, germs and steel the fate of human societies",
whereby a professor of physiology at UCLA Medical School provides
inter-disciplined views of the physical and cultural developments
of Man and their effect on human history and "civilization".
What about Stephen Jay Gould's many marvelous past monthly essays
in "Natural History" being replaced this year
by Jarred Diamond. I might mention that, on my sabbatical in
Australia in 1976, I started to write a book for non-scientists
on Herpesviruses. I did not get beyond the preface, wherein I
apologized profusely to my scientific colleagues about "lowering"
myself that way. I was wrong then and, as noted above, the past
two decades have witnessed a marked attitudinal change by medical
and scientific authors of books or magazine articles in the popularization
of their expertise. What is of more concern, however, is the
wider popularization on the Internet, as the sources are harder
to identify than authors of books or magazine articles.
32. A decade ago, I was struck at the graduation of my son, to hear President Bok - in his retiring speech - suggest that it was time for Harvard to become more involved with the community. Emory now has a Community Activities office providing information on the dozens of community projects in which faculty, staff and students are involved perhaps more mission than vision
33. Scientists also "tell stories" when they go around the country or the world giving talks with a beginning, middle and an end, whether without slides or with fancy multicolored PowerPoint. They mostly make up stories when they write scientific papers purporting to note that they had developed a hypothesis (without "fishing"), optimized the methods to test it, obtained results which led them to follow logically other hypotheses, and that they then arrived at inescapable conclusions albeit (to maintain scientific integrity) tentative ones.
34. Walter Reed, co-leader of a faculty seminar on the fate of disciplines, played similarly on the words discipline by stating: "Interdisciplinarity without disciplines (or did he mean to say discipline?) is a recipe for incoherence" (Academic Exchange, May 1999).
35. (Footnote to the Table) A follow-through is that those who have the Vision or Mission are generally considered to be Visionaries or Missionaries. I have known, or read of, several visionaries and many more missionaries but very few individuals are able to combine both to the same extent. A quick look at the various attributes needed for each, which might correlate, as noted in the Table, with either "interdisciplinary" and "multidisciplinary" may help to explain why not. Nevertheless, a few names that come to mind are Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, Stephen Jay Gould and the "médecins sans frontières". More direct examples of persons I have known, combining both, are DeWitt and Edna Baldwin (Uncle Si and Aunt Edna), whom I met at an important juncture in my life, when I was 19 years old. In 1935, these Methodist missionaries followed their vision of an inter-cultural, inter-racial, and inter-religious world, based on the growth of inter-personal human relations, to found the Lisle Fellowship (in Lisle, N.Y.). They broadened their original Christian mission to fulfill their larger vision, with a lasting imprint on the thousands of young college students who attended "Lisle". The history of the still-ongoing Fellowship "Tiger by the Tail" has been written by DeWitt Baldwin [Lisle 900 County Road 269, Leander, TX, 78641].
Someone else I have know personally for several decades, whom I would also consider as combining both the visionary and the missionary, is Bill Foege, currently Professor of International Health at Emory and a consultant to the Gates Foundation. As a public health missionary, par excellence, Bill has been able to fulfill much of his vision of social justice in his continued help for people all over the world.
We also need you, Bill.