Bridges Celebrates 25th Lecture in Series
The distance between the academic disciplines of Arts, Science and Mathematics is not as wide as what may be perceived. On October 17th the Bridges Lectures Series celebrated its 25th lecture at St. Jerome’s University, demonstrating once again the reasons why.
As university programs become more specialized, the gap widens and the respective approaches and lexicons of Arts, Science, and Mathematics grow increasingly distant. The Bridges Lecture Series, which began in 2011 facilitated by Benoit Charbonneau (at that time an assistant professor in St. Jerome’s University’s Mathematics department), allows participants to discover points of affinity between disciplines. Showcasing presenters from all over the world and highlighting the metaphor of the bridge, the Series brings disparate fields back into productive dialogue and raises questions that are essential to scholars in all disciplines.
“Our 25th lecture celebrated the ideals of the original concept of this series,” stated Charbonneau, noting that bringing philosophy and cognitive science together in a presentation about minds and machines was exactly the type of thought-provoking topic Bridges has become known for. “Our guest speakers Chris Eliasmith and Paul Thagard opened a conversation about biological versus synthetic intelligence together. These opportunities to make connections between disciplines always generate great conversations and this lecture was no exception. Waterloo region is full of very curious people, and our lecture series provides a bridge between the university and the greater public.”
Charbonneau and the other organizing members on the Bridges team - Alysia Kolentsis, Acting Associate Dean and Associate Professor of English at St. Jerome’s University, and Paul Craig, an Assistant Professor in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Biology – continue to work on presenting free public lectures that focus on coaxing new ways of thinking. While they celebrate the success of the 25th event in the series, they are looking ahead to the next lecture - “Movement within art and math and where it takes us” - featuring Dr. Edward Burger (Mathematics) and Victoria Star Varner (Fine Art) from Southwestern University. To find out more about this lecture taking place on Wednesday, November 21st or to learn about past presentations visit www.sju.ca/bridges.
The Bridges Lecture Series organizers gratefully acknowledge the ongoing support of St. Jerome’s University, the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Mathematics, and Faculty of Science, and The Fields Institute for their ongoing commitment to this series. All lectures take place at St. Jerome’s University in the Academic Centre’s Vanstone Lecture Hall with live stream video available for most lectures available at the sju.ca/bridges website and on YouTube.