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2015-16 Class Takes to the Hill

Jan 27 2016

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The current CASBS cohort – composed of 36 fellows, six research affiliates, and two visiting scholars – arrived in September and continues the tradition of adding a new layer of depth and richness to the Center’s intellectual life and fabric. They are a multi-disciplinary set of scholars who are leaders in their respective fields. Among them are 21 women, nine fellows representing institutions outside the U.S., and three inducted members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a group they form the heart of the CASBS enterprise. Learn more about each of them here.

Several fellows arrived via ongoing research programs attached to the Center. Notably, CASBS is pleased to be associated with the Berggruen Institute and its newly-launched Philosophy and Culture Center, directed by former CASBS fellow and current research affiliate Daniel Bell. The Institute is supporting six Berggruen Fellows at CASBS during 2015-16. CASBS hosted the Philosophy and Culture Center's inaugural gathering in September 2015 along with follow-up workshops, including a four-day workshop to be held in March.


Mid-way through their residency the fellows have begun to leave their unique imprint on CASBS. For example, many expressed interest in and subsequently attended three separate expert presentations -- by W.W. Norton legends Roby Harrington and Don Lamm as well as agent Max Brockman -- on publishing for a popular, trade audience. A "works in progress" group meets every other week to discuss issues surrounding fellows' current research and writing. A sub-group of fellows interested in the intersection of behavioral sciences and medicine have met with researchers at Stanford's Clinical Excellence Research Center (which is housed on the CASBS campus) for an ongoing series of "crossover" lunches. Other fellows have organized themed lunchtime “table talks” on topics such as campus racial justice movements, affirmative action, and the divestment, boycott, and sanctions movement. One table talk on social science and policy has developed into a recurring working group. Away from the Center, five fellows have served the community through engagement with Project We Hope, a non-profit emergency and transitional housing center in nearby East Palo Alto.

If fellows lie at the Center’s heart, then weekly seminars – a decades-running CASBS feature in which a fellow presents an ongoing research project and fields questions from the cohort – are the lifeblood sustaining that heart. Lively post-seminar lunch discussions extend the feedback and exchange of ideas surrounding the presenter’s project.

Unlike the CASBS public symposia, the weekly fellow seminars are closed. However, you can get an insider’s glimpse of the interaction and engagement that’s a hallmark of the seminars by viewing a sampling of photos below.