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July 2014

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




OK, Make Money, but Don't Stop Using Your Minds!







Prof. CNR RAO, 2005 laureate, speaks out against mediocrity in Education in India, especially in the sciences.

"We live in a highly intolerant society. Whether it is about religion or caste, we are intolerant of something or the other. Then why are we tolerating mediocrity in education? I think social revolution in India should be (about) better quality of education. We should all come together and demand better quality education from schools, colleges and the government.

Young graduates are making a lot of money, but have stopped applying their minds."

Read the IBN Live article, July 21, 2014

What's the Connection Between the Downed Malaysian Jet and AIDS Research?

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Prof. Robert C. Gallo, 2009 laureate, mourns the death of Joep Lange, renowned AIDS researcher who lost his life last week aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. 

Lange was a professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Center and head of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development,

Professor Lange was dedicated to improving HIV drug therapy and making medicine accessible to those infected with the virus in developing nations. In 2002, he famously said, “If we can get cold Coca-Cola and beer to every remote corner of Africa, it should not be impossible to do the same with drugs.”

It is ironic that Lange and his colleagues were traveling to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, when their jetliner was savagely blown up. Russians and Ukrainians alike will suffer more than most from this slaughter of a cadre of AIDS researchers. According to UNAIDS, they account for nearly 90% of new infections diagnosed in a region that spans Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Read the Detroit Free Press article



Noninvasive Approach To Treat Epilepsy and Eye Conditions

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ED BODEN, 2004 scholarship recipient, led the MIT team of researchers that developed the first light-sensitive molecule that enables neurons to be silenced noninvasively, using a light source outside the skull. 

This noninvasive approach could pave the way to using optogenetics (the use of light-sensitive proteins to suppress or stimulate electrical signals within cells) in human patients to treat conditions such as epilepsy and eye conditions.

Ed Boyden, is an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT.

Read the OnMedica article, June 30, 2014