The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which grew out of Radcliffe College, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this month with an emphasis on crossing boundaries, a facet of the Institute members say facilitates its research.
Housed on the grounds of Harvard’s former female counterpoint, the Institute now serves as a site for academicians—both students and professors, men and women—to pursue a more advanced field of study, ranging from the biological sciences to the humanities.
“The anniversary was a natural moment to pause and reflect on the ground-breaking research and creative thinking that the Radcliffe Institute has fostered over the last decade,” University President Drew G. Faust wrote in an e-mailed statement.
One Radcliffe Fellow, Joanna Aizenberg, who is a professor of materials science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said that the Institute provides an opportunity to “establish connections between the arts and sciences, so science may not be seen as so boring.”
Calling the Institute “instrumental” in bridging academic divisions, Aizenberg said she spends her time at the Institute observing how biological materials can be used as templates for building better structures.
Spanning several academic disciplines, Aizenberg researches the glass skeletons of deep underwater sea sponges inhabited by shrimp, which serve as an inspiration for constructing buildings.
For James L. Mallet, a professor of biological diversity at University College London and a Helen Putnam Fellow at Radcliffe, working at the Institute is an “escape from bureaucracy” which provides a wealth of library research.
Mallet has taken time away from lab research on butterflies to write a book to clarify a Darwinian understanding of species, in which he argues that species don’t exist genetically, evolutionarily, or ecologically. “We are rather a collection of individuals than a species,” he said.
While the recent economic downturn has poked a hole in its budget, the Institute’s dean, Barbara J. Grosz, said that Radcliffe is working closely to maintain its programs and academic resources.
“Budget cuts have affected our programs, but we have made a five year budget plan to keep the strength of the fellowship program, the Schlesinger Library, and the academic engagement programs,” she said.
The Institute’s celebration of crossing boundaries will entail a symposium to be held later this week.
An earlier version of the Oct. 6 news article "Radcliffe Celebrates 10th Anniversary" incorrectly quoted Radcliffe Dean Barbara J. Grosz as saying budget cuts had not affected the Institute's programs. In fact, she said that budget cuts had affected its programs.
The article also incorrectly stated that the Radcliffe Institute's celebration of "crossing boundaries" would entail a series of events this week. In fact, only one symposium had been planned.
Scientific Image Wins Photo PrizeA electron microscope image taken by Harvard scientists recently won first place in the photography category of the prestigious International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.
Visualizing the Art Inside the Science
Historian Named to Three PositionsPulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed was appointed as a professor at Harvard Law School, a professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and will serve as the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Grosz To Step Down as DeanDean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Barbara J. Grosz announced yesterday that she will step down from her post of four years to return to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences faculty.
Joanna Aizenberg Named Director of Kavli InstituteMaterials science professor Joanna Aizenberg has been appointed the new director of the interdisciplinary Kavli Institute for Bionanoscience and Technology, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences announced last Tuesday.
Peppered Moths Did Evolve Through Natural Selection, Study ConfirmsThe darkening color of the peppered moth during the nineteenth century, often used as a case study for adaptation, was confirmed as an accurate example of natural selection in a paper co-authored by a Harvard faculty member.