This paper proposes that global peace should be a professional concern because the issues are complex and require critical and creative thinking, and because professionals have status enabling them to convey information to empower others. Professionals must examine priorities in society's needs for application of their particular knowledge areas, and must each make their own unique contribution towards a more peaceful, less threatened planet.
In the standard narrative of her life, Barbara McClintock discovered genetic transposition in the 1940s but no one believed her. She was ignored until molecular biologists of the 1970s "rediscovered" transposition and vindicated her heretical discovery. New archival documents, as well as interviews and close reading of published papers, belie this narrative. Transposition was accepted immediately by both maize and bacterial geneticists. Maize geneticists confirmed it repeatedly in the early 1950s and by the late 1950s it was considered a (...) classic discovery. But for McClintock, movable elements were part of an elaborate system of genetic control that she hypothesized to explain development and differentiation. This theory was highly speculative and was not widely accepted, even by those who had discovered transposition independently. When Jacob and Monod presented their alternative model for gene regulation, the operon, her controller argument was discarded as incorrect. Transposition, however, was soon discovered in microorganisms and by the late 1970s was recognized as a phenomenon of biomedical importance. For McClintock, the award of the 1983 Nobel Prize to her for the discovery of movable genetic elements, long treated as a legitimation, may well have been bittersweet. This new look at McClintock's experiments and theory has implications for the intellectual history of biology, the social history of American genetics, and McClintock's role in the historiography of women in science. (shrink)
Some psychologists have recently tried to develop new approaches to psychology incompatible with both natural-science views of the discipline and basic tenets of postmodernism. In her new book on psychology’s interpretative turn, Barbara Held refers to these thinkers as "middleground theorists" or MGTs. Most of the MGTs reject psychological laws, defend free choice and agency, stress the role of values in psychological inquiry, and argue for a hermeneutical methodology. Some reject scientific realism and embrace epistemological relativism. Both Held and (...) I express doubts about some of these views. (shrink)
In this response to essays by Barbara J. King, Gregory R. Peterson, Wesley J. Wildman, and Nancy R. Howell, I present arguments to counter some of the exciting and challenging questions from my colleagues. I take the opportunity to restate my argument for an interdisciplinary public theology, and by further developing the notion of transversality I argue for the specificity of the emerging theological dialogue with paleoanthropology and primatology. By arguing for a hermeneutics of the body, I respond (...) to criticism of my notion of human uniqueness and argue for strong evolutionary continuities, as well as significant discontinuities, between primates, humans, and other hominids. In addition, I answer critical questions about theological methodology and argue how the notion of human uniqueness, theologically restated as the image of God, is enriched by transversally appropriating scientific notions of species specificity and embodied personhood. (shrink)
Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for her discovery of mobile genetic elements. Her Nobel work began in 1944, and by 1950 McClintock began presenting her work on "controlling elements." McClintock performed her studies through the use of controlled breeding experiments with known mutant stocks, and read the action of controlling elements (transposons) in visible patterns of pigment and starch distribution. She taught close colleagues to "read" the patterns in her maize kernels, "seeing" pigment and starch genes (...) turning on and off. McClintock illustrated her talks and papers on controlling elements or transposons with photographs of the spotted and streaked maize kernels which were both her evidence and the key to her explanations. Transposon action could be read in the patterns by the initiated, but those without step by step instruction by McClintock or experience in maize often found her presentations confusing. The photographs she displayed became both McClintock's means of communication, and a barrier to successful presentation of her results. The photographs also had a second and more subtle effect. As images of patterns arrived at through growth and development of the kernel, they highlight what McClintock believed to be the developmental consequences of transposition, which in McClintock's view was her central contribution, over the mechanism of transposition, for which she was eventually recognized by others. Scientific activities are extremely visual, both at the sites of investigation and in communication through drawings, photographs, and movies. Those visual messages deserve greater scrutiny by historians of science. (shrink)
Barbara Jordan (1936?1996), a formidable politician, won election to the Texas Senate (1966) and to the US Congress (1972). She became one of the most celebrated African?American politicians of the twentieth century, acclaimed both by white and black. Jordan was a voluntarist, viewing individuals as able to change the world through their own actions. She was committed to the American dream of inclusion, and also to the importance of positive ties to elites; to coping with the ?world as it (...) is?, to the futility of confrontation, and also to changing and influencing the attitudes of men at the top. Jordan opposed civil disobedience, nonviolent or not. Yet she admired symbols of defiance like Malcolm X and Mohammed Ali. A highly public figure, she was also exceptionally self?repressed. Critics likened her to the conservative Booker Washington, yet she was a staunch defender of voting rights and a radical integrationist. (shrink)
A new essay to analyse the demonstration which Aristotle gave of Barbara ACP (first premise “actual”, second premise “contingent”, conclusion “possible”) is realized with the techniques of mathematicallogic. The critical points (conclusion “possible” from two premises “possible”, problem de dicto - de re, etc) are indicated; based on them it is considered that Aristotle’s proof is not conclusive.
: The response of Barbara Pfeffer Billauer to my article "If I Am Only My Genes, What Am I? Genetic Essentialism and a Jewish Response" highlights the conflict between a sociological understanding of religion and the resistance to such analysis from within a faith tradition. Ms. Billauer makes three main points; the first strangely credits to me, and then attacks, an argument the article takes great pains to refute, but does so to emphasize the faith's prescient guidance in matters (...) scientific. The second attempts to rebut my critical analysis of the tensions inherent in Jewish views of the body with an insistence that Judaism so perfectly balances the relation between the sacred and profane that there is not now, and never was, the slightest tension between corporeality and divinity in the Jewish corpus. The third uses my article as vehicle for her to expound on an interesting but tangential formulation of three Jewish terms. In all, the need to defend her interpretation of Judaism's solutions to the problems the article raises results in un-self-critical and ahistorical theorizing, making the utility of her arguments in a discussion of the sociology of religion unsatisfactory. (shrink)
Santa Barbara County exhibits some of the highest rates of food insecurity in California, as well as in the United States. Through ethnographic research of three low-income, predominantly Latino communities in Santa Barbara County, this study examined the degree to which households had been experiencing heightened levels of food insecurity since the economic recession and ensuing coping strategies, including gender-specific repercussions and coping strategies. Methods included administering a survey with 150 households and conducting observation and unstructured interviews at (...) various local food-centered venues. Results indicated that households from the three communities were experiencing heightened levels of food insecurity and that all three communities were employing diversification of procurement, adjustments to a reduced or limited food budget, reliance on food assistance, and revitalization of the home as a site of domestic food production and preparation as coping strategies. The results also suggested that women suffered disproportionately higher psychological and physical costs associated with compounding crises. In conclusion, the experiences narrated by low-income households reflect a form of citizenship that appears compromised by a host of variables perceived to exist outside the realm of local control. Shifting toward an operational framework of food sovereignty may allow these communities to become more resilient in the face of future political, environmental, social, and economic stressors. (shrink)
A persistent puzzle for philosophers of science is the well-documented appeal made by scientists to their aesthetic emotions in the course of scientific research. Emotions are usually viewed as irremediably subjective, and thus of no epistemological interest. Yet, by denying an epistemic role for scientists’ emotional dispositions, philosophers find themselves in the awkward position of ignoring phenomena which scientists themselves often insist are of importance. This paper suggests a possible solution to this puzzle by challenging the wholesale identification of emotion (...) with subjectivity. The proposed method is a naturalistic and externalist one, calling for empirical investigation into the intersubjective processes by which scientists’ emotional dispositions become refined and attuned to specific objects of attention. The proposal is developed through a critical discussion of Michael Polanyi’s theory of scientific passions, as well as plant geneticist Barbara McClintock’s celebrated “feeling for the organism.”. (shrink)
In this response to Malt's and Prinz's commentaries, I argue that neo-empiricist hypotheses fail to threaten the argument for the elimination of ‘concept’ because they are unlikely to be true of all concepts, if they are true at all. I also defend the hypothesis that we possess bodies of knowledge retrieved by default from long-term memory, and I argue that prototypes, exemplars, and theories form genuinely distinct concepts.