Posts Tagged ‘Meaning of Science’

CSSR Spring Seminar Series 2012

Thursday, April 19

To RSVP: http://cssr.ei.columbia.edu/?id=rsvp


“Where Has All the

Caring Gone?”

A talk presented by

Anthony Lechich, M.D.

Medical Director, Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center

As physician, teacher, administrator and writer, Dr. Lechich has focused on defining issues in quality of life for those institutionalized with HD. This message has been carried to the staff of local hospitals, medical students, fellows-in-training, families, and the care teams within the home Center. Empowerment of family, bedside caregivers and improving the formulation of highly individualized comprehensive approaches to care has been his passion for many years.

Seminar begins at 6PM in Davis Auditorium,

Schapiro Building

Columbia University in the City of New York


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Professor Reflections (taken from Spectrum)

by Robert Pollack

Robert Pollack, current Director of University Seminars, and a former Dean of Columbia College, reflects on the introduction of coeducation during his time as Dean and looks to the future of the College.

Springtime thirty years ago changed my life.  I was a member of the College Faculty Committee on instruction, and a relatively new professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. I had come back to Columbia to run a lab and to teach in the Core.

I was turned away from teaching in CC, and offered instead the chance to create a course on science for non-scientists, with a grant to me from the University President, Michael Ira Sovern. The course was fun, the grant was nice to get, and I thought that was the whole story.

Then, the Faculty of Columbia College voted to admit women to the College.

The mechanical and emotional responses are well described in the long essays in this week’s Spectator. I will add here that for me, the vote led to another conversation with the President, followed by my appointment as the Dean, replacing Arnold Collery.

In these days we read about Deans being replaced all too often—in those days a new Dean of the College was a rare event. As Dean, I was given the task of making coeducation work. I used whatever arguments I could think of.

Sometimes I would have to be a bit more clever than is right: For instance, there was no immediate move by Facilities to renovate the dorms, so I made an appeal to the administration on the grounds of the delicacy of girls, and that did work, to the benefit of all students who would thereafter find cleaner facilities, a better health service, and an altogether less gross set of common rooms in the dorms.

I think my greatest personal accomplishment was shepherding the merger of the Barnard Honey Bears with the Columbia Lions, to generate the Athletic Office that ran men’s and women’s athletics here. NCAA rules required parity, and it was great fun to get the various women’s teams going. I think it was the case then and it remains the case now, that the availability of coaches and teammates as part of one’s life on campus is a poorly appreciated gift of intercollegiate athletics.

Yesterday’s Spectator has an article by the Dean of GSAS making the case that the Core Curriculum of the College cannot be used as the reason why College Alumni gifts should go to College needs. I respectfully disagree— until the Arts and Sciences Faculty has a transparent and workable structure to fund and manage the College’s core into the future, alumni cannot be expected to act as if it were so. I believe VP Dirks intends to reach that golden mean, and I hope I will be able to join many colleagues in helping him.

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Hello friends of the CSSR!

The CSSR would like to announce its spring seminar lineup and ask you to please come join us in hearing a variety of speakers speak about their experiences and the connections they’ve made between their scientific work and other social, moral, or theological ideas. We have an eclectic schedule that will begin in early April, so make time to come out for an early evening seminar and the question and answer that will follow the talk!

 Spring Seminar Series 2012

“The End of War”

John Horgan, CAL, Stevens Institute of Technology

co-sponsored by Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity and the Earth Institute 

Thursday, March 29, 4 pm, Teachers College

“The Business of Genomic Medicine” 

a film documentary

Stephanie Welch 

University of California

Tuesday, April 3

“Grave Matters, on the Role of Death in Life”

Sheldon Solomon

Skidmore College, Professor of Psychology

Wednesday, April 11

“Where Has All the Caring Gone?”

Anthony Lechich

MD, Medical Director, Terrance Cardinal Cooke Hospital

Thursday, April 19

“Race and Genomic Medicine”

Ann Taylor, MD, Dept Cardiology and Dean, CUMC

Thursday, May 10

All seminars are free and begin at 6PM at Davis Auditorium, Schapiro Building. For more information, visit http://cssr.ei.columbia.edu/?id=news_events.

Hope to see you this Spring!

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You might think that such a header would be followed by a passionate if perhaps overwrought appeal from a well-meaning but naive blogger.  Not so: this is the title of a new article on the Project Syndicate website by our colleague Jeff Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute.  You can find it at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sachs184/Englishand you will quickly see that it is passionate but calm, and anything but naive.

Professor Sachs makes the case for distance-learning and web-based education as a force for social and economic justice. This is an important article for anyone who takes teaching a seminar to be an intrinsically valuable form of face-to-face communication.

Without arguing the likelihood of market forces replacing what I now do with what his argument would have me do in a web-class, the question I have is, what happens to the development of the sense of self in a student who knows him or me only as a web presence?  A similar question in medical care would be, how does a person engaged in web-based medical diagnosis experience the trust and personal concern I now experience with my doctor, who will call me back when I send her an email or call her office?

In both cases a human relationship is replaced by a screen behind which is an economic value. The problem that I see is that we are as individuals reducible neither to goods nor to services.  We must get and give each other our personal attention even if that remains expensive, or else we suffer.

Bob Pollack

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The Columbia Earth Institute Center for the Study of Science and Religion Seminar Series presents:

Dr. John Loike: A Jewish Perspective on the New Science of Gestational Surrogacy

Thursday, December 1st, 6:00-7:30PM
Davis Auditorium, Schapiro CEPSR Building
Morningside Campus, Columbia University
530 W. 120th St., New York, NY 10027

Dr. John Loike is the Co-Director for Graduate Studies in the Department of Physiology Cellular Biophysics and the Director of Special Programs in the Center for Bioethics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He also serves as faculty editor of the Columbia University Journal of Bioethics, and the course instructor for Frontiers in Bioethics, Ethics for Biomedical Engineers, Stem Cells: Biology, Ethics, and Applications, at Columbia College and Graduate Physiology at the Medical Center. His research focuses on how human white blood cells combat infections and cancer.

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Hello all! It was great to see so many of you at Dr. Oliver Sacks’ lecture. Now, the CSSR would like you to join us for:

Center for the Study of Science and Religion presents

Marwa Elshakry
Associate Professor, Department of History
Columbia University
Thursday October 6th, 6:00-7:30PM
Davis Auditorium, Schapiro CEPSR Building
Morningside Campus, Columbia University
530 W. 120th St., New York, NY 10027
Over the last century and a half, discussions of Darwin in Arabic have involved a complex intertwining of sources of authority. This paper reads one of the earliest Muslim responses to modern evolution against those in more recent times to show how questions of epistemology and exegesis have been critically revisited in the process. This involved, on the one hand, the resuscitation of long-standing debates over claims regarding the nature of evidence, certainty and doubt, and, on the other, arguments about the use (and limits) of reason in relation to scripture. Categories of knowledge and belief, alongside methods of scriptural hermeneutics, were critically repositioned, transforming the meaning and discursive reach of the former as much as the latter. All CSSR Seminars are free and open to the public.
Pre-registration for this event at http://cssr-admin.ei.columbia.edu/?id=rsvp
 is optional but recommended.
The CSSR Spring 2011 Seminar Series is offered with the support of the Earth Institute.

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July 26, 2011


Calvary Hospital (Eastchester, Bronx)

Calvary Hospital is the affiliated hospice care center that TCC is closely in contact with. We were well fed and greeted by the attending physician at Calvary Hospital, Dr. GC. Along with ten SUNY Downstate fourth year medical school students, we were given a lecture on the common conflicts that spring up in nursing homes such as Calvary. In addition, Dr. GC herself graciously took us on a tour of the third floor. There, we were able to visit four different residents, with four different background stories.


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