law to help other ordinary people, and then was imprisoned and persecuted — and is blind to boot. For the Chinese authorities to accuse him of treason or to blame meddling foreigners for helping him will be a hard sell.”
Perry Link, distinguished professor of comparative literature, on Chen Guangcheng, a human rights lawyer in China seeking refuge in the U.S.

“There were 200 more events of all earthquake sizes a year ago than there were this year…It’s a one-in-two chance in the next 30 years that [a major] earthquake will happen.”
Gareth Funning, assistant professor of geophysics, on how recent earthquakes in the Inland Empire are not a serious threat

“Koreans’ business successes — their role as part of the broad Asian American ‘model minority’ — fueled resentment toward them. They were often confused with Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans in a three-tiered system: whites on top, Latinos and blacks at the bottom, Asians in between.”
Edward Chang, professor of ethnic studies, on the effects of the Los Angeles riots on the Korean-American community

“We are trying to become more diverse by age, gender, geographic location, and ethnicity. But we haven’t changed the criterion — it’s still outstanding science.”
Susan Wessler, distinguished professor of genetics, on this year’s U.S. National Academy of Sciences class which includes 26 women, exceeding the previous record of 19 set in 2005