Diversity in Higher Education

I think diversity is embedded in what I would consider a really impactful liberal arts education. What I often say to the freshman class is that you are here at this university to encounter the ‘other’ – to encounter what you have not encountered in your first 18 years of life. Some of that is going to be ideas – ideas you have never encountered, a diversity of ideas. Some of it is going to be the people that you encounter, including people from other cultures, from other countries, from other religious traditions. And they are gonna play as an important role in your education, your broadening of your vision as what you’re going to read in books. So if we were to suddenly eliminate all of the ways in which we are trying to make Princeton a more diverse place, I would argue that the quality of the education we provide would plummet. Recorded on: 8/7/07

Tilghman sees diversity in higher education as imperative. She believes it impacts the quality of a liberal arts education through the diversity of ideas be it religious or cultural. Shirley wants Princeton to deliver a quality education, and can only truly do so with a diverse population.

Beyond the two cultures: rethinking science and the humanities

Cross-disciplinary cooperation is needed to save civilization.

Credit: Public domain
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  • There is a great disconnect between the sciences and the humanities.
  • Solutions to most of our real-world problems need both ways of knowing.
  • Moving beyond the two-culture divide is an essential step to ensure our project of civilization.
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Stephen Hawking's black hole theory proved right

New study analyzes gravitational waves to confirm the late Stephen Hawking's black hole area theorem.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Surprising Science
  • A new paper confirms Stephen Hawking's black hole area theorem.
  • The researchers used gravitational wave data to prove the theorem.
  • The data came from Caltech and MIT's Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.
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Is the universe a graveyard? This theory suggests humanity may be alone.

Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?

According to the Great Filter theory, Earth might be one of the only planets with intelligent life. And that's a good thing (NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team [STScI/AURA]).
Surprising Science

Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.

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Ethical hacking: saving society with computer code

As a form of civil disobedience, hacking can help make the world a better place.

Credit: NICOLAS ASFOURI via Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Hackers' motivations range from altruistic to nihilistic.
  • Altruistic hackers expose injustices, while nihilistic ones make society more dangerous.
  • The line between ethical and unethical hacking is not always clear.
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