Media & Events

What Happens to Revolutionaries After the Revolution?

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ADAM MICHNIK (2006 laureate) 

An Uncanny Era: Conversations Between Václav Havel & Adam Michnik

If the revolution fails, the answer is easy: they [revolutionaries] end up in exile, in prison or dead. But what if the uprising succeeds? Then the answer is more complicated.

Post-Communist Eastern Europe, with its Hieronymus Bosch panorama of greed, corruption, hedonism and cynicism, gave the former revolutionaries much to be disillusioned about. Was this the freedom they had sacrificed so much to attain? 

THE PROBLEM was that the end of Communism had created an ideological vacuum, and a “coarse and primitive nationalism” was rushing to fill it, in Michnik’s words. Xenophobia, anti-Semitism and ethnic intolerance were on the rise. Talk about racial purity and the need for a strong leader was back. 

... his [Michnik's] calls are for the more humble virtues: compromise, dialogue, mutual understanding and pluralism. He opposes vengeance, fanaticism in any form and all dogmatic certainties—in politics, economics, religion and philosophy. He celebrates contingency and ambiguity. His is the idealism of moderation.

It’s not a good time for the Adam Michniks. Moderates need all the help they can get. As a former dissident, however, Michnik can at least say that he’s been through this before, and worse, and though he tends to be more pessimistic than his idol Havel, he has endured enough to have earned his own strain of optimism, however ironic it may be. “In Poland,” he says, “everything is possible: even change for the better.”

Read The National Interest article

Ask Jennifer Aniston - Beauty Meets Brilliant Science in 'Living Proof'

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Laureate for 2005, Prof. Robert Langer, MIT Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Professor, is co-founder of Living Proof. 

"The Living Proof story is a story of beautiful chemistry. An alchemy of brilliant scientists coming together with industry veterans to truly solve beauty problems."

"Whenever we have an idea, we would call these wonderful people from MIT and say, let's figure out the perfect curl or the fix to damaged hair. It's nice having access to that."  Jennifer Aniston

Living Proof philosophy:
We are not a traditional beauty company.
We are more than that.
We believe in rethinking conventional wisdom.
We believe when you can’t find something that works, you invent it.
We believe the answers are found in science.
We believe that beauty and brains are the best formula.
We believe a product should keep its promises.
We believe every day can be a good hair day.
We believe beauty is more than skin deep.
We believe in day-making, bliss-creating, confidence-boosting results.
We believe you are the living proof.

Read the AsiaOne article, August 20, 2014

Bioinformatics: Where Math Meets Molecules

 

Bioinformatics identifies important things that are too subtle for a person to identify with mere observation and it also gives people the capacity to look through and process a large amount of data, which they would otherwise not be able to do. 

Watch the informative video by Prof. Brian Y. Chen, Lehigh University 

What are Historical Sources?

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The selected field for the 2015 Dan David Prize in the Past Time Dimension is: Retrieving the Past: Historians and Their Sources.

Let's take a look at what historical sources actualy are, where they come from, what primary and secondary resources are and how to use them.

Read the in-depth analysis by the University of Cambridge Faculty of History

 

 

On the Intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics

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Taking Artificial Intelligence (2014 selected field) and Bioinformatics, this year's selected field for the Future Time Dimension, one step further to provide tools researchers can use to help them store, manipulate study and analyze biologica data.

 

"By 1977 a method for sequencing DNA was discovered and bioinformatics began to come into its own. The Smith-Waterman algorithm for sequence alignment was published in 1981 and in that same year an impressive 579 human genes were fully mapped using the principles of bioinformatics.

Artificial intelligence involves the use of complex computer algorithms that are capable of not only storing and sorting data, but also helping with analysis and extrapolation.

 

As bioinformatics and artificial intelligence applications advance, the future of both fields remains bright. What path they will take next in unlocking the mysteries of the body is unknown, but it is clear that researchers believe collaboration in both arenas is crucial for future advancement."

Read the Government Health IT article

Kids Need to Put Their Heads on Their Shoulders Instead of in Their Hands

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MICHEL SERRES, 2013 laureate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of Thumbs and Heads: A Comment on Michel Serres’ “Petite Poucette” by Sebastian Olma

Serres ... bemoans both the seductive power of the attention-devouring media spectacle and the incapability of the institutions of (higher) education to effectively struggle against their factual deterioration and loss of social significance.

"Rather than mystifying the technological advances of “the internet” and expect the generation of “digital natives” to somehow come to grips with its challenges, we need modes of eduction that enable young minds to not only performatively but also critically engage with today’s rapid technological progressintellectual, cognitive capabilities externalized into devices whose memory is thousands of times more powerful than ours. 

Being ‘canned’ [in the computer, SO], pedagogy releases us to the pure pleasure of invention. Great: Are we damned to become intelligent?”

... in being unable or unwilling to adjust to this new empty-headed yet agile-thumped generation that doesn’t need knowledge as stock any more (as it always has it at hand anyway) but knowledge as process that feeds intuition, invention innovation."


Read the article in Institute of Network Cultures