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Lyceum Society: What Does Science Have to Say About "Morality"?


for Members

Lyceum Society: What Does Science Have to Say About "Morality"?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Lyceum Society


The Lyceum Society comprises the Academy's retired and semi-retired members. Talks cover various scientific fields. All Academy members are welcome.

All Lyceum meetings (except December) are Brown Bag lunches.

Brown Bag: 11:30 AM
Brief-Brief: 12:45 PM
Lecture & Discussion: 1:00–3:00 PM

Brief-Brief Presentation:
Thinking vs Imagination
Speaker: Hillel Schiller

Hillel's MA in General Linguistics is from the University of Chicago. He taught at the New School for Social Research and then in the Early Childhood Dept. at Baruch College. He made use of Gibson's, Arnheim's and Dewey's conception of using imageries in classroom instruction. His interests touch on the nature of our perceptions, the use of symbols, and the role of imagination in learning.

Main Presentation:
What Does Science Have to Say About Morality?
Speaker: Roslyn Willett

Morality is often invoked to gain power, rather than to improve behavior. The true basis of "morality" is the Golden Rule — first enunciated by Confucius in about 500 BC. It demands empathy — the ability to "feel with" another which has been characteristic of life forms since the first bacteria aggregated to form a quorum. As evolution proceeded, empathy became ever more palpable so that mammals from elephants to anthropoids are known to feel with their fellows. This has not precluded competition. Recent research makes it clear that much "immorality" is biological in its origin and should be accepted while we continue evolving by cooperation.

Ros attended Hunter College and started a master's degree at Columbia before finishing her BA in foods and nutrition with heavy minors in chemistry, physiology, microbiology and public health. She also took courses at NYU Engineering, at Baruch and at the New School. She was technical and patents librarian at Stein, Hall, promoted to executive in charge of technical service and development on food products. Then migrated to editing at McGraw-Hill and other publishing companies later bought by Harcourt Brace. After several years at Farley Manning Associates where she wrote for high tech and science accounts, she opened Roslyn Willett Associates, public relations and food service consultants. The firm provided communications and planning and design services for major corporate and health care clients. She taught also at Hunter College and at Brooklyn Poly. Since retiring she has published eighteen short stories, several essays and a novella.

Registration Pricing

Student/Postdoc Member$0
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$10

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