As we enter this reflective weekend of Easter and Passover across campus, I want to share some great intellectual moments from the year so far. 2015 will undoubtedly be most remembered for its fierce storms and record-setting snowfalls, but for me and those living in the Graduate Commons Program, it was full of wonderful events. Especially our Meet the Scholar series, which begins with dinner and ends with a wonderful lecture and Q&A session for our residents.
September saw the launch of the Graduate Commons Program across the Cambridge area, as well as the completion of our 29 Garden Street Common Space. New Faculty Directors, Chris and Nancy Winship, wasted little time inviting scholars in to share their work with our residents:
- Professor Ed Glaesar (HKS) shared his talk entitled “Triumph of the City” on September 17th
- Professor James McCarthy (FAS) shared his work entitled, ““Severe Weather, Oceans, and Climate Change” on October 15th
- Professor Carol Steiker (HLS) shared her talk entitled, “The Future of the American Death Penalty” on November 12th
- University Professor Gary King, shared his recent work on Censorship in China on February 11th
- Professor Nancy Hill (HGSE), shared a talk entitled, “Teenage Dreams: Sense of purpose, perceptions of the future, and the role of schools and families”
- And soon, Faculty Director Chris Winship will speak on his work at both HKS and FAS.
The Meet the Scholar Series has been well established by our Inaugural Faculty Directors in the Riverside Communities, Dr. Jennifer Lerner and Dr. Brian Gill in Cowperthwaite, and Dr. David Carrasco and Dr. Maria Luisa Parra in Akron. The kept that tradition going this year by hosting an all-star line-up themselves:
- Professor Stephen Walt (HKS) shared his talk, “”The Paradox of American Primacy”
- Michael Norton (HBS) shared lessons from his book, “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending”
- Daniel Shapiro (HLS) shared a talk entitled, “Negotiating in Times of Crisis”
- Arthur Kleinman (FAS) talked openly with residents about Caregiving, especially with elderly family and friends
- Steve Leveen, CEO of Levenger, shared his life story, including the creation of his company and plans for the next chapter of his life
- Michael Puett (FAS) shared a talk entitled, “Why does Ritual Matter? Theories from Classical China”
- Professor Ahmed Ragab (HDS) shared a talk on “A House for the Sick and Poor: Development of hospitals in the medieval and early modern period especially around the Mediterranean”
- Meghan O’Rourke (Radcliffe Fellow) shared a meal and book talk with residents on her upcoming release, “What’s Wrong With Me? The Mysteries of Chronic Illness”
- And soon, HDS Professor Harvey Cox joins the distinguished group towards the end of April.
Peabody Terrace could not be left out and held wonderful Meet the Scholar events of their own. For good measure, they even included residents, who shared their work in a TED-style format. Hosted by Jim and Doreen Hogle, these events were held in the PT Common Room this year:
- Professor Vijay Iyer (FAS), also an accomplished composer and musician, discussed “Creative Music, Collaboration and Community” in September
- Jeff Lichtman, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, spokeon “Connectomics: Mapping the Brain” in October
- Michael VanRooyen (TCSPH) and Director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, spoke on “Humanitarian Futures and New Frontiers in Aid” in November
- Wesley Wong (HMS), gave a talk entitled, “From Blood Clots to Nanobots: How Molecular BioPhysics is Changing How We Diagnose and Treat Disease”
- Resident-Led Talks included:
- ENDLESS FIGHTING AGAINST DEMENTIA: Is it possible to keep as far as we can from dementia? And how?” by LI XIONG, MGH-HMS
- THE ART OF ORAL COMMUNICATION by MIHIR MANKAD, HKS Alum / Lecturer in Communication (Fletcher School)
- EVOLUTIONARY INSIGHTS INTO HOW ANTIBIOTICS KILL BACTERIA
by ADAM PALMER, HMS
- Coming in April, Professor Tom Conley, Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and of Romance Languages and Literatures will join the list.
Finally, GCP will hold its first ever LQBTA-themed lecture event featuring HKS/FAS Professor Timothy Patrick McCarthy this month. The title of his talk is “Stonewall’s Children: LGBTQ Equality and the Paradox of Progress.” Professor McCarthy will discuss the history, politics, and culture of the U.S.-based LGBTQ movement from the Stonewall rebellion (1969) to the present day.