International News Briefs

Science/religion division an “illusion” – Scientist

Martin Gaskell, an astronomer and devout Christian who sued the University of Kentucky for religious discrimination, told the Canadian Press the split between science and faith is an “illusion.”

The university reached a $125,000 settlement with Gaskell last month, after he claimed he lost out on a top science job because of his faith. In exchange, Gaskell dropped the civil action lawsuit.

Gaskell first grew suspicious that the university was discriminating against him for his Christianity when he was asked about a lecture he gave that explored Christianity and science.

Gaskell later learned from a colleague that scientists from a separate department, biology, had been consulted, and he had been discussed in interoffice e-mails by professors at the university. The emails later served as evidence in court, for his case.

In one such email, obtained from court records, a biology professor at the university wrote that he believed Gaskell’s “public premise is to provide as much intertwining between science and religion as possible, and this will most certainly lead to misconceptions about scientific evidence.”

Students expelled over sex tape in India

Two male students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University have been expelled, and another rusticated, following their involvement in a sex-tape controversy.

A sex-tape, which had been making the rounds on campus for over six months, featuring a male and female student having sex, had been under investigation by the university, reported the Hindustan Times.

One of the males expelled was featured in the video, while the other male was expelled for copying and distributing the video. The third male was rusticated for making his room available for the filming of the sex-tape.

The female involved in the tape did not appear to be aware that she was being filmed.

Pair convicted over drug production in dorm

Two former university students were convicted on Feb. 11 for attempted and unlawful manufacture of the controlled substance dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an illegal hallucinogen, and will serve a three-year probation, according to the Washington Post.

Charles Smith, a former Georgetown University student, and John Perrone, a former University of Richmond student, were arrested on Oct. 23, 2010.
The pair were arrested on the suspicion of producing one gram of DMT in Smith’s dorm room.

“It was for personal use. I might have shared it with others, but that was not the plan. The plan was not to manufacture a bunch and sell it,” said Perrone.
“I never consumed DMT in my life. Didn’t get that far.”

Perrone had found the instructions for production of DMT on the Internet and purchased the materials necessary to synthesize it. Smith had agreed to pay for half of the materials.