Yes, it does matter to Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns. This May, with about 15 faculty and students from Emory and Georgia Tech, I will travel to Dharamsala, India to run the second Emory Summer Science Institute for Tibetan monastics and nuns. Yes, that is right. Monks want to learn science with a passion. Sessions include physics, biology and neurosciences, some math and some chemistry. And philosophy of western science. We learned so much from the monastics while were there. About ourselves, about teaching and learning in science. About other ways of problem solving and other knowledge systems.
Last year a smaller group offered the first summer institute and it was a mind blowing experience. If you are a science educator, when was the last time you had 40 keen minds just concentrating on your every word, with passionate interest and deadly focus? And the questions were some of the most clever, thought provoking, original questions I have ever heard. And yes, we did not always have an answer. I’ll post some of them in future posts.
Who am I? I am a dean of science for the undergraduates at Emory University, in Emory College. I am a chemist by training. I am passionate about science education in general. At this time, I am thinking a lot about internationalizing science education, bringing interdisciplinarity into undergraduate science education and innovative ways to use today’s technology with our students. I will blog about Science and Religion, or teaching Tibetan monks science and learning from them, about liberal arts education for pre meds and prehealth and about using today’ technologies to enhance learning.