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Nassau Notes

May 14 symposium celebrates Griffin’s career

A symposium celebrating the remarkable career of collector, curator and scholar Gillett Griffin is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, in the Frist Campus Center Multipurpose Room.

Photo of:

“Ballplayer With Tripartite Yoke and Bird Headdress,” Mexico A.D. 650-850. Purchased in honor of Gillett Griffin.

Sponsored by the University Art Museum and the Program in Latin American Studies, “Unexpected Journey: Gillett G. Griffin and the Art of the Ancient Americas at Princeton” will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Griffin, a faculty curator emeritus, retired last July after 52 years at Princeton. He served as the art museum’s curator of pre-Columbian art from 1967 to 2004. Many pieces in the collection are gifts or are on loan from Griffin, or have been given in his honor.

The symposium will take a retrospective look at his contributions to the study of the art of the indigenous peoples of North, Central and South America as well as illuminate the ways in which significant areas of the field of ancient Mesoamerican art history have evolved.

The speakers, all of whom have had close associations with Griffin and the Princeton collection over the last 40 years, will interweave their talks with thoughts on the role the Princeton collection has played in their own work. They also will bring a wide variety of perspectives to a concluding discussion on the future of ancient art of the Americas at Princeton.

The symposium is being organized in conjunction with a May 7-June 12 exhibition of works of pre-Columbian art in the collection of the art museum given by or in honor of Griffin.

There is no registration fee, but advance registration for the symposium is required by contacting Andrea Stearly at 258-1741 or <astearly@princeton.edu>. Space is limited.

Wristbands needed for Reunions

All alumni and University representatives once again will be required to have wristbands that identify them as participants in Reunions activities, which this year fall on May 26-29. The wristbands will allow them to enter Reunion sites and to obtain refreshments.

Faculty and staff members may get a wristband for themselves and one additional wristband for a guest. The wristbands are not transferable, and applicants and guests must be 21 years of age or older. The single fee to cover all three evenings is $25 per person, payable by check (no cash) to the Alumni Council.

Those who would like to attend must complete an application and submit it by Friday, May 13, to Lydia Osborne, Alumni Council, Maclean House. Applications are available at the receptionist’s desk on the first floor of Maclean House. After May 13, the single fee will increase to $35 per person.

Faculty and staff members and their guests may pick up their wristbands in person between 7 and 11 p.m. May 26, May 27 and May 28 in the parlor of Maclean House (enter at the front of the house). Identification in the form of a University ID card and valid driver’s license with photo will be required for pickup.

Workshop focuses on ‘Values in Nature’

A workshop on “Values in Nature: The Role of Ethics in Environmental Policy” is set for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, May 2.

Workshop sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in 10 East Pyne. The event will conclude with a keynote address at 4:30 p.m. in McCosh 10. Sessions will cover topics such as “Aesthetic and Spiritual Values,” “Moral, Political and Religious Values” and “When Values Conflict: Climate Change.”

The keynote address is titled “Some Say by Fire: Scientific Forecasting, Climate Change and What We Can Do as Americans.” Speaking will be James Gustave Speth, dean and professor in the practice of environmental policy and sustainable development at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

The workshop is sponsored by the University Center for Human Values and the Princeton Environmental Institute with support from the Council of the Humanities. For more information, visit <www.princeton.edu/~uchv/eeworkshop.html>.

Remembrances for Holocaust planned

The Center for Jewish Life, 70 Washington Road, is planning a Holocaust memorial program for 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 4.

The event will include the personal testimony of Holocaust survivor Bernath Friedman. It will be followed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 5, in the 1879 Arch with a name-reading vigil.

Two to probe questions in the sciences

Talks on sustainable development and on the role of genes will be presented in the coming weeks as part of the University’s Public Lectures Series.

On Wednesday, May 4, Lord Robert May, professor of zoology at Oxford University, will discuss “Hard Questions About Tomorrow’s World.” On Tuesday, May 10, journalist and author Matt Ridley will discuss “How Nature Turns on Nurture.” Both talks will begin at 8 p.m. in McCosh 50.

May served as chief scientific adviser to the government of the United Kingdom from 1996 to 2000 and currently is president of the Royal Society, the independent scientific academy of the U.K. dedicated to promoting excellence in science. He is a former faculty member and chair of the University Research Board at Princeton. In his lecture, he is expected to discuss the challenges facing humans in a time when their ecological “footprints” may already exceed levels the planet can sustain. He will address topics such as increasing human numbers, the emergence of new diseases, more demands for energy, and the sustainable and equitable production and delivery of food.

Ridley did research in zoology at Oxford before becoming a journalist. He has written for The Economist and the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph and is the author of “Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes Us Human” (HarperCollins, 2003). In the book, he takes on the debate about whether people’s qualities are determined by their genes (nature) or by their environment (nurture) and concludes that genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain, but they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues and even run memory.

Both talks are designated as the Louis Clark Vanuxem Lectures and will be available for viewing a week afterward at <www.princeton.edu/webmedia>.

Photo of: modern dance work by senior Laura Chiang

“DNA: Variation in Motion,” a modern dance work by senior Laura Chiang

Performances to marry science and dance, May 5-7

“Evolves,” a collection of innovative modern dance works choreographed by senior Laura Chiang, will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 5-6, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in the Hagan Dance Studio, 185 Nassau St.

Chiang is a chemistry major pursuing a certificate in theater and dance. While her lab thesis studied porphyrin uptake by human macrophages (white blood cells), she has concurrently spent many hours in the dance studio for a secondary senior independent project: the creation of new modern dance works. Increasingly drawn to the choreographic side of performance, Chiang has explored new styles of movement and also incorporated themes of her studies in the sciences into her dance works.

Students from in and out of the Program in Theater and Dance will perform the pieces, several of which draw on environmental imagery and biological concepts, including that of DNA and mutations (pictured is her piece “DNA: Variation in Motion”).

The performances are free and open to the public; donations will be accepted to benefit the New Jersey Sharing Network and/or the Parkinson’s Alliance.

Conference to examine ethics and philanthropy

Philanthropy, Ethics and International Aid,” a conference that will look at some of the ethical issues raised by philanthropy in the international arena, is set for Thursday and Friday, May 5-6, on campus.

The keynote address at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in McCosh 50 will take the form of a debate titled “Is Philanthropy the Right Response to Global Poverty?” between Ray Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, and David Rieff, a 1980 Princeton graduate who is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and the author of “A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis.” The session will be chaired by Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values.

Other sessions will run from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Friday in McCosh 10. Questions to be raised include: What ethical problems face foundations when they give international aid? How can we make development aid accountable? Is aid really effective? Can we rigorously assess the impact of aid programs? What special ethical issues are raised by health care as a form of international aid?

The event is sponsored by the University Center for Human Values, Center for Health and Well-being, Research Program in Development Studies and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton; the Asia-Pacific Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment at Swinburne University in Australia; and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs in New York.

For more information, visit <www.princeton.edu/values/peia>.

Colloquium to honor Sigmund

Andrés Bianchi, the Chilean ambassador to the United States, will be among the speakers at a Friday, May 6, colloquium in honor of Paul Sigmund, co-founder of the Program in Latin American Studies and professor of politics.

“Chile and the World” will run from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, and will be followed by a reception in the Shultz Dining Room. It also will feature presentations by several former graduate students, who now hold positions in higher education and government. Serving as moderators will be Princeton faculty members Nancy Bermeo and Deborah Yashar.

A specialist in political theory and Latin American politics, Sigmund has been a faculty member since 1963 and helped found the Program in Latin American Studies in 1966. He plans to transfer to emeritus status this July.

The event is sponsored by the Program in Latin American Studies and Department of Politics For more information, visit <www.princeton.edu/~plas/>.

Faculty, staff blood drive set for May 11-12

The American Red Cross Spring Faculty and Staff Blood Drive is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in Multipurpose Rooms A and B of the Frist Campus Center.

The drive is by appointment only, and times are available every 15 minutes. The blood donation takes only eight to 10 minutes, but the appointment lasts about 45 minutes.

To schedule a time, register online at <www.pleasegiveblood.org> or call Employee Health Services at 258-5035.