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Can we effectively combine science and the humanities?

January 21, 2019 — 

How can physics be presented through art? Can chemical compounds be placed in the context of anthropology? Is there a way to easily cross the boundary between science and the humanities?

The Expanded Reason Awards celebrate and encourage innovation in transdisciplinary scientific research and academic programs that demonstrate how the sciences can be integrated with the humanities, while maintaining academic rigor within their respective fields. Four awards of 25,000 Euros (about $37,000 CDN) each will be awarded every year in two categories: research and teaching. Recipients will reflect on the explicit and implicit humanistic questions of anthropology, epistemology, ethics, and meaning that are relevant to their scientific disciplines.

The research category includes scholarly scholarly articles and books that engage the challenge of the anthropological, epistemological, ethical and meaning questions from within their respective science or discipline.

In the teaching category, the jury seeks to honour current academic programs and/or teaching initiatives (syllabi, teaching guides, study plans, curricula, programming for educational communities, and so on) that seek to integrate the anthropological, epistemological, ethical, and meaning questions into the teaching of a particular science or discipline.

“Expanded reason” is a holistic understanding of science. It recognizes that in order to more fully understand a scientific discipline, it is necessary to consider four fundamental questions that are embedded in the nature of reality:

  • Who am I? What are the assumptions about what it means to me human embedded in my field of study? (anthropological questions)
  • What is reality? What are the limits embedded in the scientific method(s) in my field, and how can they be overcome? (epistemological)
  • Do good and evil exist, and do they affect me? What are the ethical implications embedded in my academic discipline? (ethical)
  • What is the point of life and of my field of study? (philosophical)

A discussion on the internationally-acclaimed Expanded Reason Awards will be presented by Dr. Max Bonilla, from the Vatican Foundation Joseph Ratzinger and the University Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid, on Tuesday, January 22, 2018, in Hanley Hall, St Paul’s College, at 3:00 pm.

The presentation is jointly sponsored by the I.H. Asper School of Business and St. Paul’s College.

For more information visit

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