by Chris Berger Attempting one’s first steps into philosophic thought is a daunting, frankly reckless, and directionless gamble. I say directionless because good guidance is at such a premium and reckless because we seldom have a clear idea of what we want out of it. As for daunting, those who take such a step with confidence know not what they’re getting into. What is the … Continue reading Getting Things Done, Philosopher Style
by Sydney Hampshire “Ipsa scientia potestas est.” Knowledge itself is power. Science loves Latin for naming. Organisms, anatomy, and phenomena across the disciplines use Latin and Latin, it seems, has an innate tendency towards poetry. “Knowledge itself is power” directs us towards the need for basic science – because basic scientific principles inform our understanding of everything else around us. Unfortunately, in recent years, scientific … Continue reading Funding Basic Science: A Leap of Faith
by Chris Berger I have a confession to make: I am a grammar stickler. Or at least, I try to be (I am probably too absentminded, and therefore too sloppy, for it to be a genuine obsession, though I come close). My friends’ and colleagues’ annoyance notwithstanding, however, it is an affliction I have come to live with and even embrace. It was not always … Continue reading Splitting Infinitives, or Splitting Hairs?
by Chris Berger Scott Persons is a man who has devoted his life to discovery, education, and public science outreach. A researcher and teacher already lauded for his contributions to the field of paleontology, Edmontonians may know him from his appearances at Nerd Nite events around the city; Canadians, from his Summer 2016 series on CBC radio featuring Alberta dinosaurs; and people the world over, … Continue reading Teaching with Dinosaurs – An Interview with Scott Persons
by Chris Berger We moderns are uncomfortable with being modern. Such is the point of departure for Steven B. Smith’s probing new book, Modernity and Its Discontents: Making and Un-Making the Bourgeois from Machiavelli to Bellow. This will make it of pressing interest for those interested in the political, philosophical, and even literary engagements with our modern context. That word, “discontent,” diagnoses our present situation … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Modernity
by Chris Berger You’re skeptical of mysticism, you say? Good. So am I. This is probably why a lot of people are skeptical of the idea of esotericism, and more specifically of the idea of an “art of esoteric writing.” Talk of such an art immediately calls to mind associations with the occult, kabbalists, Freemasons, and other arcane codes and secret societies. In large measure, … Continue reading Connecting the Dots – Thoughts on Arthur M. Melzer’s “Philosophy Between the Lines”
by Chris Berger According to his close friend Allan Bloom, novelist Saul Bellow had a saying: even if you plan on making the trip to eternity, you still have to catch the train on Randolph Street (at least if you’re setting out from Chicago). To my knowledge he never penned this aphorism in any of his published works, but nevertheless it is reflective of a theme … Continue reading Catching the Train on Randolph Street — A Thought on Saul Bellow, Literature, and Eros
by Devyn Rorem Where my ladies at? While being recently sucked into a Youtube Vortex, clicking on one video after another to avoid doing my homework, I stumbled upon a video with the aforementioned title. The video, by Emily Graslie of Brainscoop, questioned why science education media was so male dominated. She offered a few reasons as to what could be causing this: women seem … Continue reading Where My Ladies At?
During the winter months I am a devoted Education student at the University of Alberta. In the spring, however, I morph into the bouncy, green-clad, forest-dweller who greets children as they pour off their buses on field trip days: a nature interpreter for Alberta Parks. I often start the field trip by telling our child visitors that we are on Treaty 8 Land (I work in Alberta’s Peace … Continue reading Localizing Education in a Globalized World | By Jane Sunderwald
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) has been, along with the Bachelor of Science, a sine qua non of higher education for as long as there have been universities. I believe it would not be an exaggeration to say that a university lacking a BA program cannot be properly called a university. A university’s strength is tied directly to the strength of its BA program. The renewal process currently underway … Continue reading Putting the “Uni-” into University: Thoughts on the Bachelor of Arts Draft Proposal | By Christopher Berger