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POSTER SESSION:


BY SUSAN ROSENBERG


A project overview of Skidmore’s Center for Integrated Sciences


1. Hypotheses


If indeed “a liberally educated person is one who can enter fully into the central debates of our time,” as President Philip Glotzbach argues, then science and technology are crucial in liberal education. From its acclaimed nursing program to newer majors in neuroscience and environmental studies, Skidmore sciences have a strong history. In the past few years, research funding has quad rupled and the number of students applying to med schools or other health programs has tripled. More than a third of Skidmore students now major in a life or physical science.


“Our science facilities are bursting at the seams,” says environmental scientist Karen Kellogg. Harder Hall’s math and computing space, Dana Science Center, Tisch Learning Center’s psych and neuro facilities, and the labs in Wil liam - son Sports Center were all built for smaller-scale, lower- tech work than they now support. No wonder Skidmore has been talking about a new science facility for years. Now its time has come. It’s being called the Center for Integrated Sciences be- cause, as Kellogg notes, “many of today’s most interesting scientific questions are at the intersections”—for example, Skidmore’s research in mathematical modeling of climate change, psychology in artificial intelligence, and the bio- chemistry of neuron firing. Skidmore’s science vision calls for “strong disciplinary programs that can also support ro- bust cross-disciplinary programs,” she says. It also aims to spark partnerships with all manner of nonscientists—again, crucial for solving 21st-century problems. Glotzbach says, “Our intensely interdisciplinary, relentlessly creative ap- proach offers not simply a welcome but a necessary contri- bution to our national conversations” on issues from climate to health care to energy.


PRELIMINARY DESIGN, SUBJECT TO CHANGE


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