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  • Science in the Liberal Arts Curriculum - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    in the liberal arts curriculum 2 determine how non science majors fulfill their science requirements and 3 disseminate findings to enrich discussions of curriculum reform at higher education institutions The Academy has assembled a group of colleges and universities to join the project The partner institutions are providing information on how non science majors at their institutions fulfill their science requirements In August 2007 the Academy convened academic leaders from 34 universities and colleges to discuss science curricula for non science majors The forum facilitated the exchange of information about the course taking habits of nonscientists and discussion of the goals of science requirements for nonscientists and of new ideas for science education within the liberal arts curriculum In January 2011 the Academy published a volume of essays that reflects on ideas for teaching science in the liberal arts curriculum and recommends a variety of strategies for higher education institutions This publication will be useful to administrators and faculty members who are in the process of updating their institutions curricula thereby having a positive influence on the state of science education at the post secondary level in this country The project is co chaired by Jerrold Meinwald Cornell University and John Hildebrand University of Arizona Contributors to the volume Science and the Educated American A Core Component of Liberal Education include Jon Clardy Harvard Medical School Diane Ebert May Michigan State University Martha Haynes Cornell University Robert Hazen Carnegie Institution of Washington Sally Hoskins City College of New York Chris Impey University of Arizona Darcy Kelley Columbia University Eugene Levy Rice University Jon Miller Michigan State University Richard A Muller University of California Berkeley Don Randel Andrew W Mellon Foundation Frank Rhodes Cornell University and James Trefil George Mason University Related Publications Published from year 1800 1899 1900 1976 1988

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/Research/researchproject.aspx?d=150 (2016-02-13)
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  • Academy Update: Initiative for Humanities and Culture - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    progress reports from representatives of two other aspects of the Initiative were presented at a joint session of all participants Calvin C Jones Statistical and Evaluation Research reported on the work of the Humanities Indicators Program On November 7 2000 Francis Oakley Williams College Jonathan Cole Columbia Steven Marcus Columbia and Robert Solow MIT convened a meeting of the Indicators Advisory Group in New York to review the results of an evaluation of existing humanities datasets prepared by Mr Jones The report revealed a number of serious gaps and inconsistencies in the information now available about the humanities as well as a marked lack of consistency in the way the information was obtained and reported Participants agreed to move forward with the development of a modest set of indicators focusing on the academic enrollment and career patterns of humanities concentrators from the undergraduate level to the Ph D level as well as on the sources and extent of funding for the humanities Working in cooperation with other organizations involved in the collection of data they will also begin to seek ways to standardize definitions and methodologies for long term data collection Participants Francis Oakley Jonathan Cole Steven Marcus and Robert Solow conveners John D Arms American Council of Learned Societies Douglas DeNatale New England Foundation for the Arts Denis Donoghue NYU Phyllis Franklin Modern Language Association John Hammer National Humanities Alliance Gerald Holton Harvard Arnita Jones American Historical Society Calvin Jones Statistical and Evaluation Research Charlotte Kuh National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Joseph Meisel Andrew W Mellon Foundation Steven C Wheatley American Council of Learned Societies Kathleen Woodward Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities Leslie C Berlowitz Corinne S Schelling and James Buzard The Public Understanding of the Humanities On October 30 2000 Bill Kovach Committee of Concerned Journalists convened a meeting in Washington to consider The Public Understanding of the Humanities Jointly sponsored by the Humanities Initiative and the CCJ this initial session brought together scholars journalists editors and government officials to discuss how the humanities are presented to and understood by the wider public The general consensus of the group was not that the press has failed the humanities but that humanists have not seriously considered the opportunities implicit in a closer relationship with the press A number of ways to sharpen and enhance the identity of the humanities were proposed including fellowships to enable young scholars and reporters to research this topic a series of open lectures or conferences focusing on innovative work by scholars or new approaches to the teaching of the humanities and culture within and beyond the university and workshops to ensure that scholars and advocates of the humanities are given the tools to establish improved contacts within the journalism community Participants Bill Kovach convener Thomas Avila Committee of Concerned Journalists Ashley Carr National Endowment for the Humanities Bill Dunlop artist and writer William Ferris National Endowment for the Humanities Michael Janeway Columbia Arnita Jones American Historical Association Barbara Matusow Washingtonian

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=447 (2016-02-13)
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  • In Remembrance: Herman Feshbach 1917–2000 - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    User Name Password Forgot your password Home Winter 2001 Bulletin In Remembrance Herman Fesh Winter 2001 Bulletin In Remembrance Herman Feshbach 1917 2000 Herman Feshbach Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT and president of the Academy from 1982 to 1986 died in Cambridge on December 22 2000 A distinguished theoretical physicist he worked throughout his career to advance scientific freedom and East West exchange concerns that he brought to the international programs of the Academy After receiving his BS at the City College of New York Feshbach came to MIT where he completed his graduate studies and for more than fifty years served on the faculty of the department of physics He also helped to create the MIT Center for theoretical physics which he later directed from 1967 to 1973 Feshbach s scientific work centered on the theories underlying the structure and behavior of the nuclei of atoms He discovered the analytical tool known as the Feshbach resonance the phenomenon that occurs when atoms collide and one lends just the right quantum of energy to the other so that they bind together long enough to be seen and used almost like reacting chemicals He coauthored two seminal textbooks Methods of Theoretical Physics with Philip M Morse and Theoretical Nuclear Physics with Amos DeShalit Although his findings were extremely important for the development of nuclear weapons he was a strong opponent of the military application of nuclear physics helping to found the Union of Concerned Scientists and serving as its first chairman He also championed the cause of refuseniks particularly Soviet dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov When Feshbach assumed the presidency of the Academy the nuclear arms debate was at a critical point During his first year in office the Committee on International Security Studies was established to conduct a series of studies

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=448 (2016-02-13)
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  • American Academy Welcomes New Fellows - American Academy of Arts & Sciences - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    continue its tradition of conducting interdisciplinary pathbreaking studies and identifying and exploring critical social and intellectual issues even before their importance is widely recognized After Graham and Secretary Emilio Bizzi MIT welcomed the new Fellows at the afternoon program Communications Secretary Leon Eisenberg Harvard traced the history of the Academy seal Stated Meetings and Communications Adding her greetings Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz provided new Fellows with an overview of the Academy today She described the three major project areas Science Security and International Cooperation Humanities and Culture and Children Higher Education and Social Policy Academy projects focus on complex long range issues that have no easy solutions she explained and they address these challenges by bringing together scholars and policymakers who combine theoretical analysis with practical recommendations for action Several Fellows gave new members a glimpse into a range of current Academy studies and projects Patricia Meyer Spacks University of Virginia spoke about the rationale for a multipronged Academy project that will confront the central challenges facing the humanities by developing and communicating a better understanding of the vital role they play in American life Population biologist Joel Cohen Rockefeller and Columbia Universities discussed a proposed project that would investigate the premise that educating well all children from the age of 6 to 16 would add value to their lives and do much to address the interacting problems of population economics the environment and culture Matthew Meselson Harvard briefed new members about Academy work on international law and biological and chemical arms control Biological weapons are truly different from earlier weapons systems because they can directly change what it means to be human he suggested The presentations were followed by a lively discussion with new Fellows After these briefings inductees attended a late afternoon concert by the Boston Trio the Academy s chamber ensemble in residence Fellow Jerrold Meinwald Cornell University accompanied the Trio on flute for a performance of Bach s Trio Sonata in D minor During the evening Induction Ceremony each of the 110 new Fellows came to the stage to sign the Member s Book and be greeted by officers of the Academy Current Fellows representing each of the five Classes also welcomed the inductees Greeters for each class were for Class I Charles Peskin New York University for Class II Joel Cohen Rockefeller and Columbia Universities for Class III Orlando Patterson Harvard University for Class IV Patricia Meyer Spacks University of Virginia and for Class V Richard Meserve U S Nuclear Regulatory Commission At the 1837th Stated Meeting that followed the ceremony representatives of each Class addressed fellow inductees current Academy members and guests about the challenges facing the world and the Academy Their presentations showcased the enormous intellectual range that characterizes this class of new Fellows and the membership of the Academy as a whole Wendy Freedman Carnegie Institution of Washington representing Mathematics and the Physical Sciences Class I spoke about the enormous changes that have taken place in our understanding of cosmology and the

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=449 (2016-02-13)
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  • The Challenges to the Humanities - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    same as it did thirty years ago that s as it should be That brings me to the third challenge to the humanities in our universities communication We re not getting the good things across The culture wars are over we are frequently told but they have left a distinct residue of mistrust For the first time in the nation s history popular opinion at least as filtered through the media holds the study of the humanities in disrepute suspicious of professors as potential political indoctrinators and suspicious of what they profess as frivolous distorted or irrelevant The gap between what goes on in the university classroom and what happens in the world of commerce feels unbridgeable from either side And those who teach in the humanities do not seem to know how to communicate the value of what they do in terms that make sense to people in general I am not alone in believing that the challenges I have identified are serious problems Various organizations have attempted to meet them The American Council of Learned Societies not coincidentally under the leadership of John D Arms who wrote a much cited report on the inadequacy of humanities fellowship support has raised money to increase the size and number of fellowships it offers in the humanities The National Humanities Center has also increased the fellowship support it provides But the problem of financial support for fortunate individuals is less intractable than that of support for the activities of departments and as far as I know no one has addressed that issue on a large scale As for the challenge of conflict Gerald Graff some years ago suggested that what teachers of English should do is teach the conflict Aside from that people deplore and berate and that s about all they do The third challenge that of communication in a real sense underlies the two others The inability of humanities professors to communicate to administrators why what they do requires fuller support is at the heart of our financial difficulties The immense difficulties that would be fundraisers for the humanities experience in making their case reflect the same kind of problem Failures of communication intensify and sometimes actually create the radical splits that divide disciplines Worst of all perhaps is the gap between professors of humanities and a public willing to believe that scientists and social scientists offer kinds of knowledge that make a difference in the world but baffled about what kind of difference the humanities might make Others have addressed this problem too Various humanists have managed not without difficulty to get op ed pieces about current humanistic issues into important newspapers The Modern Language Association has instituted a highly successful series of radio programs that demonstrate what teachers of language and literature do spending half an hour for instance on a discussion of famous first sentences in novels or investigating the nature of ethnic humor I understand that the American Historical Association is looking into the possibility

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=450 (2016-02-13)
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  • Educating the Children of the World - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    the health and survival of children and adults With respect to economics it has the potential to increase the productivity of workers and local capacity to use and develop technology With respect to environment it has the potential to improve environmental preservation and disease prevention With respect to culture it has the potential to reduce inequalities between males and females to increase people s connection to local and world cultures to strengthen effective democratic governance to enhance people s flexibility in the face of unforeseeable contingencies and to promote the creative arts As a scientist I take these ideas as working hypotheses to be tested by careful analyses of appropriate data and where possible by experiment Would spending money to educate all the world s children do more for human well being than for example spending money to improve their health and nutrition Or do these efforts complement each other Would universal basic and secondary education UBASE do more for human well being than spending money to develop economies and job opportunities more than spending money to reduce governmental corruption and strengthen democratic institutions These questions go far beyond my knowledge I was fortunate to be able to discuss these concerns in 1997 with David Bloom professor of economics and public health at Harvard and with the Academy s Chief Executive Officer Leslie Berlowitz Leslie and other leaders of the Academy recognized that this organization could marshal the talents and resources required to respond to the challenge of educating well all the world s children from the age of 6 to 16 The Academy proposes the formation of a task force to examine the rationale means and consequences of achieving UBASE that is an education of high quality for all the world s children from age 6 to 16 We hope that an ambitious program of action oriented research pursued under the sponsorship of the Academy will lead to the development of a global plan of action for UBASE and its subsequent implementation The developers will have to be scholars program officers educators public servants and business leaders from around the world The first phase of this initiative aims to produce reports that could be widely published followed by work directed toward action if the studies indicate that action is warranted The research plan concentrates on six areas Basic facts and data Intellectual and programmatic history Where did the idea of universal education originate in different cultures and how has it been pursued Consequences of achieving UBASE Goals delivery and assessment of UBASE in the future Where do we want to go and how are we going to get there Politics of educational reform obstacles to UBASE implementation Cost and financing of UBASE Study teams will be formed to work in each area How big is the challenge we face As of 1995 about 1 25 billion children in the world more than one fifth of the population of the earth were 6 to 16 years old Of this school

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=451 (2016-02-13)
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  • International Criminalization of Chemical and Biological Weapons - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    protected persons 1973 hostage taking 1979 theft of nuclear materials 1980 torture 1984 and crimes against maritime navigation 1988 The United States has ratified all of these treaties With these treaties as background it occurred to my colleague Julian Robinson at the University of Sussex and to me that international criminal law might be brought to bear on individuals who knowingly develop produce transfer or use biological or chemical weapons or who order or direct anyone to engage in these activities Prohibitions against the hostile use of poison and disease go back to Hindu Roman Koranic and old European law to times long before infectious agents were recognized as being different from poisonous ones The ancient prohibition is expressed in and bolstered by modern international treaties including the Geneva Protocol of 1925 the Biological Weapons Convention BWC of 1972 and the Chemical Weapons Convention CWC of 1993 The BWC and the CWC define what is prohibited in an interesting manner The definitions could not take the simple form of lists of infectious agents or chemicals because many of these agents and materials have peaceful uses as well as potentially hostile ones As an example of this dual use problem phosgene was widely used as a weapon in World War I but is important for the manufacture of plastics and other useful materials A second problem of definition arises from the fact that new chemicals and infectious agents are constantly being discovered even a never ending diplomatic conference could not keep the list up to date To deal with the problems of dual use and innovation the framers of the BWC and the CWC devised a practical and durable definition of what is prohibited known as the General Purpose Criterion The criterion is based on purpose In the case of the CWC for example all toxic chemicals and their precursors are prohibited except when intended for purposes not prohibited under this convention as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes The CWC then goes on to define the purposes that are not prohibited as industrial agricultural research medical pharmaceutical or other peaceful purposes and certain other purposes specified in the convention A similar definition of what is prohibited appears in the BWC With the General Purpose Criterion as the guiding principle even future developments in biology and chemistry are covered by the existing treaties Now that the biological and chemical conventions are in force for the great majority of states the way may be open for the creation of a new treaty that would embody the prohibitions of the BWC and the CWC and the General Purpose Criterion on which they are based into international criminal law applicable to individuals After preparing an initial draft modeled on treaties like the 1984 Torture Convention and other treaties that seek to establish universal jurisdiction over certain crimes we sought the participation and advice of a distinguished group of legal authorities including Professor Philip Heymann of the Harvard Law School

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=452 (2016-02-13)
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  • Wendy L. Freedman - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    there are myriads of other galaxies but also most incredibly that these galaxies are in motion expanding outward with tremendous velocities that increase with the distance from us In 1915 Albert Einstein had formulated his general theory of relativity describing the nature of gravity and had recognized that a stationary universe would not survive for very long that is it would tend to either contract or expand In an important example of the interplay between theory and experiment in science general relativity provided a framework for understanding the unexpected motions of galaxies observed by Hubble The universe itself is expanding and galaxies are being carried along with the expansion of space The implications of this result are enormous If space is expanding then galaxies and the matter that gave rise to them must have been closer together at some time in the past Early in the universe then the density and temperature of matter must have been extraordinarily high The theory and observations led to the striking conclusion that the universe began with a colossal explosion the big bang Experimental evidence for the remnants of the big bang came in 1965 with the discovery by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson that the universe is bathed in a sea of cool 3 degrees above absolute zero radiation a theoretically predicted remnant of the big bang Now as the twenty first century begins we face a number of fascinating unsolved mysteries and we are still exploring the implications of recent discoveries The first discovery of planets outside of our own solar system Until 1995 no planets outside of the 9 in our solar system were known to orbit sunlike stars For the first time in history we now know that planets exist elsewhere As of mid 2000 the count of extrasolar planets stands at 50 To date though measuring techniques are sensitive mainly to planets of Jupiter like mass about 300 times more massive than Earth and greater Over the next decade more sensitive techniques will become available then planets with characteristics similar to Earth s could be discovered if they exist Experiments are already being designed that will make it possible in the future to study the atmospheres of extrasolar planets and discover if they contain ozone carbon dioxide and water that is evidence of life Closer to home in harsh and unexpected environments on Earth biologists have recently found life ranging from primitive ubiquitous bacteria in subterranean locations to exotic species of worms and crustaceans living near thermal vents on the ocean floor We have learned in the past decade that one of Jupiter s moons Europa is covered with ice under which there may be a liquid ocean Imagine how our worldview will change with the scientific discovery of life elsewhere in the universe a discovery that will rank among the most profound of all time The matter that we see the stars and galaxies that shine is not all of the matter that exists If there were only

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/publications/pubContent.aspx?d=453 (2016-02-13)
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