by Matthew Lee '15
Imagine Emma Sue Schroeder, an 83-year-old terminal cancer patient who wants her doctor to prescribe lethal pills for her. Should that be legal?
On April 2, Prof. Felicia Ackerman (PHIL) discussed the above scenario in a Science Café hosted by The Triple Helix called “The Double Standard in Physician-Assisted Suicide.” Ackerman is well-known as the writer of well over a hundred letters to the editor in The New York Times and as the writer of a column in The Providence Journal. Ackerman teaches PHIL0030 “Skepticism and Knowledge” and PHIL0880 “Ethical Themes in the Contemporary American Short Story.”
Ackerman argued that, out of respect for Rachel’s autonomy, it should be legal for lethal pills to be prescribed to Rachel and contended that government should not deal in morality.
by Ben Williams '16
When asked how he remains sane while studying the psychological effects of harrowing experiences, renowned psychiatrist and author Robert J. Lifton replies, "I draw bird cartoons."
"We need a sense of absurdity, sometimes gallows humor, to survive the absurdities of our world," said Dr. Lifton in a speech entitled "Research as Witness: A Psychiatrist’s Struggles with Extreme Events," delivered at Brown on October 21, 2013 as the 21st annual Harriet W. Sheridan Literature and Medicine Lecture.
The 87-year-old Brooklyn native has held positions at Harvard, Yale, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has published over 20 books on the psychological consequences of historical events.
Over the course of his career, Lifton has interviewed American prisoners of war, survivors of Hiroshima, and Nazi doctors. After two years in the Air Force in Korea and Japan, Lifton embarked on the "struggle to bring together psychology and history." Eschewing the ideally objective approach of scientific research, Dr. Lifton found himself constantly motivated by ethical concerns and a desire to participate in what he calls "relevant activism."
by Noah Schlottman '16
Authentic rock music, Creature Casts, wind drawings, the hydrology of Mars, and Brown STEAM all converged in a phenomenal event focused on “Pushing the Membrane” between science and art. Gina Roberti '14 put together the panel and presentations as part of the Gallery Opening for a new Science Center exhibit displaying her work. "As scientists, I believe we have a fundamental responsibility to communicate our research to those outside our discipline, to share the knowledge and engage with a broader audience," Gina expressed. "As an aspiring educator and artist, I believe creativity and creative arts expression is one of the main avenues over which this can happen."
For any of you scientists with a “creative edge,” five students showcased their projects on creative communication in the sciences to a full audience in the Science Center on Wednesday, November 20th. Their work lay at the intersection between science and art, but all approached these crossroads from different perspectives. Find out more (in case you missed it, or were there but want to know more) after the jump!