We wouldn't want to live without it, so how can we create art that's durable?
- You cannot kill the arts. This is particularly true when you talk about poetry, which does well in a world of social media as its easy to digest in its short form.
- Measuring success in art can be tricky, though. Impact and influence can be felt immediately, so how does art find that everlasting durability?
- Philanthropy can encourage and enable art, and as a result, potentially lengthen its lifespan. If we can find ways to measure art in its own terms, we can effectively give a platform to new voices who complete the cultural picture.
A new report calls on the departments of certain scientific fields to double the number of black students by 2030.
- A new report calls for doubling the number of undergrad degrees awarded to black students in physics and astronomy by 2030.
- In the United States, black students earned a total of 223 bachelor's degrees in physics and just 10 in astronomy in 2018.
- The report found that unsupportive environments in physics and astronomy departments and systemic financial challenges faced by black students contributed to the underrepresentation of black students.
Black underrepresentation in the sciences<p>In the last 25 years, the total number of bachelor's degrees earned in the United States has shot up from 1.1 million to 2.1 million. The number earned across all fields by African Americans has more than doubled, going from 85,856 to 193,567. Yet, in physics and astronomy, this has not been proportional. While the number of undergraduate degrees earned in those fields has surged, according to research from the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics (AIP), only 4% are received by black students. In 2018, black students earned a total of 223 degrees in physics and just 10 in astronomy. Obviously, black students have the same levels of ambition, intellect, and talent to obtain those degrees as any other group. So what's going on?</p><p>A <a href="https://www.aip.org/diversity-initiatives/team-up-task-force" target="_blank">two-year investigation</a> by the AIP's National Task Force to Elevate African American Representation in Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy (TEAM-UP) discovered that two big challenges contributed to the perpetual underrepresentation of black students in the fields of physics and astronomy. One was a less-than supportive environment in the departments, and the other was systemic personal financial challenges faced at higher rates by black students. </p><p>The investigation included recommendations from student and faculty surveys, interviews with black students and department chairs, and visits to physics department sites. Drawing on those findings, the report lays out recommendations to facilitate the sweeping cultural changes necessary to increase black representation in physics and astronomy. The TEAM-UP goal is to at least double the number of African Americans who earn bachelor's degrees in those fields by 2030. </p><p>"The physics community is looking very deeply at itself," Shirley Malcom, a senior adviser at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, <a href="https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.4405" target="_blank">said to <em>Physics Today</em></a>. "We were born into a society that tends not to value black people. Let's get over that and change behaviors that keep African Americans from thriving in our colleges and universities and contributing to the advancement of physics."</p>
Fostering a sense of belonging<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY2ODc4Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzQ2MjAxOH0.scAJPobtSLMvSgbr-Jyrjo7evqlmJ-pL4i0T3oxXju8/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C42%2C0%2C43&height=700" id="4247b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="838240897b96eb0cae3fce5ed5948d65" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Black students raising their hands at a leadership conference" />
The College of DuPage hosted a Black Student Leadership Conference in 2016.
Photo Credit: COD Newsroom / Flickr<p>According to the report, physics and astronomy departments can foster a sense of belonging for black students by promoting values of inclusion and by ensuring black students that they are valued and expected to succeed. The report suggests that departments take extra steps to ensure that black students feel comfortable in 'common areas' and are encouraged to take on leadership positions on campus. It also advises that faculty members adopt methods to combat racist behavior and more subtle <a href="https://www.vox.com/2015/2/16/8031073/what-are-microaggressions" target="_blank">microaggressions</a> toward black students.</p><p>The report also outlined recommendations for alleviating financial burdens for black students. In 2016, the median income of white families ($171,000) was 10 times that of black families ($17,600). As a result, black students disproportionately end up having to juggle financial or medical stresses while in school. To address these strains, TEAM-UP calls for the creation of a $50-million fund that would support marginalized students in physics and astronomy. Half of that value would be used to directly support at least 150 minority physics and astronomy students. Each student would receive around $8,000 to help pay for their education. The rest would be used to help departments implement campus resources like counseling, extra lecturers, and new programs. </p>
The importance of cultural diversity<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="71b4684855102761a24e7df1c926cedf"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-v8aDo4dV3Q?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>This latest report follows a growing call for science to diversify. <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00655-3" target="_blank">Last year</a>, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) made a call to doctoral programs in the field to work harder to recruit and retain students from minority groups like women, marginalized ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and those from sexual and gender minorities. Also last year, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) launched a program to boost the representation of black, Native American, and hispanic graduate students in some Earth and space science departments.</p><p>This cultural shift has been long overdue, and it will almost certainly <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05326-3" target="_blank">shake-up science for the better</a>. Diverse backgrounds lend fresh perspectives to fields of research. Scientific discoveries and knowledge — the research questions asked, the applications of research findings, and even sets of data, <a href="https://curiosity.com/topics/male-lab-rats-have-outnumbered-females-and-thats-bad-news-for-science-curiosity/" target="_blank">like the groups studied</a> — can not be disentangled from the cultural background and experiences of those who are doing the research. For centuries, white men have dominated science and thus produced the knowledge that has made up our construction of the world. Now, that's finally changing. </p>
Turning the office into a place of artistry.
- Creativity in the workplace requires flexibility and a strong company culture.
- Experts encourage lateral thinking and meditation.
- A diverse and inclusive company also spurs creativity.
Foster a diverse and inclusive environment<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="55764239ae91d5081e7a919b8d71e3e6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4G9VhexzIc4?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Every company starts with a great team, where personal connections are developed through a fun loving and collaborative environment. Everyone should be drawn together in the common pursuit of their company's goal. Breaking down company silos is of the utmost importance in the pursuit of this goal.</p><p>Writers should mingle with programmers, managers should spend some time chatting with the workers servicing the clients on the ground floor. A pollination of cross-disciplinary roles mixing together keeps everyone thinking on their toes. </p><p>New ideas and inspiration will flow freely from one department of the company to the next. </p><p>The additional opportunity for diverse cultural and ethnical backgrounds to come together with their respective backgrounds also creates new opportunities for growth.</p>
Encourage unconventional problem solving<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="19znDf2l" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="30e81539a14a4c74fba115dc3a83e85f"> <div id="botr_19znDf2l_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/19znDf2l-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/19znDf2l-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/19znDf2l-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Managers and executive staff should be open to new ideas from their workforce. Some of the most revolutionary ways of doing business have been put forth by employees. All workers should have a piece of the action when it comes to solving problems. Dan Seewald, CEO of Deliberate Innovation believes in a<em> lateral thinking</em> process that encourages unconventional solutions.</p> <p>The best way to boost creativity is to abandon logic at the onset of a brainstorming session. He believes that asking provocative and ridiculous 'what if?' questions puts us on a path to coming up with unique solutions to complex problems. It's brainstorming completely detached from any logical grounding. It's something that you can easily try out in the workplace without the fear of judgement of any bad ideas.</p>
Provide flexibility in how work gets done<p>Studies have shown that just changing <a href="https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/creativity-innovation" target="_self">where you sit at work boosts creativity and innovation.</a></p> <p>Sometimes a simple shift of perspective is all you need. Switching up where you work can do wonders. Every now and then, take the work home with you and telecommute. By embarking on new places outside of the office, you can unlock new ways of thinking. </p> <p>A flexible work policy increases work productivity. It helps to cut down on transit time and allow for a healthier work-life balance.</p>
Establish a company culture<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="qtdbKyYm" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="5ad3c5090f2f711c46ae17ecba606808"> <div id="botr_qtdbKyYm_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/qtdbKyYm-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/qtdbKyYm-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/qtdbKyYm-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Wherever human beings congregate you're bound to find culture. We have many varying degrees of culture. The micro-cultures that arise around a company can either be incredibly fulfilling or toxic. Company cultures must be driven by a singular shared focus. When workers are given reasons to be excited to come to work, you've succeeded in creating a great company culture. </p> <p>Dysfunctional company cultures on the other hand can seriously impact employee's creativity and overall mental health. The simplest way to establish a company culture to spur creativity is to just give your employees purpose. From purpose, a culture blooms.</p>
Let employees take risks and experiment<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="BotArQWs" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="402266fcbf973679120009a7edbeaceb"> <div id="botr_BotArQWs_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/BotArQWs-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/BotArQWs-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/BotArQWs-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Cultivate a culture that isn't afraid to take risks. One that also rewards new creative experimentation. Most of the time employees aren't proposing new solutions or ideas because there is a fear of making a mistake. Employees need to be given support, guidance and allowance that they can fail in the pursuit of creation.</p> <p>One of the best ways to implement this is by being open to feedback and suggestions from your workforce or fellow employees. Sometimes this means having an open door policy or creating an anonymous space for people to share their ideas.</p>
Look to coworkers with great emotional intelligence<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="gD2sw5jS" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="69ff6fd9506c251e96af8a3f52e24671"> <div id="botr_gD2sw5jS_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/gD2sw5jS-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/gD2sw5jS-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/gD2sw5jS-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The workplace can be a great place for knowledge sharing. There's a great opportunity to learn various skills and garner new knowledge from your peers in the company. Encourage others to share what they know with different parts of the team.</p><p>This can help workers discover new interests and spark new creative pursuits that they can bring back to their role. It's also important to develop your emotional intelligence and look to others who display high rates of it for guidance.</p><p>Author Daniel Goleman, who's researched emotional intelligence in business, found that it is more important than IQ for success in the workplace.</p><p>"This turns out to be one of the strongest predictors of success in any field… The surprise was this: IQ correlated zero, zero with their success as rated by peers. Emotional intelligence correlated very, very highly."</p>
Create a space for self-reflection and meditation<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="U7LGIyO3" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="588d17477ec756dbb8a2db5c2a0587a1"> <div id="botr_U7LGIyO3_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/U7LGIyO3-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/U7LGIyO3-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/U7LGIyO3-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>When the busy season strikes, it's easy for people to start getting too focused on their work and forget about the bigger picture. During times like these, creativity is lacking. The best thing to do during a time like this is to step out of the madness for a few mindful moments everyday. </p> <p>Getting people into the habit of conducting self-reflections can help them center themselves and avoid stress or burn-out – two things that limit creativity. Just a simple check-in with yourself does wonders. Cultivating a regular schedule of meditation will take this to the next level. </p> <p>Emptying the mind is a great way to fill it.</p>
At one point, America needed to be called a Judeo-Christian nation. Now, with growing populations of Muslims, Evangelicals, Sikhs, Atheists, and other faiths, what should America call itself next?
- America wasn't always known as Judeo-Christian nation. Rather, it used to be considered a Protestant nation.
- As Jews and Catholics began to represent a larger share of the nation, activists realized that America needed to reinvent itself if the voices of these growing groups were to be heard. In this way, the "Judeo-Christian" label was conceived. Today, that label doesn't quite fit anymore. What does?
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
The surprising results come from a new GLAAD survey.
- The survey found that 18- to 34-year-old non-LGBTQ Americans reported feeling less comfortable around LGBTQ people in a variety of hypothetical situations.
- The attitudes of older non-LGBTQ Americans have remained basically constant over the past few years.
- Overall, about 80 percent of Americans support equal rights for LGBTQ people.