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Archive of Brown Bag Forum 2002-03


Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Greetings
Date:  2002-09-15 14:32:59
Message Id:  2699
Welcome to this forum for discussion of issues arising in our brown bag lunch discussion series. Many thanks to Anne Dalke and Liz McCormack for the time and energy invested in organizing the series this year (and to Susan White for her initiative and work in getting the brown bag program started last year).

Serendip's forums work on the presumption that it is useful to share "thoughts in progress", that one's thoughts are always evolving, that what one is thinking at any given time may be useful to the evolution of other peoples' thinking and theirs in turn to the evolution of one's own. In this spirit, hopefully we can sustain here a lively and productive exchange of perspectives about matters of interest and concern to all of us.

And have some fun at the same time.

Name:  Jan Trembley
Username:  jtremble
Subject:  Balkanization/online courses
Date:  2002-09-16 10:36:08
Message Id:  2708
This is tangential--not so much about research or even science--but I recalled the controversy a couple of years ago around individual faculty members vs. universities marketing courses online or on CDs. In 2000, Princeton, Yale and Stanford joined to offer online courses to alumni of all three schools. These were not to be complete courses, but up to four lectures with varying degrees of interactivity. Professors would be paid "summer salaries" for developing the material supported by "a cadre of programmers and graphic designers" and a large "back-office" operation to follow through with marketing and helping alumni. Since then, Princeton has added about four humanities courses to its Tigernet site for alumni. These are free, not for credit, and some include web-based discussion groups on Blackboard moderated by the professor, but I can't tell if the Yale-Stanford partnership went anywhere.
Bryn Mawr alumnae have indicated in surveys that they crave online courses both in the humanities and sciences. I believe this is on a far back burner for the College. Even if done in partnership with another school, it would probably have to be a profit-making operation, and I wondered what faculty thought about some of the other issues involved, such as intellectual property and use of time.
Name:  Kim Benston
Username:  kbenston@haverford.edu
Subject:  Balking at Balkanization?
Date:  2002-09-17 12:38:36
Message Id:  2718

Thanks, first, to Anne, Liz, and Paul for the hard work of arranging and maintaining this program & site.

Thanks, too, to Ralph for his lucid and stimulating presentation. I found bracing his passion for the 'culture of science,' and heartening his support of BMC's science faculty's own cooperative customs as expressed through a supple synergy of research and teaching.

All the more interesting, if perhaps also puzzling, then was the turn taken toward the end of the presentation/discussion, in which we were prodded to think more creatively about capturing the market value of our activities in order better to support the institution's various missions. Thus, where we began with a lament for the 'balkanization' of intellectual work, most especially for its attenuation of a 'culture of sharing,' we arrived at a promotion of academic success on a model that would possibly balkanize much of what we now do in harmonious interaction. E.G., think of how we habitually, and happily, exchange 'trade secrets' about pedagogy; now think about what would happen if some of us were given incentives/injunctions to privatize that knowledge in marketable forms. Wouldn't we hold closer to the vest our syllabi, assignments, classroom strategies, anecdotes, and even pedagogical philosophies? Wouldn't this have a chilling effect on the essential mentoring process by which one generation enables (and learns from) the next?

Jan's recollections of the proposed Yale/Princeton/Stanford online consortium bring to mind a further, rawer example of what I fear. A friend of mine who teaches a large basic science course at a major Ivy research university recently began translating his course design to a web-based format. Once the senior faculty grasped that basic science teaching could be thus commodified--and no longer need be seen only as an odious distraction to be farmed out to lesser lights--they immediately began, essentially, to steal my friend's work, using their considerable clout as major research honchos in an attempt to muscle him out of the way of market share's glories. A mere aberration, easily policed by enlightened administrators such as our own? Or emblematic of the kind of unleashed rivalry that the 'market' thrives on?

Yes, academia often defines itself by a complacent contrast to the sullied, sullying 'real world.' But generally, that contrast of airy thought and material application is an outworn shibboleth which doesn't describe well the tenor of intellectual inquiry over the past half century. On the other hand, as Ralph rightly emphasized and vividly illustrated, academia offers a distinctly different 'culture' of knowledge acquisition and use to that found in industry and government--pointedly and dynamically so. Perhaps we'd do well to move quite cautiously toward the brave new world of overt economic self-definition, where value is measurable by criteria other than those subtending the admittedly messy, always contingent, essentially rhetorical estimation of 'good work' that we have held ourselves to heretofore.

See you soon.--Kim

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  a modest proposal
Date:  2002-09-17 20:59:40
Message Id:  2740
I can't help but thinking, when things get posed as unpalatable opposite alternatives ("academia" vs "the real world"), that there must be another way to conceive things lying around somewhere. So ...

  • I really DON'T like the "commodification" of knowledge, for all the reasons Ralph mentioned and then some, squared. Knowledge elaboration really IS fundamentally a social activity, and really DOES proceed best when there is the freest possible exchange of ideas/works in progress. Treating them as mechanisms to gain personal/institutional wealth not only seriously compromises that sharing but also puts great and undesireable pressures on the directions in which knowledge elaboration proceeds.
  • I also really DON'T like isolating the "academic" from the "real world". It isn't good for either. In particular, many of the most interesting intellectual problems are in the "real world", and the "real world" needs the kind of thoughtfulness which is the business of intellectual communities (whether it actually knows it or not, and whether we actually have it or not).
  • The "comodification of knowledge" is actually just a particular case of a much more general problem "in the real world": the comodification of virtually EVERYTHING (eg medical care, education, etc etc). Most of our culture assesses value based on return on investment, IN THE SHORT RUN. And that is not a good foundation for supporting intellectual inquiry, whose payoff in these terms is unpredictable and long term (nor, I think, is it particularly good the rest of the world). This further complicates the life of the academy/intellectual community, since we need support, financial and otherwise, from the "real world".
  • So, the punch line ... it is not only an obligation but a necessity that we engage with the "real world". BUT, we don't have to engage with the "real world" on ITS terms. In fact, it is equally part of our job to conceive of terms which are not only more favorable to ourselves but also more favorable to everyone else, and educate others in it.
  • This is not as outlandish as it might seem. It is possible to live life (personally and institutionally) in terms of values in addition to the monetary without going bankrupt. Moreover, there are various existing models of how knowledge elaboration can gain financial support without "commodification". Public radio and public television have been doing this (with varying degrees of success) for years. And there are a variety of new business models being tried out on the internet which involve the provision of free information as a mechanism to demonstrate to people their need for some additional services for which they will pay.
  • These are, it seems to me, directions that we should be exploring. And are, in fact. Serendip (on which you're reading this) provides lots of information (including my own course syllabi and those of others who share a sense of commitment to the free flow of information) without charging for it. Perhaps, in turn, it makes people more inclined to share their own product, donate money, attend Bryn Mawr, turn to people in the bmc community whom they would be willing to pay for particular services they need?

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Unpalatable alternatives
Date:  2002-09-20 12:42:59
Message Id:  2794

Speaking of unpalatable alternatives....

during the discussion Sam Glazier led this past Wednesday, a query was posed about how the culture of science differs from the culture of religion; one answer offered was that science begins w/ a presumption of doubt, while religion does not. I'm a Quaker, and central to my religious understanding and practice is lots of active doubting and testing of doubts. There's an excellent book by Karen Armstrong called The History of God, which describes atheism as a rejection of the current conception of the divine, a rejection that invites the production of new understandings of what God might mean/be/do. As I understand them, religion and science are not in opposition; neither are belief and doubt, which exist rather in a productive, interactive and ever-generative tension.

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  continuity
Date:  2002-09-21 12:54:16
Message Id:  2828
I hope everyone shares my sense that Anne, Liz, and the speakers to date have gotten us well-started on what promises to be an interesting and productive conversation. Some other versions of this conversation with somewhat different foci and participants might be worth recalling. Here's a list of some web-available ones at Bryn Mawr:

Its probably also useful to recognize that the issues under discussion are not by any means unique to Bryn Mawr, nor even to liberal arts colleges. For example, Cassandra Fraser, a chemistry colleague of Sharon Burgmayer's at the University of Virginia, is active in the Science, Careers, and Society Forum there (cf. http://faculty.virginia.edu/fraserlab/scspurpose.htm).

My point is not at all that our own current conversations are either redundant or unnecessary, but rather that they can both draw on and contribute to a wider ongoing conversation.

With those thoughts in mind, see On Being a "Lonely" Atheist for a quick response to Anne above. As for Sam's talk, I thought it was particularly rich and generative, both for its introduction of "class" issues into the conversation (I too am a fan of not only country music but also blues; as for physicality ...), and for the openings into considerations of objectivity/subjectivity, of generality/uniqueness, and of "progress/no progress" as described in Anne's summary.

I get to talk later in the semester but in anticipation here are a couple of things that bear on the subjectivity/objectivity issue:

For what its worth, that seems to me an issue which is independent of the other two, in the sense that one can admit subjectivity without necessarily also accepting as inevitable uniqueness and "no progress". I'm looking forward to seeing whether our further conversation plays out along these lines.
Name:  Wilfred Franklin
Username:  wfrankli@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Commodifying Knowledge
Date:  2002-09-25 17:51:50
Message Id:  2896
We must not give an inch to this trend of 'commodifying' knowledge. Yes, it is codified in the our intellectual patent laws, but our duty and unspoken "Hippocratic Oath" as academics, is to share knowledge with the next generation. The fact that research drives our teaching institutions rather than the other way around demonstrates how much ground we have already lost. For me, this crusade is rooted in a tenuous and speculative hypothesis about the origin of our species as well as more robust observations about symbiotic relationships in biological systems.

Couldn't there be the chance that our ancestors evolved differently from our chimp relatives for the very reason that we shared information freely. Perhaps our evolutionary heritage recognized (only stumbled upon?) the fact that we could out compete our cousins bellicose, territorial habits with the free sharing of knowledge? Put other way by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, "Masters create and then walk away, for if one grasps too tightly, you will loose your grip, but the one who lets go possess nothing and has nothing to loose." (Paraphrased horribly by one who grasps too tightly.) Biological systems are rife with examples in which cooperation benefits the individual and the whole. Bees, ants, reef systems, mycorrhizae, the Eukaryotic Cell?...all of these alliances allow much greater resource acquisition then would be possible among alternative individualistic systems due to synergistic effects, ie, reefs build topography/surface area for feeding that would not otherwise exist. On the other hand, I wouldn't necessarily want to be a bee or a worker ant. Perhaps that is exactly the case, still, I find the idea of 'commodifying' knowledge repulsive.

Name:  Wilfred Franklin
Username:  wfrankli@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Commodification of Knowledge (II)
Date:  2002-09-26 09:29:36
Message Id:  2907
On my commute home last night, I heard the following news story on All Things Considered: Inventing Airplanes. It speaks directly to my point about patent law and how secrecy can stiffle progress and new innovation.
Name:  Samantha Glazier
Username:  sglazier@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Educating for industry
Date:  2002-09-26 14:04:31
Message Id:  2911
I came across and article titled, "Industry's wish list for academia: Hamiline University reshapes science curriculum to better meet the needs of industrial employers" in the Sept. 16, 2002 issue of Chemical and Engineering news. http://pubs.acs.org/cen/education/8037/8037education.html
The areas the college focused on, based on the crecommendations of 3M and $534,000 from the NSF, were communication skills, techinical course skills, industrial organization, team problem solving and cultural competency. I don't think that the list is outside the interests of education but the source and motivation are questionable for the reasons discussed two weeks ago. The potential homogenatity of the students coming from a specifically defined and regimented program reminds me of the shades of beige availble at clothing stores that have different names but are mostly owned by the same parent company. A course taught with an industrial slant, co-taught with someone from industry could be iteresting or useful.
Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  oxymoron
Date:  2002-09-26 15:39:25
Message Id:  2912
Alternatively (as a friend and colleague observed to me),
"I think 'intellectual property' is an oxymoron."
Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  The Logic of Jokes
Date:  2002-09-27 17:08:47
Message Id:  2955
Wednesday's session, on metaphor and metynomy, delighted me. Ted's distinction between metaphor and metonymy, as figures for two different kinds of thinking, was very useful, although I found myself unconvinced of his claim that they are not/CAN not be reciprocally generative. Paul Grobstein and I have offered three workshops for CSem faculty claiming that it is precisely the "loop" from (using Ted's language) the metaphoric to the metonymic and back again (that is, from the description of the multiplicity of things in themselves to the more pared-down account of things in relation to one another) that is actually what constitutes intellectual work, and what we should be "modeling" for and inviting our students into.

As our session was ending, Jane Hedley offered us a "simple test" for identifying what sort of thinkers we are. If, when she says "dog," you say "cat," you are a metaphor-maker; if, when she says "dog," you say "claw," you think metonymically (does anyone actually DO this?) If, however, she says "dog" and you say...."hog"--THEN what kind of thinker are you?

Ted and I have been talking since about the ways in which different categories of jokes depend on similarity or contiguity. What is the logic of the aural similarity on which so many jokes turn?

Two examples: Our conversation had begun with a description of the picture in Ted's office (of a cow, looking at a picture of a cow, being looked at by a group of scientists): it functioned as a nice figure for nature and its representation, which was the topic of his talk.

The session then ended, appropriately enough, by circling back to that image:
"What is a metaphor?
A place to put a cow."
(Get it? What is a meadow for?)

After the Stanley Kunitz reading later in the week, I introduced my son Sam, who is a cross-country runner, to Mark Lord, and asked Mark if he ever ran. "Only when I was chased," he replied.
"When you were chaste....?"
What were we DOING in that conversation? How were we THINKING?

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  humor and the metonymic landscape
Date:  2002-10-11 13:55:27
Message Id:  3261
i think I've found the answer to my own question. Humor, particularly the sort of "punning" humor that Mark and I were playing with above, gives us access to the metonymic landscape, makes connections that we were not even aware of, that surprise and delight us.
Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  In and Out of the World
Date:  2002-11-22 11:55:10
Message Id:  3844

This is going to go in two different directions: first out of/away from the "world," then back into it.

As I finished up writing up the minutes from this week's brown bag discussion (on the philosophy of mathematics), I found myself, during the last paragraph (an account of the last 5 minutes of our conversation, where we were trying to sketch out a continuum placing math, science and the humanities in relative proximity to one another--and had identified @ least one axis on which math was closer to the humanities because it was "solipsistic," not referencing the external world, nor needing it for verification)--anyhow: I found myself thinking/wondering/asking whether science also needs the concept of a stable, existing externality to ground its work, or whether it couldn't get by w/out that foundational idea...(see, for instance, notes from a Brown Bag talk last spring, "The Brain's Images: Reflecting and Creating Human Understanding," which suggested not only that there are multiple ways to construe the "pictures" we see "out there," but that, further, we can never know if our pictures are "right"--so science (defined as collecting and summarizing observations) doesn't NEED the concept of an external reality that it is "getting closer to," that is waiting to be "discovered." I'd very much like to hear what scientists and philosophers on (or off!) campus think about the usefulness of this notion.

On the other hand, I thought that the queries Kris Tapp posed for us had very broad applications for academics in all disciplines, and our relationship and responsibility to that world "out there." See, for instance, two accounts in September editions of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The first one, "New Series to Focus on Works by Young Scholars," by Danny Postel, is a concrete example of an intervention in the decade-long narrowing of audience for humanities scholars; the second, "The Pathbreaking, Fractionalized, Uncertain World of Knowledge," by Stanley N. Katz, is an elaborate querying of our intellectual infrastructure. Katz concludes not only that students trained in specialized techniques may not be well prepared in general critical thinking skills, but also that the theoretical complexity of the knowledge we currently generate is too inaccessible to large numbers of citizens outside the academy. He ends by asking why we are so unwillling (so unable?) to translate our work for the general public.


Name:  Sanford Schram
Username:  sschram@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  menopause
Date:  2002-12-07 09:56:39
Message Id:  3995
In response to Anne Dalke, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain my comments of yesterday (in the comment period after Prof. Houck's talk on menopause). I am thinking with Judith Butler and Michel Foucault in seeing gender as coming before sex. For Butler and Foucault, sexuation is a "technology of the self" grounded in a gendered outlook heavily steeped in commitments to heteronormativity. Such a sexing of the population instigates what Foucault calls governmentality where we intervene to produce sexed populations, peopling those populations with individuals who are clinically identified as male and female and as having the capacities and deficiencies these technologies of intervention suggest these sorts of people have. So it becomes possible to see how "the natural" is an artifact of our interventions, Stephen Pinker's new book with his old argument about the primacy of nature to the contrary. The "natural" is a by-product of modalities of treatment that imply a certain nature to things and people by virtue of how we have chosen to treat them. So if we see women as sexed in a certain way such that menopause becomes but a minipause in their sexual existence in a life of endless sex (as the good doctor Wilson saw it), then it becomes a mere by-product of estrogen replacement therapy to see it as unnatural for women to change in this regard. The natural thing is for women to take an artificial substance so they can stay their natural sexed selves. Neat trick, huh?! It's like my favorite cookie--Oreos--the real original "natural" Oreos were made with artificial ingredients. I never liked the substitute ones that were "all natural" without artificial ingredients. These substitutes were fakes for the real artificial ones!

Given this perspective, feminists are right it seems to me to see multiple
sides to medicalization. It is always at a minimum a double-edged sword. On the one hand, accessing treatment is often a project conducted in the name of equity, insisting that women not be neglected when we study how we can improve people's health. So women deserve to be medicalized as much as men and in their own right as well as is appropriate for them and their distinctive needs. On the other hand, medicalization often involves getting positioned in processes of governmentality and the resultant transmutation of women's needs into what clinically valorized treatments imply they really need but may not.

So some feminists might argue that anything that increases the chances for
women to experience life and sex better is a good thing. Other feminists
might argue that women should watch out for what they wish for--they might
get it! In this case, medicalizing women's sexual changes might be bad as
well as good in its effects. We can all now see this so much more clearly
since last summer when the studies came out showing how myopic the estrogen craze really was.

My question for Anne (and everyone else now that I am posting this) was how did it go on so long that estrogen replacement therapy would be seen as good when in fact it had evidently not really been studied very thoroughly. How could this be? What a huge slip up!! Was this itself an example of too much or not enough medicalization?? That's what I
was thinking when listening to the presentation.

Thanks for arranging Prof. Houck's talk. It was quite a good session.

Sandy Schram

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Judith Houck responds
Date:  2002-12-09 10:07:55
Message Id:  4014
With Judy's permission, I'm passing along her responses to Sandy's responses to her talk:

[he said:] The natural thing is for women to take an artificial substance so they can stay their natural sexed selves.

JH: To offer a little historical perspective here. Both before and after Wilson, most physicians and other medical writers assured women that menopause did not diminish their libido or their sexual attractiveness, a position that is just as constructed though differently.

[Sandy said:] We can all now see this so much more clearly since last summer when the studies came out showing how myopic the estrogen craze really was.

JH: I have an article coming out this spring in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine developing this point for menopause. Feminists were (are) very ambivalent about whether ERT was a godsend or a curse or both.

[Sandy asked:]My question for you is how did it go on so long that estrogen replacement therapy would be seen as good when in fact it had evidently not really been studied very thoroughly. How could this be? What a huge slip up!! Was this itself an example of too much or not enough medicalization?? That's what I was thinking when listening to the presentation.

JH: Well, the "evidence" has been there all along, but there were always flaws in the study design, so dependent on your perspective, it was easy to dismiss it as inconclusive. And there was "evidence" on the other side as
well. So what study you believe has a great deal to do with your profession and your politics. But I guess I don`t want us to dismiss ERT entirely. For osteoporosis, it does seem to be effective. (The extent to which osteoporosis is a real problem or one constructed through imaging technology, or both is another issue. Further, while ERT does help with bone density, it is less clear that it helps prevent fractures which is undeniably a problem.)
My two cents.

Name:  Anne
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  my personal summers
Date:  2002-12-11 14:11:44
Message Id:  4047
As co-ordinator of the Feminist and Gender Studies Program, I took a strong academic interest in Judith's talk last week on the social history of menopause; as a post-menopausal woman, I had a personal interest as well--as do many of my friends. I just heard this morning from one of them, Debi Peterson:

"I DID hear a new phrase for these 'night-MELT-downs" ... it is apparently the common phrase in the African American women's arena ... "My personal summers" ... sounds WAY too pleasant if you ask me! "

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Single-minded/Not
Date:  2003-02-27 19:23:03
Message Id:  4877

I've just finished writing up, and posting, a summary of Doug Blank's presentation today, which focused on the small percentage of women in computer science programs. In the subsequent discussion, it was suggested that many women eschew a "singleminded" pursuit of any given field.

As I recorded this conversation, I was reminded of a dissertation (later book) by Maggie Mulqueen, called On Our Own Terms; Redefining Competence and Femininity, State University of New York Press, 1992 (see A Guide for Integrating Multiculturalism into the Curriculum for a description of the book). Drawing on longitudinal interviews she conducted with four graduate students (two in English, two in Physics, at Penn and Harvard--one of them was me), Maggie argued that women's sense of competence comes from balancing multiple roles, rather than from singleminded application to one. Participating in her study as I was finishing my graduate work and starting part-time employment at Bryn Mawr (while I was caring for four small children) helped me learn to value the choices I was making, choices which were certainly no more valued in the profession of English literary study in 1982 than they are now in Computer Science.

Reminded of that work, and those decisions, I'm postulating now that it's not just "contextualized science" which will engage more women, but a practice of science, computer science, or any kind of intellectual work that allows us to engage the world in multiple ways and multiple venues, rather than insisting on a single definition of "success," which we will find most attractive and compatible with the various aspects we want to incorporate into our lives. In the terms of earlier discussions in this series of brown bags, we function most happily when we function "metonymically," when we can turn from one task to another of its "neighbors," refusing the enclosing, limiting, "single-minded" gesture of "metaphorization."

(See also Building Two-Way Bridges: A Conversation About Gender and Science for a record of an earlier discussion on this topic.)

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  trying to keep the record straight
Date:  2003-03-27 13:29:43
Message Id:  5192
If there is one thing I want even less to be thought of as than a nostalgist it is a moralist. BUT ... it does seem to me terribly important to be able to notice and say out loud that
  • things HAVE gotten worse in American culture over the past twenty-five years or so in some clearly definable ways
  • not only in "science" but across the sociocultural board this has involved the replacement of an earlier complex pattern of competing values of which financial return was one by a nearly monolithic acceptance of short-term financial return as the only value
  • this has been detrimental to science, as well as a number of other sociocultural institutions (including medicine and art and higher education and ...)
  • things will continue to get worse unless/until enough people are willing to publicly stand up for the importance of values in addition to short term financial return

Yes, there has in the past always been a tension between economic development (stability/security) and creativity (destablizing novelty), and yes that has been/is over the long run a generative tension productive of both stability and novelty. But if every institution in the culture elects to base its own activities on economic development then there will no longer be a generative tension, and we will lose not only creativity but economic stability as well. What makes that so difficult for people/institutions to see/accept/act on is that, of course, it may not happen in the next five years. So maybe we could learn to think on at least slightly longer time scales? Mr Bush notwithstanding?

Name:  Elliott Shore
Username:  eshore@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Nostalgia and its uses
Date:  2003-03-27 15:58:20
Message Id:  5194
I think that I know now what I mean by nostalgia. Nostalgia is the sense that the happiest time of one's life -- always in the past and never precisely datable -- is not only the real way things were, but the way they should always be. It is a concept that is static, unchanging and universal. It admits of no other better reality and it need not be explained because it is assumed that things were always that way because that reality was "mine" and it is declining. That decline is always located in forces outside the self that are destroying what was best about "my" world. It almost always fails to read the structures that went into creating that reality because the moment is early enough in one's life that one's critical faculties are not turned towards introspection.

Relating it to this discussion, the refusal to think about higher education as as deeply implicated in the same (political and cash) economy as that of the pharmaceutical giant, or that the decision-making process of admitting students hasn't always been informed by the ability to pay, are acts of nostalgia: they posit that there is a better place -- the place where I was happiest -- that is declining because it is no longer the way it was when I was happiest. That decline is caused by a force outside myself -- the speeding up of time, the forces of capitalism -- and we need to turn back the clock -- to make it like it (almost certainly never) was.

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  the record, con.
Date:  2003-03-27 21:28:38
Message Id:  5197
For the sake of the record, I'm actually much happier now than I was twenty-five years ago. But the challenge does remind me of a related social critique I wrote almost fifteen years ago. For those interested, have a look at This isn't just MY problem, friend. Ain't nostalgia.

But let's bag the argument over whether the past was or was not better, because it ain't my point. Nor is it my point to divorce education (or science) from real life/the economy. In fact my point is very much to ENGAGE education (and science) with real life/the economy, by arguing that education/science require by their natures active opposition to those who believe in short term return as the only value, both within and outside academia. The struggle is over whether the values of science/education will influence real life/economic behavior, or whether instead we will continue a disastrous course of allowing short term return on investment to become the default value of education/science.

Username:  adalke
Subject:  Looping back...
Date:  2003-03-27 22:56:30
Message Id:  5198

Six months later...

we seem to have looped back again to the initial discussion in this series, when Ralph Kuncl challenged us to think about "the ways in which the potential marketablity of ideas can interrupt the traditional culture of sharing, " when we were asking ourselves if we wanted to think of "teaching as an outcome of research that is commodifiable," when we first began to imagine "an alternative economics for conceptualizing the kind of work we do," even "different conceptions of knowledge than those of ownership," in which (for instance) we "might we think of ourselves as service providers...."

when Kim Bentstoninsisted that academia pointedly and dynamically "offers a distinctly different 'culture' of knowledge acquisition and use to that found in industry and government,"

when Paul Grobstein first spoke against the "commodification of knowledge" and for the "free flow of information."

What have we figured out in the interim? What do we understand, now, that we didn't understand then? Or are we just re-tracing the same old, same old?

Name:  Xenia Morin
Username:  xmorin@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Where do we go from here?
Date:  2003-03-28 07:23:20
Message Id:  5201
I wonder how far back we would need to go to find this nostagic period? The gentleman-scholar who is financially independent comes to mind? Does this perceived happy period depend on funding, the attitude of colleagues, the sense of hope that comes from growth?

As for unfettered research, I think financial independence is the only way. I think winning the lottery is my only chance unless some long lost relative leaves me with some $$? ;)

IF we agree that the culture of science has changed, and, many will say, not for the better,
What has happened?

I think one clue might be found in the marketing of science to Congress and the nation, and the degree of competition for scientific research funds. Is this our own "wild west?" In an attempt to bring science to our culture in general, we have learned to market our work, to compete with others for taxpayers resources, and to be drawn into the culture as a whole. "We", that is the scientific leaders, have make big promises about the impact of our work and we try to justify this in short-term and, yes, long-term goals. Take for example the human genome project. We have learned there are limits to the federal purse strings (witness failure to fund the expensive Super collider project in physics, which wiped out my generation of budding physicists). We are accountable and not independent from the taxpayer and have become increasingly so as our specialties have required more expensive equipment in order to proceed. Given that the Federal Government is our primary funding source, how could we have responded any differently? Some could argue this marketing approach has worked well. The NIH budget has grown incredibly during the last decade, especially compared to other programs. This has spurred on considerable research, and yet practicing scientists, at least at the graduate student/post-doc/assistant professor level don't appear to me to be happier (to return to Dan's question). Those that join the ranks of graduate school rarely leave unless given a good reason despite conditions that are less than optimal. Perhaps they have few options to go to? The measures of our national success in science are not job happiness and sense of accomplishment, economic stability, appreciation of the international communities we have built to share the scientific exploration, but things that you can count: publications, new drugs to market, patents, and jobs created and economies supported. We are a part of this national economy and we must acknowledge this. The question is, if the federal government (through peer review) is the major player, where must change occur given all the expections that are now present for our success?

Where do we go from here? For me personally, I am giving some of my attention and energy to the National Postdoctoral Association (www.nationalpostdoc.org) to look at changes that have occurred at the postdoctoral level. I am also happy to say that I am presenting the Keck Fellowship as an alternative model. I am about to enter a round table discussion on postdoc issueswith Richard Freeman (author of the paper I gave you), Rita Colwell, and others at NSF & NIH . But within this discussion will be the culture of science as it exists today. So I thank you all for you insights, comments, and discussions and ask that you keep going...

Xenia Morin

Name:  Samantha Glazier
Username:  sglazier@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  A chemistry example
Date:  2003-03-28 17:21:00
Message Id:  5204
The idea of rejecting observations about the past as an attempt to recapture a reality that never existed seems to put too much faith in change and the present as neccesarily desirable and/or more truthful. I will confess to having idealistic tendancies. However, I think it is possible to find evidence or at least examples that the culture of science has become more comercial and lost depth and freedom in the process for example, choosing experiments that answer questions that have applications in the forseeable future - around 5 years. The following is an example that I encountered during my graduate work. The first is a paper published in 1968 and the second in 2000, both in peer reviewed journals and on the same topic. The second paper just looks at the system on much shorter timescales using modern laser equipment. Here are the concluding remarks by each author:

"Although we interpret the luminescence to be of charge-transfer type, there is still a question concerning the multiplicity of the emitting state.. Our measurements to date do not distinguish between these two possibilities."

"It is unclear to what extent these results can be extended to other, more complex chemical and biological systems. However, given the desirability for vectorial charge transport in various contexts, we believe that medium-induced localiztion dynamics may be important in a wide range of settings."

The first conclusion restates what they learned and specifies what is still unanswered. The second conclusion states that while there is more to learn they believe their results are applicable to a wide range of settings. I have noticed a pattern of unwillingness/fear/unpopularity of disscussing problems and unanswered questions in my field of chemistry in comparison to articles from earlier decades. I would love to search chemistry journals for the phrase "of great importance" over the last 50-100 years and see if there is a noticeable difference in frequency???

Thanks for making this forum available and keeping it updated. I am a bit uncomfortable responding generally to the interesting ideas already posted without specifically addressing them but I guess that is the nature of this type of communication - so just know that I read what you wrote and thought about it.

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  "Deliverables"
Date:  2003-03-30 20:16:38
Message Id:  5212

And your reading and thinking, Sam, keeps the rest of us reading and thinking too. I just came across an essay by Jessie Gruman in The Chronicle of Higher Education (March 28, 2003), entitled "Basic vs. Applied Research: Finding a Balance," which begins by explaining that

the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases promised that he would strive to produce results from his agency to justify its receipt of an anticipated appropriations increase of $1.5-billion -- the largest in the history of the National Institutes of Health. "In three or four years when the question is asked, 'What did you learn?' the wrong answer is, 'We learned a lot,'" he said. "The right answer is, 'We learned a lot and now we have the following deliverables for you.... ' We will maintain the basic science base, but we will have deliverables."

[The article continues:] It is a notable occasion when the director of an NIH institute publicly holds himself, and the scientists whom his institute supports, accountable for finding solutions to specific public-health threats within a given time frame. [This] statement contrasts with the NIH's long tradition of emphasizing the support of investigator-initiated research in the basic sciences, which is far less often guided by the pursuit of "deliverables."

I'm not a professional scientist, but I am a student of language, and this does NOT sound like nostalgia (="homesickness") to me. It sounds like change, and I hear in its history the same sort of difficult challenge given us last week by Dan Sarewitz, who also acknowledged that "science is both application-driven and market-focused," that it "maps very well onto wherever the current 'economic action' is." One response to this description might, of course, be to insist on a different sort of "mapping": that science be guided less by "current economic action" than by a more unfettered pursuit of curiosity. Maybe--as Paul will suggest in a talk in Chicago later this week--we might actually "deny the use of the term 'science' to research that is carried out ...to further commercial objectives." (To make such a distinction would actually be a return to the etymological roots of both words, since "science" derives from a Latin word meaning "to know," while the word "research" comes from a more goal-driven term: an Old French word meaning "to seek out.") Seeking out "deliverables" in the short-term could well mean that we deny ourselves the long-term benefits of "the primary business of science, [which] is to question and challenge."

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  More nostalgia
Date:  2003-04-02 12:58:12
Message Id:  5252
The topic we were discussing w/ such energy during Xenia Morin's presentation last week also just appeared in The Chronicle Review (April 4, 2003): In "Academic Values and The Lure of Profit," Harvard's president emeritus, Derek Bok, takes a "nostalgic" tone as he evokes the "happier conditions of earlier times," as he asks how far industrial sponsors have "gone in seeking to use higher-education institutions and professors for their own commercial ends," and how willing universities have "been to accept money at the cost of compromsing values central to the academic enterprise." Bok laments the increased pressure on university administrators to "become more entrepreneurial," to search ever "more aggressively for novel ways of making profits." Using the "long, sorry history of intercollegiate sports" as paradigmatic in showing "how far the erosion of values can proceed," he offers five safeguards against the push to sacrifice "essential values" in "exchange for ephemeral gains in the constant struggle for prestige." The most important one, in the context of this conversation, is the call for increased faculty involvement in developing and enforcing rules that protect academic values.

A challenge for us all, and one that I think these brown bags are helping us meet--

Name:  Ted
Username:  twong@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Science's margins
Date:  2003-04-03 13:27:58
Message Id:  5260
I suggested during today's discussion that science is mostly concerned with teaching its canonical ideas and less concerned with its margins than is, say, dance. Do the other scientists think that's true? If it's true, then (and here's a question for everybody) is it a problem? For example, in evolutionary biology we want students to learn Darwin, Mendel, Fisher, Wright, etc., all the way through Lewontin, Gould, Hamilton -- all white men, by the way. We're not really very interested in teaching Gregory (or William) Bateson or D'Arcy Thompson, even though their ideas are interesting and potentially enriching. If science is uninterested in its margins, then why? Possibilities (none of which I claim to be valid!):
  • In science, what's marginal is probably just wrong.
  • Science isn't self-reflective and therefore doesn't care about its politics.
  • Science is apolitical, so marginalization isn't political.
  • Science is run by straight, white, physically able, tall men, and ignoring the margins is therefore structural.

Name: Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke
Subject:  interest in the margins
Date:  2003-04-06 21:31:02
Message Id:  5286

Ted's questions about science valorizing canonicity (as opposed to the humanities, which are more concerned with "the margins") puts me in mind of one of our earliest discussions last fall: the one Samantha Glazier led on "Sustaining the Culture of Science," in which we speculated that science differs from other cultures

  • by being "culturally imperialistic,"
  • by its claims that its methods of inquiry lead to truth and progress,
  • by its motivation: a progressive ethics which subsumes the old with the new;
  • by its training in extracting personal whims and values from the inquiry process.

Humanists, in contrast,
  • value subjectivity;
  • do not value certainty, predictability or progressivism;
  • value originality, but
  • do not see themselves as replacing old ideas with new ones.

This central difference between the two cultures involving this matter of progress might explain why science is "uninterested in its margins."

Name:  Ted Wong
Username:  twong@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Counterfactual exercise
Date:  2003-04-07 15:05:37
Message Id:  5296
But the humanities haven't always been interested in the margins, right? Literary critics were once pretty exclusively concerned with helping readers understand the texts and ideas of the Great Writers. (This I glean from David Lodge novels.) Wisdom and truth were embedded in the canonical texts; the job of the critics was to expose and articulate them.

How is it that the notions of truth and even authoriality were vulnerable in literary criticism, but not in the natural sciences? Are they vulnerable in the sciences? I'm now trying to picture a world in which Derrida is a molecular biologist, and I'm having a hard time. The real Derrida writes texts about reading texts. Texts interact with texts, including the texts he writes to make his points. Would molbio Derrida make his points (about genes) using texts or genes? And would he write (whether in words or in codons) clearly and with lots of citations, or would he use the style of his own texts/genes as difficult, illustrative experiments? That is, would molbio Derrida use his writing style to contain, or merely convey, meaning? Would there even be any reason to engage in stylistic experiments if he was using texts to understand genes? Would molbio Derrida ever have reason to start thinking about his own activities as a biologist?

In my inexpert understanding (again, blame David Lodge), literary criticism became importantly self-referential when it started being interested in language. Because their work was about language while being language, literary critics had to confront how their readings are themselves texts. Natural scientists also use language, but to talk about photons and mushrooms. No opportunity for self-referentiality: unless one were to discuss, say, genes by (1) making genes, (2) releasing those genes into nature, and (3) using those released genes to say something about how making and naturalizing genes says something about making and naturalizing genes.

So why isn't science interested in its margins? Because they never came up. Why are scientists not interested in the scientist's body? Because even though the body may be relevant to how science is done, how science is done is not what science does.

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Date:  2003-04-10 15:02:24
Message Id:  5347
Many many thanks to Catherine et al for (another) wonderful presentation/discussion. And, while I'm on the subject, many thanks to Liz/Anne for organizing/running the series, and to Anne for creating the summaries/keeping this site up to date/alive.

Sorry to have missed last week. Was in Chicago for a panel on science education sponsored by the Illinois Math and Science Academy which touched on many of the issues we're been talking about here. The paper of mine which Catherine referred to (and which Anne quoted from earlier, thanks to both) very much reflected our conversations here. Its on line in two forms, as web notes for the talk I gave, and as text.

Would that we'd had today's discussion before the talk. The "view from nowhere"/"view from everywhere" notion is a very beautiful way of describing/summarizing a very important idea, much better than what I managed either in the paper or in the philosophy of science course I'm coteaching with Michael Krausz (see here for a set of notes and links to previous ones). The idea, as we talked about it, is that one may aspire to Truth independent of/indifferent to "particularities" (the "view from nowhere"), or one may enjoy constructing out of particularities transcendences (commonalities which by so being becomes less individually or culturally specific) without any presumption that any given transcendence is even remotely the last word (each is no more, but also no less, than the "view from everywhere").

Katherine also very nicely raised the issue of a divorce between knowledge and morality ("science" and "conscience"). I'm very curious about the historical reality/basis for this (like Linda's idea that it had to do with relation of experimentation and the church, with a resulting need to preserve something of "certainty"), and hope we'll have more chance to pursue it (1600's, with englightenment as an effort to repair it?).

Thanks again to all for a rich conversation.

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  enlightenment continues...
Date:  2003-04-10 22:32:40
Message Id:  5353

Paul's questions above about the historical basis for the divorce between "science and conscience" were broached earlier in Joe Disponzio's presentation in this series, in which he suggested that a series of late eighteeenth-century developments contributed to the change in paradigm, including the replacement of "a vision of an a-historical God" with "an understanding of change through time," and "a disconnect between man, nature and God, so that what impacted one domain was no longer seen as affecting the other"--which also "allowed the sciences to be concretized as new professional practices; terms like geo-logy and bio-logy emerged at this time."

Name:  Jan Trembley
Username:  jtremble@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  hard to say....
Date:  2003-04-11 12:25:55
Message Id:  5354
A little something to make the hairs stand on end of a Friday. This was forwarded to the College from the alumnae listserv (contact person is not BMC).
Jan T

My name is Leah Wolchok and I work for a nonfiction TV
production company called Michael Hoff Productions. We're in the
process of casting an exciting new television pilot for the Discovery
Science Channel. The show is a high-energy debate that pits two
rival scientists in a head to head battle of ideas. This is hard science
with an edge, and shooting begins in late April.
We're looking for contestants who have at least a masters degree in
a hard science, and enjoy rapid-fire debate. We want people who
can defend extreme positions from opposite poles and love to argue
about science. We've gotten a lot of response from male scientists,
but we're looking for some women to balance out the show.
I would love your help in finding female scientists for the program.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Leah Wolchok, Associate Producer
Michael Hoff Productions
5900 Hollis Street Suite O
Emeryville, CA 94608
Direct Line: 510-597-2061

Name:  Paul Grobstein
Username:  pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  evolving
Date:  2003-04-17 13:24:23
Message Id:  5435
Stimulating discussion, as by now anticipated/normal (interesting thing to get used to, no?). Thanks Melissa, et al. Some quick thoughts:

Wonder if ALL "disciplines" (science and "non-science") start with the descriptive (metonymic) and then move onto an effort to organize/make sense of (metaphoric) phase? Is certainly true of biology and anthropology, and probably earlier of physics. True of course of art history too. And the issue in that case is what the available metaphors are (temporal progression? maturation?) and whether the enterprise acquires normative character. Clearly in both anthropology and biology the "maturation" metaphor was used as an organzational principle, and had normative character.

The point of all this is that the flipping back and forth between metonymic (descriptive) and metaphorical (generalizing approaches) is healthy/desirable, as long as the loop persists and one doesn't invest the organizational metaphors with normative significance.

Along which lines, the "maturation" metaphor was never, is not now appropriate for thinking about biological evolution. Much of what came before still is, and so novelty is not "improvement" but rather ongoing exploration of possibilities, further creation of particularities out of which new metaphors can be continuously created. Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea is an interesting and provocative discussion of evolution, both biological and more general, in these terms.

Anyone interested in the issues of Popper, history/philosophy of science following physics as opposed to biology/neurobiology can look in on my notes for the course I'm doing with Michael Krausz at dated links from the course schedule.

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Letting Go/Not
Date:  2003-04-29 23:20:41
Message Id:  5576

I've just finished writing up a summary of our last brown bag discussion of the semester: the session Michael Krausz led on "Interpretation and Its Objects." As I was trying to get into manageable form the rich array of puzzles Michael posed --and our group's struggling towards the solutions he requested--three thoughts came to mind, each one having been generated earlier by a different faculty working group.

  • It first occurred to me that what Michael calls the "singularist" and "multiplist" positions are akin? parallel to? interchangeable with? what Ted Wong identified in this group, seven months ago, as "metaphor" and "metonymy," a pairing that delighted me when he first made it (see my earlier ruminations on the logic of jokes.) Since then, Liz, Paul and I have found these paired concepts particularly generative; we used them as the basis for an essay we've just finished, entitled "Theorizing Interdisciplinarity: Metaphor, Metonymy, Synecdoche, Surprise," in which we place them in dynamic relationship, not as choices to be decided between, but as interacting points in an endless "loop." We're looking for feedback; let us know if you'd like to see a copy.... ;)

    The need for such a generative loop, not just to fuel interdisciplinarity, but to bring about peace, to enable reconciliation between folks who see the world differently, was also traced by Ian McEwan this afternoon, when he met w/ a small group of students and faculty in English House. He told us that the chief way Briony (the protagonist of his novel Atonement) atones for her mistake is to enter into--and render fictionally--the mind of the man she has wronged. (And the chief index that her mistake is unforgiveable is the failure of his "generous mind" to encompass hers in return.) According to McEwan, novels facilitate the moral life by inviting us into the minds of others not ourselves, by getting us to "think their thoughts." (In the last text discussed in the Language Group, "The Theory of Reading," Wolfgang Iser plays out a very similar idea.)

  • Secondly, Melissa's query about negotiating the city w/ varied forms of measurement reminded me of conversation in the Language Working Group about "Language and Spatial Reasoning," in which we drew on the 2002 Cognition essay of that title by Peggy Li and Lila Gleitman. What was to me particularly interesting was Li and Gleitman's description of the "major cut" linguists see between language groups which orient themselves using locations relative to the speaker (those called "egocentric" or "body-centered" descriptors) and those that use landmarks outside the observer ("allocentric," "geocentric" or "place-based" classifications). Even more interesting was the idea which evolved during our discussion, that some investigators use the term allocentric to refer to the viewpoint of the other party in a conversation ("your left," "to the east of you"). The idea here is that there is actually a third way to orient oneself in space: in relation to another who shares it. This thought led us into a discussion of the fundamentally relational nature of language, and the ways in which the subjects in the various experiments described by Li and Gleitman (try to) use language, by asking questions to (try to) reduce the ambiguity of instructions which are otherwise "socially impoverished." Seems to me this dimension--of the relational, of the embedded nature of knowledge--might also add to (and/or complexify unmercifully!) Michael's project.

  • Which brings me to my third (and very much linked) thought. Michael's talk also put me in mind of our ongoing conversations in the Emergence Group, where one of the problems we're "worrying" is the question of whether scarcity of resources is needed to drive evolution/emergence. Although we haven't answered that question (or rather, at this point, different members of the group are answering it differently), we have agreed that emergent systems are always context dependent; we've acknowledged that a state of non-equilibrium (in which new "information" or "sand"--or whatever--is always being added to the computer game or the sandpile--or whatever) fuels evolution. If this is so, that's one possible answer to Michael's third "puzzle": that context is essential, and the differences between "singular" and "multiple" views are contingent only on how "large" you draw the space under study, how "open" it is, how many variables are involved in selecting and constructing your object of interpretation.

    Two years ago, I helped to bring Anne Fausto-Sterling to campus to lead a discussion called Building Two-Way Bridges (between area Science and Women's Studies faculty). The conversation arose out of, and was based, on her wonderful essay "Science Matters, Culture Matters," which argues for a new model of teaching "science in social context." What the diagrams in Fausto-Sterling's essay show so dramatically is that when she expanded her embryology course (for instance) to teach neural tube development as "embedded in a matrix of epidemiological, medical, historical and social questions," she found herself unable to avoid examining neural tube defects, the epidemiology of birth defects, who gets what kind of health care in this country, the ethics of selective abortion, etc. etc....

    Fausto-Sterling's presentation of the "embedded nature of every topic" (she begins her classes by having students construct "knowledge webs," which forces them to face up to the uncertain nature of knowledge) seems to me a highly relevant response to Michael's third query. The idea I'm floating here is that "singularism" is possible only if you slice the hybrid of daily life into distinct, separate disciplines (the old notion of "science as a citadel"). Once you enlarge the space of inquiry to include cultural matters, once you reconceptualize "science as a rhizome" (an unruly underground root--these are Emily Martin's terms), multiplist interpretations are (probably?) inevitable. I'll even go out on a limb here to posit that singularism is ONLY possible when one "fences in the subject matter to make it manageable." But, as Fausto-Sterling suggests, "the fences should be picket or lattice--something the students can see through to the landscape beyond." Seeing thusly, they'll be multiplists. There are too many axes of judgment, too many ways to shape and frame the material, to allow for a single interpretation.

    Enough! (Obviously I'm having some trouble "letting go.") Thanks so much to all who came to these brown bags. What a marvelous year's worth of conversation you provided for us all!

    Name:  Anne Dalke
    Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
    Subject:  Can Bryn Mawr choose to be a place of public purpose?
    Date:  2003-05-31 14:13:14
    Message Id:  5740

    In this week's (May 30, 2003) Chronicle of Higher Education there's an essay by Robert Zemsky asking "Have We Lost the 'Public' in Higher Education?" It reminded me of the brown bag discussions led by Ralph Kuncl on "The Balkanization of Science" and by Xenia Morin on "Academic vs. Industrial Life Sciences." Observing that "colleges and universities are seen principally as providing tickets to financial security and economic status," that the "purpose of a college degree is to confer advantages to individual students," Zemsky asks what is lost "when higher-education institutions are shaped almost exclusively by the wants of students seeking educational credentials, and businesses and government agencies seeking research outcomes. When the market interests totally dominate college and universities, their role as public agencies significantly diminishes--as does their capacity to provide venues for the testing of new ideas and agendas for public action. What is lost is the understanding that knowledge has other than instrumental purposes, that ideas are important whether or not they confer personal advantage." Quoting from Vannever Bush's 1945 report, "Science, The Endless Frontier" ("Industry is generally inhibited by preconceived goals, by its own clearly defined stadnards, and by the constant pressure of commercial necessity") Zemsky observes that this description is "increasingly apropos of the modern academy as well--a place that has learned well to be market-smart, yet often at the expense of being mission-centered." My experiences on Admissions Committee this year, which have made me acutely aware of market forces, have also (re-) convinced me of the need for us to choose to continue to be a place of public purpose.

    Name:  Anne Dalke
    Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
    Subject:  Collaborative Computer Work
    Date:  2003-07-26 12:01:09
    Message Id:  6186

    Teaching in the Summer Institute on Exploration and Emergence, I was reminded of our earlier conversations about gender-specific (or not?) preferences for working individually or collaboratively. See collaborative computer work.

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