Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Science and a Sense of Place

Wil Franklin's picture

Welcome to my place on Serendip Exchange (and on the web). In preparation for the Science and Sense of Place Institute that I coordinate with my friend and colleague, Anne Dalke, I have been trying to locate myself in science. What do I do? Where do I situate myself? What topics intersect with my interest most often?

Mt MarcyMt Marcy

My first and still driving passion that lead me to science is wilderness. The great outdoors.


And the infinitely wonderous life and beautiful diversity one encounters when immersed in nature.


How does life work? How does it emerge out of inanimate matter? By what miracle does it over come the entropy that rules the rest of the known universe? And how is it that my tiny material brain made mostly of lipids and salts comprehends "me" as a unique individual able to contemplate my relation to all that is outside me?

Lately, my attention has shifted a bit....


I have always wanted to share my world with others and in turn learn from them- yes, I am an educator - but watching my daughter explore the world anew, to struggle and to grow, has made me question some of my fundamental assumptions regarding learning and teaching. How much does one direct? Is unstructured exploration better? Where in this continuum is learning optimized?

Any thoughts? Looking forward to exploring some of these questions and many more in the Science and Sense of Place Institute.