Author Archive for Caroline Surman – Page 2

Presidential Scholar Matteo Farinella Featured in Columbia Magazine

Presidental Scholar in Society and Neuroscience Matteo Farinella was featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Columbia Magazine. Read “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Neuron?” to find out what drew Matteo to comics and neuroscience and learn more about his life as a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience.

Call for Applications: Digital Intern, New York Academy of Medicine

The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) is looking for a digital intern to work in the Library’s digital program. The internship will provide hands-on experience with creating and building digital collections, editing metadata for digitization projects, and conducting quality control of scanned images.

The intern will have an opportunity to learn about the digitization process and how to build digital collections. NYAM is looking for an intern who is imaginative and interested in learning more about developing digital collections and how metadata is used to enhance collections.

Duties and responsibilities include: creating digital collections on Islandora website; collecting, editing, creating and organizing metadata according to standards; and conducting quality control on scanned images and digital collections.

Applicants should have familiarity with technology, digital collections, and/or digital humanities projects; experience with metadata schemas (e.g. MODS, Dublin Core, MARC, IPTC etc.); knowledge of XML, XSLT, and OCLC; coursework in Library and Information Science

The internship starts June 2018 and is paid or may be taken for course credit. Intern must be available 2 days per week between the hours of 10:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Thursday, working approximately 10 hours a week over a 12 week period.

Please submit cover letter and resume with “Digital Intern” in the subject line to by May 18, 2018. Please also outline your academic needs for obtaining course credit, if applicable.

Cluster Leader Kavita Sivaramakrishnan’s Book Published

Kavita Sivaramakrishnan’s (Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health and Interim Co-Director, Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center) new book “As the World Ages – Rethinking a Demographic Crisis” has been published by Harvard University Press.

People are living longer, creating an unexpected boom in the elderly population. Longevity is increasing not only in wealthy countries but in developing nations as well. In response, many policy makers and scholars are preparing for a global crisis of aging. But for too long, Western experts have conceived of aging as a universal predicament – one that supposedly provokes the same welfare concerns in every context. In the twenty-first century, Kavita Sivaramakrishnan writes, we must embrace a new approach to the problem, one that prioritizes local agendas and values.

Professor Sivaramakrishnan is a member of the Center for Science and Society’s Steering Committee and co-leads the Global Histories of Science Research Cluster.

“Revisiting Philosophy and Its Pasts” Research Cluster is now the “Center for New Narratives in Philosophy”

The “Revisiting Philosophy and Its Pasts” Research Cluster is now the “Center for New Narratives in Philosophy (CNNP).” Cluster Leader Christia Mercer, Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, now serves as Director of CNNP. She is joined by Associate Director Skye Cleary.

The CNNP is an international center for the most innovative work in the history of philosophy. The center promotes diversity in philosophy as it is practiced and taught and fostering two kinds of work: (1) by supporting the growing movement among historians of philosophy to broaden their research to include women and other non-canonical figures, and (2) by encouraging collaboration among philosophers and social activists to explore social issues, especially concerning criminal justice reform.

For more information, please visit the CNNP website.

Conference Reports and Videos Now Available for “The Success of Failure”

The Center for Science and Society, along with its co-sponsors – Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policyand Teachers College – are proud to present the event reports and session recordings from “The Success of Failure: Perspectives from the Arts, Sciences, Humanities, Education, and Law” conference, held December 7-8, 2017.

“The Success of Failure” explored the broad typology of failure across disciplines by offering perspectives from law, psychology, tech startups, education, experimental theater, and jazz music – just to name a few. Each field discussed its own struggles and solutions as participants and audience members grappled with the central question: How do we reconcile the contradictions of success and failure?

Visit the Success of Failure Past Event Information Page to view a session-by-session report, an executive summary, and event program. Video recordings of select sessions can also be found on the Center for Science and Society’s YouTube channel.

Digital Launch of The Sphaera Project’s Website

The Sphaera Project at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin is pleased to present its new website and online database. Led by Senior Research Fellow and Research Group Leader Matteo Valleriani, the team examines knowledge system evolution and shared scientific identity by studying Johannes de Sacrobosco’s 13th-century text,  De sphaera. His handwritten treatise covered geocentric cosmology through “simple, late medieval description…based on the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic worldviews,” becoming mandatory reading in European universities for centuries.

Developed by Florian Kräutli, the open access database allows researchers and members of the public alike explore the bibliographic data of 320 books that contain, or are related to, the text by Sacrobosco. The system covers books published between 1472 and 1650. Additional works and records will be added to the collection shortly.


Making and Knowing Project Co-Organizes Symposium in Toulouse, France

The Making and Knowing Project (a Center for Science and Society Research Cluster directed by Seth Low Professor of History Pamela Smith) has co-organized and will participate in the symposium “Du Manuscrit au Livre. L’écriture des Savoir-Faire à la Renaissance” (From the Manuscript to the Book: The Writing of How-To in the Renaissance) to be held March 15 – 17, 2018 in Toulouse, France.

The symposium will open the Toulouse Renaissance exhibit, an examination of the city’s cultural landscape during the Renaissance period. The exhibit will be on display in Toulouse at the Musée des Augustins from March 17 – September 24, 2018 and at the Bibliothèque d’Étude et du Patrimoine from March 17 – June 16, 2018.

The exhibition includes objects created by the Project as part of their research on the sixteenth-century French technical manuscript, BnF Ms. Fr. 640, compiled in Toulouse. The manuscript itself will also be on display.

Center for New Narratives in Philosophy Volunteering Opportunities

The Center for New Narratives in Philosophy (CNNP) at the Center for Science and Society is excited to announce new volunteer opportunities and resources.

On February 25, 2018, CNNP hosted “The Pedagogy of Dignity: Teaching in Prisons” workshop supported by the Marc Sanders Foundation. After a day of panels and collaborative discussions with formerly incarcerated students and friends, activists, professors, graduate and undergraduate students, many participants were interested in volunteering further. This workshop also celebrated the launch of CNNP’s Rethinking Justice Initiative (website forthcoming).

Cluster Leader Christia Mercer suggests the following programs for those interested in criminal justice reform:

— Individuals 21 or older (or will be soon) are eligible to teach in the Rethinking Justice Initiative’s Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center Mini-Course program. Fill out the Teaching in Prison Interest Form for more information.

— For those who are unable to participate in the above teaching program, Easing Reentry (ER) is a Columbia University, student-led initiative that connects skilled volunteers with people returning home from jail and prison. Complete the Easy Reentry Interest Form for more information.

Project Pro Bono has a variety of volunteering opportunities located across the country.

Cluster Leader Christia Mercer’s Op-Ed Published By NBC News

Christia Mercer’s (Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University) op-ed piece on the value of prison literary programming has been published by NBC News. The column “Reading Gives People in Prison Hope. But Some States Want to Take Their Books Away” draws on Professor Mercer’s experiences teaching at New York correctional facilities as part of the Justice-In-Education Initiative at Columbia University.

Professor Mercer is a member of the Center for Science and Society’s Steering Committee and leads the Center for New Narratives in Philosophy Research Cluster.


Call for Proposals: The Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University

The Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University (CSSD) brings together faculty in humanities, law, social sciences, medicine and the arts, as well as artists and practitioners in the New York area and beyond, to investigate problems of social, economic, and cultural inequality. The Center’s working groups challenge the disciplinary divides among the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences by asking not only how historical categories of social difference intersect on the level of identity, but also how these categories shape institutions, modes of knowing, acts of representation, and processes of globalization. The Center creates the conditions for scholars, artists and practitioners to work collaboratively and internationally on problems of common interest and to set intellectual agendas for the future.

The Center welcomes proposals for a new project that would begin in Fall 2018 or Fall 2019. Funding is in the amount of $35,000 over two years with the possibility of $15,000 for a third year, contingent on working group interest and the availability of Center funds. CSSD seeks projects that align with the mission of “Women Creating Change” or “Imagining Justice” and favors proposals from an interdisciplinary core working group (usually 5-8 people, not all of whom need be affiliated with Columbia or Barnard). The Center encourages and facilitates international collaborations.

Proposals should be submitted by February 1, 2018 at 11:59PM to CSSD Associate Director Catherine LaSota ( For more information and to apply, please visit the CSSD website.

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