Science on Tap: Three Thought Experiments that Revolutionized Science

Most people can identify the ideas that have revolutionized science as we know it.  But what about the thought experiments behind those ideas?  The ideas behind the ideas that gave rise to our vision of the world today? This free interactive & theatrical presentation was held on January 31st at ExplorationWorks as part of their Science on Tap project and explored three thought experiments that revolutionized science. Guest speakers Marisa Diaz-Waian (who played the role of the student), Martin Richard (the mad scientist) & Michael Chapman (the philosopher) examined the role of imagination and wonder in scientific and philosophical thinking and invited audience members to share in the fun!  

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Merlin Philosophy Walk on HCTV: Exploring Big Ideas Under the Big Sky

Produced by Stephen Maly and Jeanie Warden of Helena Civic Television, this video offers a snapshot of what you might experience on one our philosophy walks. Featuring guest speakers Ed Glowienka and Shane Doyle, this walk took place on Sunday, September 9th 2018 on Merlin Nature Preserve and Little Falcon Farm, and was part of our 3-part series on the environment, ethics & stewardship.

Thank you to the Helena Civic Television crew for joining us on our outing, capturing such beautiful footage, and adding such heart-warming commentary !  

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Merlin Community Scholar Fellow in the Paper with His Article on Wolf Conservation

Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper with his research and writing project on the democracy of wolf conservation. Prompted by bills currently being proposed in Montana that will decide the fate of wolves for years to come and the democratic process of conservation, Thomas asks us to consider the role of adaptive management and pragmatism (over blind ideology) and engaged citizenry(so that the ends do not justify the means) in wolf conservation. The article went live on the Merlin website on Friday, February 8th, was submitted for consideration as an op-ed to the Helena Independent Record on the same day, and appeared as a featured “guest view” article on-line and in print on Wednesday, February 13th.  

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The Democracy of Wolf Conservation

No other species on this planet elicits stronger emotions in us than the wolf. This should come as no surprise. After all, it’s the wolf which has been in our presence the longest, it’s the wolf with whom we’ve shared our ancestral dwellings and whose descendants we keep as pets today, and it’s the wolf who has shaped our humanity and our relationship to wildness like no other. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses the role of adaptive management, pragmatism, and engaged citizenry in wolf conservation.

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Congratulations Henry Kramer: 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow

We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Henry Kramer.  A graduate student at the University of Montana, Missoula, Henry is currently working toward two Master’s Degrees — one in Environmental Philosophy, and the other in Literature. As part of his fellowship work with Merlin, Henry will be developing, conducting and co-leading several philosophy in the community projects related to the human-nature relationship, environmental ethics, ecology, eco-phenomenology, and the phenomenology of imagination and story.

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January 2019 Philosophy Mini-Drive-In (Consciousness)

In this TED Talk & Philosophy inspired movie night facilitated by Thomas Baumeister, we explored questions about consciousness through the practice of socratic inquiry. Primed by scholarly TED Talk discussion by David Chalmers and Seth Anil, we looked at the science and philosophy of consciousness e.g., what is it, how does it work, where does it live, what does it do for us, and why does it matter that we have it?

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Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Makes the Paper with His Elk Project

Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper with his research and writing project on elk.  Prompted by a concern for the state of hunting and conservation and ethical questions regarding the measure of the hunt, fairness, and respect, Thomas offers valuable & important food for thought — for hunters and non-hunters alike.  The article is a perfect example of how philosophy reaches beyond the classroom and why asking philosophical questions matter to our everyday lives (and the lives of others), practices, and policies. The piece went live on the Merlin website on Sunday. January 13th, was submitted for consideration as an op-ed to the Helena Independent Record on Monday, Jan. 14th, and appeared as a featured “guest view” article on-line and in print on Thursday, Jan. 17th.

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