Overheard on campus

“I position it behind students so that they can’t see it. When they’re sitting and talking to me, and I’m asking them why their paper is late, they don’t dare ever speak anything but the truth. Nothing holds as much fear for them as this lie detector.”

Alexander George, professor of philosophy, showing off the odds and ends in his office, including a lie detector. The tour was for a new feature, “Office Space,” on the Amherst magazine Web site.

“At some level, Americans are going to have to get used to . . . a relatively lower standard of living. In the past, we’ve grown accustomed to being able to run tremendous trade deficits and [to] consuming cheap energy. Those days, I think, are coming to a close.”

Geoffrey Woglom, the Richard S. Volpert ’56 Professor of Economics, in an interview with Marjan Hajibandeh ’09E for “Who Knows,” Amherst’s online ask-the-expert series

“Everyone thinks that the country is divided into red and blue and it’s going to be a real tight election in the fall. The underlying metrics in terms of political science indicate that it’s going to be a blowout for the Democrats. The only thing that’s going to keep it close, I think, is the race factor.”

Thomas Dumm, professor of political science, speaking about racism in the context of the presidential election, during an interview with John D’Angelo ’10. The interview was for “Who Knows,” Amherst’s online ask-the-expert series.

“Bones can’t give you the kind of dietary information you can get in coprolites [fossilized feces] when they’re well preserved. So we hang onto these, believe it or not—and many museums do. It’s not just a strange fetish we have here.”

Kate Wellspring, collections manager at Amherst’s Museum of Natural History, describing the oddities of the collection for “Nooks and Crannies,” a multimedia feature on the college’s Web site