Dale Peterson and the Ghosts at Gombe

August 11, 2014
Hugh. Photo courtesy of Geza Teleki

Dale Peterson, who writes books about nature, evolution, animals, and people who work with animals, worked on a new book as a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute. Here he discusses the focus of that book, which takes place at Jane Goodall’s research site from 1967 to 1969. Peterson is interested in the complex social relationships that developed among the people working in this isolated piece of African forest and the surprising relationships that emerged between some of the people and the animals they studied.

Students Working with Leading Thinkers: Radcliffe Research Partnerships

June 18, 2014
Radcliffe Research Partner Elizabeth Bronshteyn and Radcliffe Fellow Doug Rogers discuss research

The Radcliffe Research Partners program gives undergraduates a chance to learn from some of the world's best minds by matching them with leading artists, scholars, scientists, and professionals for an experience that students have called “rewarding,” “unique,” and “amazing.” Harvard College students work side by side with a Radcliffe Institute fellow in a mutually beneficial partnership: fellows act as mentors while students provide research assistance, acquire valuable research skills, and participate in the Institute’s rich intellectual life.

Drew Faust, 2014 Radcliffe Day Medalist

May 30, 2014
Drew Faust, 2014 Radcliffe Day medalist

The Radcliffe Institute honors Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust with the Radcliffe Medal, which we present annually to an individual who has had a transformative impact on society.

Radcliffe Day 2014 | From Civil War To Civil Rights: The Unending Battle To Vote

May 30, 2014
2014 Radcliffe Day panel, From Civil War to Civil Rights

Ever since the ratification of the 15th amendment in 1870, the United States has grappled with the ideal of universal suffrage. Recent obstacles include the Supreme Court decision invalidating key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, passage of voter-ID laws, and proposals for redistricting. In a panel moderated by Daniel Carpenter, Lani Guinier, Darlene Clark Hine, Tony Horwitz, and Robert Korstad explore why and how the world's greatest democracy has long struggled over which of its citizens can vote.

Radcliffe Day 2014 | What Is Life? The Science and Ethics of Creating New Life in the Laboratory

May 30, 2014
Radcliffe Day 2014 panel, What Is Life? The Science and Ethics of Creating New Life in the Laboratory

How has knowledge of the human genome transformed the biological sciences? How should we assess the promises, perils, and ethics of creating new organisms in the laboratory? In a panel moderated by Eric S. Lander, I. Glenn Cohen, Linda Griffith, David Liu, and Pamela Silver discuss the science and ethics of creating new life in the laboratory.

Radcliffe Day 2014

May 30, 2014
Radcliffe Day 2014

On Radcliffe Day, we reflect on the past, savor the present, and imagine the future, by awarding Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust with the 2014 Radcliffe Medal and by presenting panel discussions that draw on the Institute's broad range of intellectual commitments and its diverse community.

Radcliffe Day 2014 | Gender and the Business of Fiction

May 30, 2014
Radcliffe Day 2014 panel, Gender and the Business of Fiction

Who reads? Who writes? Who reviews? Who wins prizes? In this panel moderated by Gish Jen, Ann Hulbert, Claire Messud, and Elisabeth Schmitz discuss how gender influences what counts as literature and how literary fiction is reviewed and received.

Thomas W. Laqueur | Diogenes and His “Preposterous” Views on the Dead

April 29, 2014

When his friends asked Diogenes the Cynic what he wanted done with his body after he died, he told them that they should throw it over the wall to be eaten by the beasts and birds. And why not? It was no longer his; he would not notice. In this excerpt, Thomas W. Laqueur explains why Diogenes the Cynic's views on caring for the dead were considered “preposterous” and “derelict.”

Thomas W. Laqueur is a professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas W. Laqueur | Why Do We Care for the Dead?

April 29, 2014
Thomas W. Laqueur lectures on why we care for the dead.

When his friends asked Diogenes the Cynic what he wanted done with his body after he died, he told them that they should throw it over the wall to be eaten by the beasts and birds. And why not? It was no longer his; he would not notice.

For more than 2,000 years, conversations in the West—and elsewhere—have acknowledged that Diogenes had a point. And yet we as a species care for our dead. This lecture by Thomas W. Laqueur offers an answer for why this should be the case from both a general anthropological perspective and from the vantage of particular historical cases.

Common Spaces: An Opportunity to Build Community (Audio)

April 24, 2014
Dean Lizabeth Cohen, photo by Stephanie Mitchell

Dean Lizabeth Cohen speaks on the meaning and significance of Harvard's Common Spaces initiative at Morning Prayers service in Memorial Church.

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