Re: Cornell

From: gordon brown <gbrown@euclid.colorado.edu>
Date: Wed Nov 16 2005 - 16:17:28 EST

The following is an excerpt from an e-mail sent out today by Cornell
University President Hunter Rawlings.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395

This strength and stability of purpose allowed me to use this year's state of the university speech to address a matter I believe is of great significance to Cornell and to the country as a whole, a matter with fundamental educational, intellectual, and political implications. The issue in question is the challenge to science posed by religiously-based opposition to evolution, described, in its current form, as "intelligent design."

This controversy raises profound questions about the nature of public discourse and what we teach in universities, and it has a profound effect on public policy. I welcome your comments and observations regarding the speech, which can be found at the following website: http://www.cornell.edu/president/announcement_2005_1021.cfm.

I believe the time has come for universities like Cornell to contribute to the nation's cultural and intellectual discourse. We must be willing to take on a broader role as defenders of rational thought and framers of discourse about culture and society. In this spirit, I have asked our three academic task forces, on life in the age of the genome, wisdom in the age of digital information, and sustainability, to consider means of confronting the following questions: how to separate information from knowledge and knowledge from ideology; how to understand and address the ethical dilemmas and anxieties that scientific discovery has produced; and how to assess the influence of secular humanism on culture and society.
Received on Wed Nov 16 16:21:56 2005

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