'Food for Thought' brings great minds together

7/12/2007 7:00:00 AM

Not all great minds think alike. For that reason, Nevada Humanities designed "Food For Thought: An Evening of Enlightenment with Nevada's Greatest Minds."  This event will take place July 15 from 6-9 p.m. in the Atlantis Hotel and Casino ballroom and was designed for the citizens of northern Nevada to come together and share insights about some of the community's most important and provocative issues.  Of the 40 conversation hosts, 16 are University faculty.  

"Our mission is to strengthen the intellectual, cultural and civic life of the state," said Nora James, Nevada Humanities chair.

James said that one thing that makes Northern Nevada so special is the depth and breadth of expertise throughout the community on the issues that this event brings to the floor. She said she was extremely overwhelmed by the number of people who volunteered to be conversation leaders.

"All of the hosts are deeply knowledgeable and passionate about their topics," James said. "There is a lot of wisdom, talent and imagination in the community and a lot of hunger for these types of conversations."

James said Nevada Humanities is expecting to see many people who are involved in the life of the community including members and supporters of civic and cultural groups.

"We believe a strong and vital public square is necessary for participatory democracy," James said. "Our democracy depends on an enlightened citizenry."

Tom Nickles, a Unversity Philosophy professor, will lead a discussion about politics' role in science. He said he is excited for the opportunity to gain insight from others, even if they disagree with his opinions.

"Discussion stimulated by respectful disagreement often gives me new insights," Nickles said. "Even if you end up disagreeing with them, it is important to try to understand where people are coming from, what drives them to their positions. This is especially important since we'll all be voting citizens in a democratic society."

David Ryfe, an associate professor of journalism, said he is also looking forward to gaining new insight. He will be leading a conversation about the roles and responsibilities of journalists, citizens and various communities in self-government.

"I do a great deal of research on this topic and have experience facilitating discussion forums," Ryfe said. "I am always surprised by some insight or experience someone brings to a topic I have discussed often and for a long time."

Also among discussion leaders are University President Milton Glick; Susan Bender, director of the office of international students and scholars; Steve Zink, Vice President of Information Technology and many others.

Tickets for this event are $125. All profits from ticket sales will help support Nevada Humanities. Those who are interested in more information about this event are encouraged to visit the Nevada Humanities website.

Nevada Humanities is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is non-profit and receives funding from the federal and state governments and private donors. It hosts a book and author lecture series and Great Basin Chautauqua and provides grants to organizations statewide. 


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