The Bridges Lecture Series aims to overcome the distance among academic disciplines. At one time, universities served as a meeting place for a number of seemingly disparate fields. In the classical and medieval worlds, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy all fell under the umbrella of the “liberal arts.” However, recent decades have witnessed the increasing separation of these areas of study. As university programs become more specialized, the gap widens, and the respective approaches and lexicons of Arts, Science, and Mathematics grow increasingly distant.
In past seasons, the Bridges Lecture Series has featured public lectures delivered jointly by a mathematician and a non-mathematician. Beginning in the 2016-2017 season, we are adding scientists to our roster. Bringing together scholars from Arts, Science, and Mathematics allows us to explore timely topics from a number of disciplinary perspectives, just as it enables an even wider scope of discussion. The metaphor of the bridge captures the spirit of our endeavor: to bring these fields back into productive dialogue, to raise questions that are essential to scholars in Arts, Science, and Mathematics, and to provide specialists and non-specialists alike with compelling and enriching information that uncovers the possibilities and opportunities that exist on the bridge between disciplines. Our guiding goal is to coax audiences out of their intellectual comfort zones, and to transcend narrow discipline-specific avenues of academic inquiry.
Several of the lectures have been recorded.
Other associations that share the Bridges Lecture Series’ goal of integrating disparate disciplines include the Bridges Organization, whose annual conference will be held at the University of Waterloo in 2017. Locally, the KW Symphony’s Intersections series offers collaborative, innovative, and unexpected pairings between music and other fields within the arts and sciences.
We look forward to seeing you in 2016-2017!