Diverse Set of Thinkers to Ponder Ethics, Science, Secularism, and the Human Future at ISHV’s 2013 Columbia University Symposium

Some philosophers belittle man by asking him to look at the immensities without; others belittle him by asking him to look at the perversities and selfishness within. Humanism denies nothing about the world or human beings which one truly finds in them, but it sees in us humans something which is at once more wonderful and more terrible than anything else in the universe: the power to make ourselves and the world around us better or worse. – Sidney Hook

I am writing this piece to let everyone know about an upcoming special event for which I have had the privilege and pleasure of playing the lead role in organizing and planning. The theme of the event was conceived by Paul Kurtz. In fact, this was the last major project undertaken by Paul before his sudden death last year on October 20th at the age of 86. I am saddened by the fact that he didn’t live long enough to attend this event — as he was really looking forward to it and was especially pleased with the preeminent cast of speakers we have secured and the scope of the topics to be addressed — but heartened to announce that the proceedings will be dedicated to his memory. I speak of the third annual Institute for Science and Human Values (ISHV) Symposium, which will convene this year at Columbia University in New York City on April 12-13, 2013. The theme of this year’s event is “The Human Prospect and the Fate of Our Planetary Civilization: Science, Humanism, Ethics, and the Task Before Us.” Featured prominently will be Dr. Philip Kitcher, author of Living with Darwin and John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia, who will be fresh from delivering the prestigious 2013 Terry Lectures at Yale University on the topic of “Secular Humanism.” We will also take the opportunity to launch Paul Kurtz’s final manuscript The Turbulent Universe (published by Prometheus Books), poignantly befitting, as Columbia was his alma mater.”

Many of the issues to be examined at this symposium occupy a special urgency for secularists and humanists. That’s why I humbly suggest that this gathering is of paramount importance for our movement. The scientists, scholars, and authors that we have assembled will take an interdisciplinary approach to concerns at the forefront of humanism and society today. Discussions will center on how organized secular humanism can be translated into an effective public philosophy of pragmatic action and persuasion.

Along with the aforementioned Kitcher, the powerful roster of speakers will include,
Rebecca Goldstein
Ronald Aronson
Susan Jacoby
James Giordano
Lindsay Beyerstein
John Shook
Toni Van Pelt
Terry O’Neill
Dr. Ron Miller
Bob Bindschadler
Stuart Jordan
Nel Noddings
Larry Hickman
Jacques Berlinerblau
Barry Kosmin
Anthony Pinn
Linda LaScola.

Full bios can be found at, http://instituteforscienceandhumanvalues.net/articles/symposiums-conferences/symposium-speakers.htm

Topics to be addressed include:

Advancing political secularism
Humanism and the religiously unaffiliated; reaching out to the “Nones”
The Non-Believing Clergy Research Project
Secular Humanism beyond unbelief; ethics as a human project
Making Science and Humanism better bedfellows
The intersection of Humanism and Feminism
Keeping our laws and our ethics in pace with rapid technological change and growth
The ethical imperative of responding to climate change
Humanism and Progressivism

The full symposium program can be viewed online at, http://instituteforscienceandhumanvalues.net/articles/symposiums-conferences/symposium-programs.htm

Registration is $175 for the general public and $60 for students (valid student ID required at door and limited to 25 students). The symposium will commence on Friday evening, April 12 and run from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The all-day Saturday session on April 13 will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 6:00 p.m.

In a nutshell:

What: ISHV Third Annual Symposium: “The Human Prospect and the Fate of Our Planetary Civilization.”

Where: Columbia University, Faculty House, 64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY 10027

When: April 12-13, 2013

Registration and more information:http://instituteforscienceandhumanvalues.net/articles/symposiums-conferences/symposium-columbia.htm

Nathan Bupp is the editor of Meaning and Value in a Secular Age: Why Eupraxsophy Matters—The Writings of Paul Kurtz (Prometheus Books). He is director of communications for the Institute for Science and Human Values (ISHV) and senior editor of “The Human Prospect,” published by ISHV.


The Golden Mean 4302440061963151413

Follow Us



Updating soon.




© 2013 Economic & Social Justice Reality Report | Views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor, Editorial Board, ESJRR, or WPRR.