Report- Interactive session by Mr. Conrad Turner.

Varanasi, 27th November. Mr. Conrad Turner, Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the American Embassy in India visited the UNESCO Chair for Peace and Intercultural Studies, Malaviya Center for Peace Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University on 27th November 2018. Mr. Turner had a lively interactive session with students and researchers of the Center on the topic “Education – the Importance of Academic integrity (avoiding plagiarism, staying away from contract cheating, predatory publishing).  Mr. Turner spoke at length on academic integrity, importance of probity in publishing, rewards and recognitions related to original work and perils of plagiarism. Mr. Turner also fielded some very pertinent questions with regards to plagiarism and explained the nuances of its types and latent manifestations. Change in language, style of writing while retaining the core idea/concept are some emerging trends of plagiarism, he echoed.  Answering a question with regards to ghost-writing and its prevalence, Mr. Turner termed it as ‘contract writing’ and sounded alarmed about its gaining groud in the US academic circuit. Alloying the apprehension of a student that plagiarism checks may encroach upon academic liberty and eventually strangulate the space for academic citations which is conducive to qualitative research, Mr. Turner analyses how parameters of plagiarism check leaves ample room for ‘citation’and ‘referencing’. Mr. Turner also spoke on Piracy and differentiated it from other form of mal practices, importantly Plagiarism.

Mr. Turner is presently overseeing all educational and public diplomacy programs organized by the Public Affairs Section of the American Embassy. A Scholar of eminence in the field of public diplomacy, Mr. Conrad’s most recent assignment was to Los Angeles as Senior Visiting Fellow and U.S. Public Diplomat-in-Residence for the University of Southern California’s  Annenberg’s Master of Public Diplomacy program.

Mr. Turner ushered into the center with a delegation of scholars from the states. Former Dean of the faculty, Prof Anjoo S. Upadhyaya welcomed Mr. Turner. The talk was chaired by Center’s Coordinator and UNESCO Chair Prof. Priyankar Upadhyaya. Faculty members, Researchers and Post Graduate students from the Center attended the interactive session.