News & Ideas

Words of Wisdom | Winter 2020

Excerpts from the Radcliffe Institute's Fellows' Presentation Series

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“A violent collision between neutron stars leads to the ejection of neutron-star matter at speeds approaching about one-third of the speed of light. . . . We can imagine gold being forged in the debris from such a collision.”

—Edo Berger, 2019–2020 Mildred Londa Weisman Fellow, in “All That Glitters Is Gold: Gravitational Waves, Light, and the Origin of the Heavy Elements”

“Our culture is constantly coming up with ways to excuse perpetrators and deny that the crimes have occurred, while at the same time keeping the steady panic of laws on sex offenders. . . . We continue to do this in a counterproductive way—and it’s because we just don’t talk about this stuff. We’re not willing to engage in a little soul searching, collectively as a nation, to realize that our culture regarding sex and regarding sexual violence is messed up.” 

—Corey Rayburn Yung, 2019–2020 Lisa Goldberg Fellow, in “The Sex Crimes Paradox”

“Each of us is in a bubble in which we do not know that just across town, there are people just as kind, funny, generous, hardworking, as smart as we are who are living in very different circumstances. We need to burst through our bubbles. We need to . . . experience our common humanity in different settings. We need to be interested in the stories of others, believe the stories of others, to join in the stories of others.

Camara Phyllis Jones, 2019–2020 Evelyn Green Davis Fellow, in “Telling Stories: Allegories on ‘Race,’ Racism, and Anti-Racism”

“I’ve been thinking a great deal recently about sound versus silence, what this conjunction means and how it’s ordered. As metaphor, sound is the voice present, the voice continual, the voice exclusive, while silence is the voice unstated, the voice repressed, the voice strident but unspoken, the voice rejected.”

Neal Hovelmeier, 2019–2020 Robert G. James Fellow, in “Breaking My Silence: Amplifying Our Voices as ‘Others’”

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