Scholars Forum

The life of Mark Twain. The rise of the surveillance state. Aerial Dance. A history of African American music. The curious case of the disappearing bee. How Will became Shakespeare. Restoring the Mississippi River. Societal impacts of genetic engineering. These topics have been included in the Scholars Forum, which provides opportunities for students to encounter and consider controversial issues, cutting edge technologies and a range of questions drawn from the arts, the sciences and politics. The Scholars Forum features musical and theatrical performances, addresses by major public figures, world-class scientists and renowned authors, conversations with faculty members, and debates and discussions of significant public policy issues. Scholars Forum guests have included Dr. Mark Plotkin, ethnobotanist and author of the Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice, Broadway performer and comedian Lisa Jolley, musician and USP graduate Kyler England, NASA astronaut and USP graduate Christina Hammock, environmentalist and CNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke, aerial performance group BANDALOOP, and Pulitzer Prize-winning science author Deborah Blum. 

Overview of the Scholars Forum Series

The Scholars Forum Series (USP 110/111) features presentations and discussions on issues of contemporary educational, social, and political significance, and a variety of performances by visiting guest artists. These sessions are often led by distinguished faculty members and nationally-known experts. Forums are designed to allow students to engage in active inquiry and critical considerations of topics under discussion.

In addition to the weekly Forum Series, students also have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of optional events, including discussions, films, musical and theatrical performances, and field trips.