Jump to menu. Jump to content. Jump to search.

Go to the CCE home page.

Living a LearningLife

Follow Us: Join LearningLife on Facebook.  Join CCE on LinkedIn. 

August 2010 Archives

In a special Homecoming edition of Great Conversations, University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks will discuss the future of American high education - what makes it great and how to sustain its global stature - with Jonathan Cole, former provost and dean of faculties at Columbia University and author of the comprehensive new book The Great American University; and University of Minnesota alumnus Robert Berdahl, former chancellor of The University of California, Berkeley, former president of the University of Texas, Austin, and current president of the Association of American Universities.
A dessert reception with the speakers follows the conversation.
The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 30, at Ted Mann Concert Hall. Tickets are $22.50. More information and online ordering is available through the Northrop Box Office.
Media sponsors for Great Conversations are: Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Minnesota Public Radio, and MinnPost.com

Jack El-hai.jpgSplit Rock Arts Program instructor Jack El-Hai has made a successful career out of "telling the great untold stories" in science and medicine. For the author of many medical science books, articles, and essays, writing scientific nonfiction is a spellbinding form of storytelling.

"Medical science is inherently dramatic--you have at least two engaged protagonists: the sick person and the one helping. You have a host of interesting conflicts...between the protagonists and their own internal conflicts, and between the medical personnel and the community. Stories about medical science really are true-life, life-and-death tales."

It was during the writing of one such dramatic tale, his most recent book, The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness (John Wiley & Sons, 2005), that El-Hai became interested in the intersection of an individual's career and his or her personal life. "Here was this story of a brilliant medical mind [Walter Freeman] who became obsessed. The story shows a real parallel between the rise and fall of Freeman's career and of lobotomy as a common medical practice, with the rise and collapse of Freeman's personal life.

Galapagos.JPG"Ask a historian, a biology buff, and an avid traveler to make a "bucket list," and chances are all three will share a common destination: the Galápagos Islands.

Situated on the equator, about 620 miles west of Guayaquil, Ecuador, the islands and their unique flora and fauna gained widespread public notoriety after being described by Charles Darwin in his 1839 book, The Voyage of the Beagle.

The archipelago is young, geologically speaking; it also is distinctive in that it is one of the few places in the world without an indigenous human population. Those attributes, coupled with the multitudes of endemic species found there, have made it a wonderland of information for biologists, historians, geologists, and others.

Barco Xpedition 117.jpgThe islands are so valuable that Ecuador has set aside virtually the entire archipelago as a national park and UNESCO made the Galápagos its first World Heritage Site.

Says Randy Moore, U professor of biology and LearningLife short-course instructor for Galápagos! Walking in Darwin's Footsteps, "words cannot fully describe the richness of the place. It's hard to take it all in. Discovering new places, new things, new animals and plants, exploration...that stuff isn't ancient history--it's right there in Galápagos.

Check out our facebook page for photos from several of this summer's Curiosity Camps. Thanks to program director Lara Roy for capturing the shots! It was a great season.