September 8, 2016

Returning in 2017.2018 with Building Bridges Through Dialogue

The College of Arts & Sciences Symposium Against Indifference is presented on a biennial basis. The planning committee is meeting this year to plan the 2017.2018 programs which will be themed Building Bridges Through Dialogue. Proposed sub-themes include:

  • Indifference toward people from different faith groups,
  • Indifference toward people from different socio-economic classes,
  • Indifference toward people from different cultural groups,
  • Indifference toward people from different races.

Please be sure to visit us in the Fall of 2017 for the 8th series of events and lectures dedicated to overcoming apathy in the face of human concerns by raising awareness and promoting compassionate engagement.

April 13, 2016

AU Alumnus Returns to Discuss Green Chemistry

On Thursday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 112 of the Kettering Science Center, alumnus Dr. Marc Klingshirn will give a brief introduction to green chemistry with selected examples to illustrate how this mode of thinking has shaped his teaching, research and career. He explains that green chemistry can most easily be thought of as "sustainable chemistry." It is a tool box that allows one to think about chemical processes from an environmental perspective.

After completing his B.S. degree in chemistry and environmental science at Ashland, Dr. Klingshirn received an M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Tennessee, a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from The University of Alabama and completed his Postdoctoral at Saint Olaf College. From studying metal contaminants in Lake Erie soil sediment as an undergraduate with current AU faculty members Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Weidenhamer, to studying and developing ion-exchange resins for ground water remediation for his Master’s, and focusing on the rapidly emerging field of green chemistry in his doctoral work -- environmental issues and problems have always been his interest. While he has started to expand into the area of greener inorganic synthesis, sustainability, environmental, and efficient use (and reuse) of resources continue to be a foundation of his research. He is Associate Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Honors Program at the University of Illinois Springfield.

April 6, 2016

Human Health and Common Wealth

On Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium, Dr. Scott Russell Sanders' will address how our culture is obsessed with private financial wealth while less attention and less protection is offered to the forms of wealth that we share especially the goods of nature such as the atmosphere and oceans, and the goods of culture such as the arts, public parks and legal institutions. He will present a slide lecture identifying elements of our common wealth, explain why they are vital to human well-being and explore ways in which they might be reclaimed and restored.

Dr. Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Hunting for Hope and A Conservationist Manifesto. His most recent books are Earth Works: Selected Essays, Divine Animal: A Novel. A collection of stories titled Dancing in Dreamtime will be published in 2016, along with a new edition of his documentary narrative, Stone Country. Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at Indiana University.

April 5, 2016

Clinician Scientist to Address Biomedical Technology

Clinician scientist Dr. Bruce Lanphear will present a lecture titled “Victories in Public Health: Progress or Adaptation?” on Tuesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Trustees' Room of the Myers Convocation Center. The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Americans have an unwavering belief that biomedical technology will solve our health problems. This belief is fueled by successful technologies, like vaccines, as well as the profit motive. Paradoxically, many innovative technologies of the past, such as smoking, motor vehicles, and guns are killing us today. Using common diseases like heart disease, childhood leukemia, ADHD and autism as case studies, Lanphear will set up a forum to dialogue about:
• whether our ultimate goal should be to search for the cause or the cure
• whether we should be more strategic about the types of technologies we embrace

Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, is a Senior Scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute, British Columbia Children’s Hospital and Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His primary research has been on quantifying and preventing the adverse consequences of low-level lead toxicity. The long-term goal of his research is to prevent common diseases and disabilities in children, such as asthma and ADHD. To quantify the contribution of risk factors, he tests various ways to measure children’s exposures to environmental toxicants using novel biomarkers measured during pregnancy and early childhood. Dr. Lanphear also designs experimental trials to test the efficacy of reducing children’s exposures to environmental hazards on asthma symptoms and behavioral problems.

March 22, 2016

AU Geology Alumnus Returns to Campus as Symposium Speaker

Consulting geologist and Ashland University alumnus (1972) Wayne Goodman will present a lecture titled “Carbon Dioxide Sequestration and Sustainable Energy” on Thursday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 112 of the Kettering Science Center on the Ashland University campus.

The lecture is the next event in the Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences’ biennial Symposium Against Indifference. The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Ashland University Department of Chemistry, Geology and Physics.

As a consulting geologist on numerous projects in the Michigan Basin and surrounding region, Goodman’s primary focus is on exploration, development and enhanced recovery projects using and sequestering anthropogenic carbon dioxide. He is part of the operating and technical team for the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, which is conducting detailed geological and geophysical studies of rock properties in carbon dioxide sequestration zones in deep saline reservoirs in Michigan.

After graduating from Ashland with a B.S. degree in Geology and Mathematics, Goodman received an M.S. degree in Geology (Paleontology-Sedimentology) from the University of Cincinnati. He has previously worked at Shell and Tenneco, consulted for numerous companies, and is currently involved in several oil and gas projects in the US and eastern Canada.  He has extensive experience in the geology of intracratonic basins in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain Regions. Goodman has published and led field trips on the Niagaran (Silurian) carbonate hydrocarbon reef play in Michigan and Ontario and the Antrim (Devonian) natural gas shale play of Michigan.

March 3, 2016

Vitek to Discuss Potential to Reshape Food Production

Author, researcher and educator Bill Vitek will present a lecture titled “The Perennial Imagination and the Creative Ground: Cultivating Deep Roots in Land and People” on Tuesday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Trustees’ Room of Myers Convocation Center.

Vitek will explain the “invention” of Agriculture 12,000 years ago which marked a profound shift in how food calories were produced and consumed. With it came new ideas about how best to live in complex cultures fueled by an unprecedented energy bounty. He will trace the development of three distinct periods in this history, with a focus on the last two centuries and the awakening of a new consciousness about our place on a living, creative planet, and its potential to reshape food production. With the material means and the philosophical foundations now available as sources of sustenance for body and mind, Vitek will ask the questions: Will we embrace an ecospheric worldview? Must we?

Vitek's research and writing is focused at the intersection of social practices and the environmental, cultural, and historical contexts in which they occur. His current focus is on the substantial cultural and social changes that will be necessary-in our lifetimes-to live without easy access to cheap, carbon-based energy in the form of soils, forests, oil, natural gas and coal.

Publishing in the areas of environmental ethics and civic philosophy, he is the author of the book Promising; and the co-editor of three books: Applying Philosophy (with Terrell Ward Bynum); Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place (with Wes Jackson); and The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability and the Limits of Knowledge (with Wes Jackson). He is the author of popular essays and articles on professional ethics, community, and public life; and is currently writing a book of his own essays titled Post-Carbon Sense.

Vitek is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Clarkson University. He co-founded and directed Clarkson's Environmental Science & Policy Program, and was Associate Director of Clarkson's Center for the Environment. In 2001-2002, he directed Clarkson's Sustainability Initiative. Vitek has won numerous teaching and advising awards at Clarkson, including the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Phalanx Award for "outstanding leadership qualities and quality participation in organizations with Clarkson and the Potsdam community." In 2007, he was a Visiting Scholar with The Center for Humans and Nature and with The Land Institute.

January 22, 2016

Author and Educator to Discuss “Education in a Hotter Time: Climate Change and the University”

The next event in the Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences’ biennial Symposium Against Indifference will feature a lecture by author and educator David Orr titled “Education in a Hotter Time: Climate Change and the University.” In connection with this year's theme "Environmental Sustainability," the event which is co-sponsored by the Ashland University Honors Program will be held Monday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Trustees’ Room of Myers Convocation Center and is free and open to the public. 

Orr argues that institutions of higher education are in a great position to lead, to educate differently, to buy differently and to build their buildings differently. In Orr’s words, “the worth of education must now be measured against the standards of decency and human survival.”

Orr, who is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, is counselor to the president at Oberlin College. He is the author of seven books, including “Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse” (Oxford, 2009). His eighth book, “Dangerous Years: Climate Change and the Long Emergency,” will be published by Yale University Press in 2016.

He has served on the boards of many organizations including the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He has been awarded eight honorary degrees and a dozen other awards including a Lyndhurst Prize, a National Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation and leadership awards from the U.S. Green Building Council (2014) and from Second Nature (2012).

While at Oberlin, he spearheaded the effort to design, fund and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center, which was named by an AIA panel in 2010 as “the most important green building of the past 30 years,” and as “one of 30 milestone buildings of the twentieth century” by the U.S. Department of Energy.