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In Context #4 (Fall, 2000, p. 9); copyright 2000 by The Nature Institute

Stephen L. Talbott

We at The Nature Institute are looking forward to collaboration with another young, like-minded institute, some of whose staff are located nearby. SENSRI, founded by an engineer, two physicists, and a philosopher, aims to develop experience-based methods of cognition. This phenomena-centered approach is offered as an alternative to the hypothetical, abstract, pseudo-phenomenal world imagined to exist behind phenomenal experience as its cause and explanation.

Physicist Stephen Edelglass was for many years on the faculty of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. Currently he teaches high school math and physics at the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Spring Valley, New York. The other physicist, Georg Maier, conducts research at the Forschungsinstitute am Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. Formerly he carried out neutron diffraction research at the Kernforschungsanlage Jülich (KFA) in Germany. Maier and Edelglass are co-authors of The Marriage of Sense and Thought: Imaginative Participation in Science.

Michael D'Aleo, with training in both mechanical engineering and education, has spent a number of years working in industry, receiving several patents along the way. His main interest has been to solve technical problems artistically, based on processes found in the natural world. He currently teaches physical science and mathematics at the Spring Hill Waldorf School in Saratoga Springs, New York. D'Aleo co-authored the recent book, Sensible Physics Teaching, along with Edelglass. (See review in In Context #3.)

The fourth founding member of SENSRI is Ronald Brady, professor of philosophy at Ramapo College, New Jersey. Brady has studied, written, and lectured extensively on cognition and topics related to Goethe and phenomena-centered science. These include methodological problems in taxonomy. He approaches morphology as a science of biological form resting on phenomenological foundations independent of evolutionary theory.

Another person centrally involved in SENSRI is Kim Klopstock, who, among other activities, manages community relations. SENSRI aims to integrate itself as fully as possible into the Saratoga Springs, New York community where it is headquartered.

SENSRI made its public debut in Saratoga Springs October 1 - 3, 1999, by hosting an art exhibition and lecture series. The exhibition featured sculptures by John Van Alstine, whose works are held in the permanent collections of many museums around the world. Brady lectured on the question, "Must Scientific Observation Exclude Aesthetic Experience?" SENSRI board member, Eric Oddleifson, addressed the topic, "Trusting Ourselves: Integrating Scientific and Economic Disciplines with the Power of Perception, Imagination, and Intuition." Oddleifson is CEO of GMO Renewable Resources.

As these lecture titles suggest, SENSRI is concerned with aesthetic as well as scientific cognition. It also looks for practical applications within the environmental and technological spheres.


Original source: In Context (Fall, 2000, p. 9); copyright 2000 by The Nature Institute

Steve Talbott :: About SENSRI

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