2012-2013 Campus Theme: What is Nature?

From the pursuits of science to the meaning of God’s creation, from the language of mathematics to the Language of poetry — how we understand nature presents fundamental questions to human cultures and pressing problems for environmental ethics.

Fall Semester Lectures

The Biological Scientist: Sir Peter Crane

Monday, September 17, in Anderson Chapel

Dr. Crane has had a long and diverse career in the biological sciences. He is currently the dean of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. For many years, he was the director of England’s renowned Royal Botanical Gardens (KEW), was recently the director of Chicago’s Field Museum for four years, and was a professor at University of Chicago in their Geophysical Science program for seven years. He is the author of seven books, 200+ articles in both scientific and popular journals, and was knighted in England in 2004 for his conservation work. Learn more.

The Nature Writer: Barry Lopez

Monday, October 15, in Anderson Chapel

Best-selling, award-winning, and beloved author Barry Lopez is widely recognized as one of this generations best nature writers. Author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award; Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals; and eight works of fiction including Light Action in the Caribbean, Field Notes, and Resistance. His essays are collected in two books, Crossing Open Ground and About This Life. He contributes regularly to Granta, The Georgia Review, Orion, Outside,The Paris Review, Manoa, and other publications in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, including Best American Essays, Best Spiritual Writing, and the “best” collections from National Geographic, Outside, The Georgia Review, The Paris Review, and other periodicals. His more recent publications include The Future of Nature. Learn more.

The Environmental Activist: Dr. Vandana Shiva

Thursday, November 1, in Anderson Chapel

Named by Forbes magazine in 2010 as one of the most influential women in the world today, Dr. Shiva is a distinguished physicist and environmental activist from India. She is most known today for her work on environmentally-sound food production that honors both the earth and human rights, with particular attention paid to the rights of women in the agriculture systems within developing countries. Among many awards she has received for her work, she was granted the 2010 Sydney Peace Prize, the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, Calgary Peace Prize, and the Thomas Merton Award. Learn more.

Spring Semester Lectures

The Christian Astrophysicist: Dr. Jennifer Wiseman

Friday, March 1, in Anderson Chapel

Dr. Wiseman is an astronomer and Director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is the Senior Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where she previously headed the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics. Wiseman received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University. She has been active in the dialogue on Christian faith and science over the years, and featured on several shows devoted to these topics. Learn more.

Dr. Vandana Shiva speaks
What is Nature?