The greenhouse where Penn scientists are growing plants packed with vaccines. | Photo credit: screenshot of Urban Engineers video.
The Inquirer’s Inga Saffron took a look last week at Penn’s short-term plans for its new site on the South Bank of the Schuylkill River, which has been dubbed Pennovation Works. And cringeworthy name aside, it looks like the 23-acre, former industrial site has a pretty exciting future.
Case in point? The newly-built Penn Research Greenhouse, where scientists are already growing genetically modified plants laced with vaccines. Yeah. True story. Check out the video below, which was put together by Urban Engineers, the planning and construction firm that built the highly-specialized greenhouse. Read more »
Kenneth Goldsmith, left, appeared on The Colbert Report in 2013.
A Penn professor has stepped into controversy for a new poem describing the autopsy of Michael Brown, the young man whose shooting by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., sparked months of protests around the country.
The Daily Pennsylvanian describes how writing professor Kenneth Goldsmith generated the anger with a March 13 reading of “The Death of Michael Brown” at Brown University:
At the conference that focused on digital culture, Goldsmith read a poem titled “The Body of Michael Brown” as Brown’s graduation photo was projected behind him. The poem was simply a copy of the medical examiner’s report on Brown’s autopsy with some changes to make the medical terms more understandable to the average person and to enhance the “poetic effect.”
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Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina, perhaps better known as two members of Russian art collective Pussy Riot, are coming to Penn next Tuesday for a screening of their latest video and a discussion about their activism—which earned them a Lennon Ono Grant for Peace.
Pussy Riot made headlines in 2012 when they were imprisoned for staging an anti-Putin demonstration at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The aftermath of the whole thing was chronicled in the HBO documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.
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“Finally,” my friend Chris said, “We have a basketball team again!”
It was the first game of the 2010-11 basketball season. Penn was about to complete a 69-64 win over Davidson. The Wildcats are generally a mid-major powerhouse, and the win meant good things for the future. Freshman Miles Cartwright scored 18 points in his first game to lead the Quakers. We chanted Cartwright’s name as he scored bucket after bucket in the first half — leading to an awkward moment when his father turned around to thank (or laugh at) us. Read more »
We told you yesterday about how activists disrupted a meeting of the Penn Board of Trustees for a protest aimed at the board’s chairman, David Cohen, who is also executive vice president at Comcast. Turns out activists weren’t done: They also disrupted a later meeting held by the trustees at the Inn at Penn.
The Daily Pennsylvanian reports:
The Board of Trustees Budget & Finance Meeting today quite literally ended in protest. Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, a local labor union-backed nonprofit, stood outside of the Inn at Penn’s Walnut entrance to demand that the University pay payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, to the city government.
Protestors were questioned by a Penn detective and grilled by Penn President Amy Gutmann’s security guards, said Gwen Snyder, Executive Director of Philadelphia Area Jobs with Justice. Protestors were also given pamphlets specifying the limits to their free speech by hotel management, Snyder said.
“We made it public that we were planning to attend the trustees meeting,” Snyder said. “We thought it was really important for them to hear not just from us but from community members and supporters across the city that we think Penn should pay its fair share.”
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Rendering via Penn/HWKN
If it’s one thing we’ve learned covering the real estate scene in Philly it’s this: don’t sleep on Penn. Why? Because just when you finally start to wrap your head around their the award-winning Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology and get all cozy with the Henry A. Jordan Medical Education Center, they smack you firmly in the face with yet another stunning example of top-notch design. This time it’s for their 58,000 square-foot building in the center of their planned innovation park at 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue.
Penn’s Board of Trustees approved the new designs for the Pennovation Center at the Pennovations Works Site on the Schuylkill River. New York-based architects HWKN (Hollwich Kusher) will “rehabilitate an existing industrial building once used for material-science research,” according to a press release from Penn.
Here’s how Penn describes the new-look building: Read more »
Police are warning that a string of robberies in West Philadelphia near the campuses of Penn and Drexel appear to be connected. Cops yesterday released surveillance footage (above) of a robbery on the 3100 block of Hamilton Street that showed three men confronting a 20-year-old Drexel student in the foyer of her apartment.
One of the robbers, armed with a gun, took her cell phone, backpack and $200.
But cops say the suspects are also responsible for three other robberies on the outskirts of the two campuses. On February 12th, a woman entering her home was held up at gunpoint on the 4400 block of Pine Street. On February 16th, a man who went to 41st and Spring Garden to buy a paintball gun was robbed. Fox 29 flagged a fourth robbery, that of a Jimmy John’s delivery driver at 32nd and Baring. Read more »
Samantha Power, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, at the U.N. headquarters. The U.N. Security Council placed North Korea’s bleak human rights situation on its agenda Monday, a groundbreaking step toward possibly holding the nuclear-armed but desperately poor country and leader Kim Jong Un accountable for alleged crimes against humanity.
Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the U.N., will serve as Penn’s commencement speaker this year. She’s the first woman to be the university’s commencement speaker since 2006, when Jodie Foster spoke. Power will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws from Penn.
Power began her career as a journalist, covering the Balkan wars. She got her J.D. from Harvard in 1999 and won a non-fiction Pulitzer Prize for A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. She has been a policy advisor to Barack Obama since he was in the Senate and was a supporter of his presidential campaign. She’s held several jobs in his presidential administration, including on the National Security Council and the Atrocities Prevention Board. Read more »
A university task force formed after a wave of suicides hit campus last year says Penn must fight a culture of “destructive perfectionism.”
The Daily Pennsylvanian reports:
The eight-page report focuses on “cultural change rather than structural change,” Co-Chair of the task force Anthony Rostain said.
“Destructive perfectionism,” according to Rostain, is one thing the Penn community needs to fight. The report contends “the drive for academic excellence along with the perception that in order to be successful one needs to hold leadership roles in multiple realms contributes to the amount of stress and distress experienced by Penn students.”
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Phi Delta Theta’s international organization has put the Penn chapter on probation after the fraternity’s Christmas card featured a “Beyoncé blow-up doll” that offended minority groups on the university campus. (See above.)
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