The Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, has been named dean for religious life at Stanford University, Provost John Etchemendy announced today. Shaw will also be joining the faculty in Stanford's Department of Religious Studies.
CASBS is fortunate to have Paul Brest as Chairman of our board. A profile in the Stanford Lawyer offers an in-depth look at his career:
Law Professor Paul Brest has influenced generations of lawyers as dean, teacher, colleague and mentor. His first year back at the Farm after more than a decade as president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been a productive one.
CASBS Board member Ira Katznelson is a winner of the 2014 Bancroft Prize for his book, Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time.
From the text of the award, presented by Columbia University: “[the book] offers a fresh interpretation of a much-studied topic, exposing the racial politics that enabled Franklin Roosevelt to secure Congressional support for many New Deal measures. Katznelson traces the United States from a Progressive Era nation, still united by many widely shared ideals of the common good, to a balkanized, procedurally competitive democratic state in which seemingly neutral rules of political engagement marked the competitive edge enjoyed by certain groups.”
The film Her, about a man who falls in love with his computerized personal assistant, has been nominated for five Oscars including best picture. It takes place at an unspecified time in the future when computer voices sound like Scarlett Johansson instead of Siri. This made NPR’s Laura Sydell wonder if it was really possible to fall in love with an artificially intelligent being. For her story, she turned to CASBS Fellow Byron Reeves. Reeves says what research shows is that humans have an amazing ability to respond to machines, just the way I did, as if the machine were human. Here’s the segment, which aired on NPR’s All Things Considered daily news program.
James “Jay” McClelland, former CASBS Board member and professor of psychology at Stanford University, is one of the inaugural recipients of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. He and the other recipient, Elizabeth Shilin Spelke, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, will each receive the $200,000 prize at the 2014 NAS annual meeting in April.
What explains JFK’s enduring hold on the national imagination? Why does Kennedy figure so largely in American memory when his presidency was so short, his accomplishments so few (particularly in the domestic arena where he cannot compare with his successor) and his legacy transient? Is our collective fascination with Kennedy just superficial — a product of the remarkably attractive, compellingly visual nature of his presidency?
Of this article published by The Guardian, anthropology Fellow Ilana Gershon writes, “I am fascinated by what happens when people use technology designed to connect people and use it instead to disconnect. What do you do with the traces of a romantic relationship left on Facebook after you have broken up? Do you remove the pictures of the two of you together? Do you delete their wallposts? And you still have their phone number in your cell phone – do you delete that to prevent the possibility of calling them when you are vulnerable or drunk?
Morris (Mo) Collen was a Fellow in Medicine in 1986, where he worked his book, A History of Medical Informatics in the United States, 1950-1990, part of the Center’s Tyler Collection. The Tyler Collection consists of books conceived, written or completed by Fellows during their time of Fellowship. Collen is working on an updated edition.
He was, according to Bob Scott, one of the Center’s former associate directors, “largely responsible for developing the computer-based system for medical care for which Kaiser is renowned.” Even today, Collen is called on as a consultant whenever Kaiser rolls out a new application of computer science with regard to medical information.
And he just renewed his driver’s license last week.
What can history tell Americans about the controversial rollout of Obamacare?
The tortuous, often controversial implementation of both Medicare and Social Security makes clear that the Implementation of massive public programs on a national scale takes time — especially in the United States, when responsibility for administering them is divided not only among local, state and national governments, but between public agencies and private actors like insurance companies, hospitals and doctors.
Philosophy Fellow Sam Fleischacker offers this article in TheTorah.com on Hearing God's Voice: Two Models for Accepting the Torah.
Religious believers would like clear evidence that their religious scripture is God’s word — if God has spoken to us, we would like to know that God has spoken. But mature, reflective religious belief needs to be based on the recognition that we cannot have such evidence. Sam contrasts here, within a Jewish framework, the model of revelation we yearn for with the model of revelation we should accept on reflection.