This paper was written by Jan Visser
in 2000 when the idea to organize these BtSM colloquia first
emerged. It benefited from comments by Ron Burnett, Leon Lederman
and Basarab Nicolescu. It provides the basic underlying rationale
for the various BtSM colloquia.
In addition to the book, a 5-volume DVD set in NTSC format of Jacob
Bronowsli's classical BBC series with the same title is available
via amazon.com by clicking on the above link. The PAL version
can be obtained via amazon.co.uk or directly from the BBC Shop.
David Christian contributes these two documents to inspire
the discussion on curriculum reform in school-like institutions
atound the globe in the perspective of Building the Scientific
UNIVERSCALE. A beautiful interactive
rendition, offered by the NIKON Corporation, of the various realms
of spatiotemporal scales under which we can perceive the universe.
It's an interesting complement to David Christian's Maps of
time mentioned above.
Playing around with the interactivity
provided (explained in the help menu), one gets a good feel for
how our personal time and space relate to the multiplicity of
spatiotemporal perspectives in which the universe can be perceived.
Similar experience can be derived from browsing through Kees
Boekes 1957 book Cosmic
View and the 1977 IBM movie by Charles and Ray Eames
A well written insightful account
of how the ways of science are distinct from alternative ways
of confronting the unknown, particularly those that claim to
be valid alternatives but aren't. A captivating read.
to think about science? A
series of 24 programs on the philosophy, history, sociology and
science of science produced in the framework of Paul Kennedy's
CBC Radio 1 Ideas series.
Each program runs for some 52 minutes.Together
they are fascinating enough to keep you awake for 24 hours.
The book contains proceedings of
a conference convened by George Steiner, held in October 2007
at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal. Particularly
the closing chapter by Jean-Pierre Luminet has relevant connections
to the BtSM2007 theme.
Jan Visser, who got the book recommended
by Helga Nowotny
Exploring the deleterious effects
of the systematic downgrading of the senses in Western philosophy,
Michel Serres -- a member of the Académie Française
and one of France's leading philosophers -- traces a topology
of human perception. Writing against the Cartesian tradition
and in praise of empiricism, he demonstrates repeatedly, and
lyrically, the sterility of systems of knowledge divorced from
John van Breda
Daston, L., & Galison, P. (2007).
Objectivity. New York: Zone Books
This book "traces historical
and cultural developments as the word 'objective' acquired different
meanings and associated scientific practices. Similarly, Daston
and Galison consider the changing relationship of the word 'objective'
as it relates to the subjectivity of the researcher." (From
review of the book.)
This article is in memory of Prigogine
and spells out nicely what positive attitude he had towards science
i.e. not trying to explain away nature with
his discoveries of natures complexity, but rather letting
this lead to more questions into the latter and, in so doing,
increasing a sense of wonder. (Isabelle Stengers is co-author
with Ilya Prigogine of Order out of chaos: Man's new dialogue with nature.)
In a way similar to Arvind Gupta's
site mentioned above, this site contains a wealth of resources
and examples using "the beauty and scale of the universe
to inspire very young children in underprivileged environments."
Emphasis is on learning by doing.
Kieran Egan is an oroiginal thinker,
critical of what has gone wrong in our traditional approaches
to education as well as in reacting to the tradition. Egan proposes
a process of Imaginative Education, detailing how it can be implemented
in ordinary classrooms.
A group session on transdisciplinary
research approaches and attempts at capturing human experience
was what triggered John Van Breda to reach into his bag
and pull out this book. It is a book that handles research methodologies
with a curiosity that doesn't rule out the 'fluid' dimension
of human experience and in this, touches upon the uncomfortable
divide between quantitative and qualitative research methods
and related issues raised numerous times in our sessions of the
nagging necessity to marry both and explore further options if
there's any attempt at an honest pursuit of understanding.
This book was referred to by Ayman
Shehata in a discussion about what it means to think about
science and religion in unison. I believe this book was highlighted
for its analytical approach in regarding Islamic Shariah (Philosophy
of Islamic Law) as a way to incorporate contemporary human experience
which I find relevant to discussions on the relationship between
the Holistic, Formal and Post-formal gaze and thought-processes
highlighted by Jennifer Gidley, perhaps even a fusion of the
three. Maqasid is the "purpose-based" mission statement
of the philosophy of Islamic law as an open base for interacting
with issues of "law, morality, human rights, interfaith
commonality, civil society, integration, development, feminism,
modernism, postmodernism, systems theory, and culture,"
that Auda brings under investigation in this text.
This book was another suggestion
by Marwa Sharafeldin during the same conversation that
brought about the mention of "Development as Freedom."
The shaping of education systems and their manner of administration
takes center-stage in this book. The text argues that "the
ignorance and lethargy of the poor" is exactly the result
of the design of particular education systems. Propagating for
an approach that continues to handle and interact with the educational
experience as a flowing platform that allows interaction of the
experiences and lives of the students and admits itself to being
a "continual shared investigation," Freire finds that
more space becomes possible for the voices of the unheard and
This book was referred to as Marwa
Sharafeldin and I were discussing Carolina Ordman's comment
on whether Shahinaz Mekheimar had spotted in her research informants
a shift in conceiving of 'empowerment' as a more rights-based
perspective of 'entitlement,' and the role of interactive institutions
such as the IDSC as active participants in this knowledge-seeking
research experience. Amartya Sen regards the third world and
its development institutions as part of a tapestry that brings
"values, (and other) institutions (from all corners of society)"
in the lives of the poor. Sen particularly regards the economic
dimensions of poverty in a world that is witnessing "unprecedented
increase in overall opulence," using this correlation to
uncover the intricacies of the "social basis of individual
well-being and freedom."
Jan and I seem to be fond of this
text, we once referred to it in conversation during the course
of preparing the wireless internet connection in the conference
hall in one of our meetings prior to the actual conference and
it made us both smile reflecting on it. It is considered a classic
, it was first published in 1971 and resounds much of the discussions
that happened in the course of the conference in the context
of education. This passionate and radical book is based on Illich's
conviction that "the exhaustion and pollution of the earth's
resources is, above all, the result of a corruption of man's
self-image, of a regression in his consciousness," and the
exploration and analysis of what education and its value mean
in that sense, and the responsibility of the institutions and
outlets that preach for the 'ideal' of education.
This collection of essays came to
mind after Marion Porath's presentation, it features different
articles and papers employing an array of tools and styles that
aim to understand the mysteries and mysticism of children's sensibilities
through "interviews, photo-essays, testimonies, and articles
in psychology, philosophy, law, music, fiction, media, poetry
and drama." Reflections from all corners of the globe are
united to engage the reader in a variety of styles of representation-
which is relevant to group discussions on the methodologies of
research and the movement to the humanities and the arts in discovering
P.S. Half the journal articles are in English and the other half
is in Arabic. If anyone is interested in a translation of any
of the Arabic articles (they are indexed in English), please
let me know, I have my humble translation to offer.
I was lucky to get my hands on a
copy during the course of the conference of this source that
is for anyone interested in education, where all discussions
about any interest in taking knowledge out into the field in
the application of education as a platform for learning culminate.
This text contemplates and explores "Adaptive learner expertise
(as) key to survival on a learning journey that lasts a
Half a century of molecular
biology has created magnificent insights into the fundamental
structures that underlie life. It has done little, though, to
shed light on the question 'What is life?' from the perspective
of fully functional organisms within their living environment.
In this brilliant essay, which uses multiple metaphors from music,
Denis Noble, world renowned physiologyst and systems biologist,
recognizes the important contributions to our understanding of
the nature of life thanks to the reductionist approach of molecular
biology. At the same time he stresses the limitations of the
approach, While leaving the science intact, he challenges the
reductionist and deterministic metaphors through which our newly
acquired knowledge is often interpreted. Besides, he offers new
metaphors to help us understand life at higher levels cf complex
organization. The 150 or so pages magnificently let the reader
experience how metaphor is able to enhance the understanding
we derive from science. It also shows the need to understand
and be constantly aware of the limits to the validity of any
metaphor. Metaphors, Noble explains, "are ladders to understanding.
When you have climbed them, you can throw them away." Any
lesson to be learned for the 'science and religion' debate?
One wishes school textbooks
would introduce new generations to the wonders of life in such
an unfragmented manner.
This is the introductory chapter
in a volume on the role of the arts in qualitative research.
It sets the stage by discussing art as a form of knowledge with
a legitimate and important role in epistemological matters. Eisner
argues that there are multiple ways to do research; one must
choose wisely. "Knowledge" is dependent on the form
of inquiry and the questions raised. The arts, as human creations,
have an important role to play in "generating questions
or raising awareness of complex subtleties that matter"
This qualitative research study
explored the perceived experiences of doing science with an artistic
spirit through the voices of living scientists who also engage
in the arts. The purpose was to understand how accomplished scientists
who engage in the arts make sense out of their experience of
doing science and to gain the scientists' perspectives on the
context of their experience. Four highly able scientists (ages
31-61) with expertise in their field who also self-identified
as actively engaged in the fine arts were given a voice on the
following issues: 1) What are your perceived experiences of doing
science? As such, what can we infer about the role of the arts
in doing science? 2) Based on personal experiences, are there
implications for the integration of the arts and sciences in
education? Through hermeneutic phenomenological methodology using
thematic analysis, four major themes emerged: 1) Risking Success
in a Scientific Vocation; 2) Feeling Healthy through the Arts
(Satisfying an Inner Drive; Coping in a Stressful World); 3)
Gaining and Giving Different Perspectives through the Arts (Complementary
Tools of Perception; Complementary Processes of Perception);
4) Feeling Connected to Something More through the Arts. Each
theme alluded to some aspect of aesthetic experience or extracognition,
emphasizing the role of the arts in attaining such experiences.
Educational implications are discussed in light of aesthetic
experience, extracognition, and also interdisciplinary education
in today's context of science education. (Fogel, 2008, p. ii).
This book explores the many 'languages'
children use to express their understanding. In a sensitive portrayal
of life in a primary classroom, Gallas describes her fascination
with children's ways of representing knowledge through narrative,
dance, drawing, and song and her own growth as a teacher who
supports children in learning via multiple modes of expression.
The book describes the collaboration
between Harvard's Project Zero and the schools of Reggio Emilia,
Italy. Rich descriptions of how children build and express conceptual
understanding of a variety of phenomena are presented. The book
also describes the educational philosophy that underpins this
collaboration, a philosophy that respects children's competence
and their ability to raise interesting questions. Also valuable
is the description of how teachers document children's learning,
essentially making it visible for parents, other teachers, and
the children themselves.
The websites provide background on Project Zero and the schools
of Reggio Italy. There are links to related topics.
This book provides a rich discussion,
both philosophical and practical, of how learning can be provoked
in creative, exciting ways. Rodari's 'grammar of fantasy' engages
learners in novel processes of discovery that result in excitement
In this talk, designer Philippe
Starck takes us on a humorous journey at the end of which we
get an understanding of his very interesting perspective on life.
In my opinion, the manifestation of an excellent scientific mind.
More about Starck at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Starck.
"Universities are finally losing
their monopoly on higher learning, as the web inexorably becomes
the dominant infrastructure for knowledge serving both as a container
and as a global platform for knowledge exchange between people."