“Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope.”Theodore Roszak

Environmental SustainabilityOver the last two years, faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences have been discussing how science fits into the liberal arts and - at the same time - thinking of innovative ways to make science more engaging to students.

An outgrowth of this thinking has led Professors Diane Husic, Biology Department and Joyce Hinnefeld, English Department to develop an interdisciplinary lecture series for fall 2008 that will include 4 speakers who exemplify the connections between the “Two Cultures,” the arts and the sciences (as coined by C.P. Snow).

The purpose of the series is two-fold.  “We seek to expand the dialogue on campus and get students thinking more deeply about a variety of environmental issues," Joyce explained. "We also intend to show how science, literature, and art are interconnected and how they can be used to produce powerful messages that transform the way people think.”

“We would like faculty members begin thinking about how this programming could fit into their course syllabi during the fall semester.”

“Too seldom do people get to appreciate the beauty of natural processes, the artistic patterns in everything from molecules to celestial occurrences, the aesthetic qualities of science, ” Diane explained. “We hope to show how science beautifully and unexpectedly touches the lives of all of us.”

“An interdisciplinary approach to environmental-related issues, such as sustainability, global warning, diminishing resources and animal habitats, will increase awareness and create greater concern among our students for the state of planet," Joyce added.

Four individuals were selected to speak that should have broad appeal across campus and to the general public, and will provide unique opportunities for our students to see the interconnections between the disciplines that they may never have realized. They represent not only the sciences, but literature, the fine arts (painting, sculpture and ceramics), philosophy, history, environmental ethics, women’s studies and activism.  

  • Colette Palamar, director of Environmental Studies and of the Herndon Gallery at Antioch College will discuss themes related to environment, dwelling, and the human impact on nature that are prevalent in her art work for which she uses a variety of mediums including painting, ceramics, and photography. An exhibit of her work will be on display in the H. Paty Eiffe Gallery in the HUB from September 22 to October 13. She will present a public lecture during her visit to Moravian (TBA).
  • Naturalist Scott Weidensaul, author of more than two dozen books on natural history, will present a public lecture on October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. Most notably, he has penned Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, a Pulitzer Prize finalist; The Ghost with Trembling Wings, about the search for species that may or may not be extinct; Return to Wild America: A Yearlong Search for the Continent's Natural Soul, an ambitious journey to take the pulse of America's wildlife and wildlands, retracing the steps of Roger Tory Peterson who had completed the same journey 50 years previously, and his most recent book, Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding, which traces 400 years of ornithological history.
  • Author Akiko Busch, who writes about design and culture, will be visiting classes and giving a late afternoon talk on November 12. She is the author of Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live and The Uncommon Life of Common Objects:  Essays on Design and the Everyday. Her most recent book, Nine Ways to Cross a River, is a collection of essays about swimming across American Rivers.  A contributing editor at Metropolis magazine for 20 years, she has taught at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford and Bennington College. Currently, she is a regular contributor to the New York Times Sunday regional section. 
  • The program will conclude in December when Joyce Hinnefeld will discuss her novel In Hovering Flight which will be published by Unbridled Books in September 2008.  Her book was inspired in part during the summer of 2004, when Joyce sat in on Dr. Dan Klem’s Biology of Birds lectures. 

The lecture series is supported by the Moravian College Arts and Lectures Committee.

“Science needs the intuition and metaphorical power of the arts, and the arts need the fresh blood of science. — Edward O. Wilson (from CONSILIENCE: THE UNITY OF KNOWLEDGE [1999])