The question is not what you look at-but how you look and whether you see. - Thoreau
I’d like to briefly tell you all about The Nature Institute, a wonderful research and education center in upstate New York, dedicated to a Goethean - holistic and empirical - approach to science and nature. They run courses, publish books and articles and undertake research. Projects they’ve recently worked on include: research into a way to "bridge the gulf between the products of biochemical analysis and the unmanipulated whole organism", focusing on the work of molecular biologist Ann Kleinschmidt from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania; publishing a booklet called In the Belly of the Beast: Technology, Nature and the Human Prospect; and beginning a new semester-long course in Goethean Science Studies.
The Nature Institute publishes a free magazine called In Context (they ask for a donation), which lets people know about all the exciting work they’re involved with. The most recent issue contains several very interesting articles, including one by Vladislav Rozentuller and Steve Talbott entitled From Two Cultures to One: On the Relation Between Science and Art. As Goethean scientists this is a major aspect of their work - healing the rift that has split our culture and our ways of thinking into separate boxes labeled ‘art’, ‘science’ and the ‘the humanities’. You can find the article online at www.natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic13/oneculture.htm
Why do I tell you about the Nature Institute? Because I feel that anyone interested in a holistic approach to science, to the Goethean approach which is at the heart of so much in Waldorf education, ought to avail themselves of the very important work that these people are doing. My own science book, From Nature Stories to Natural Science: A Holistic Approach to Science for Families, is a humble attempt at explaining something of this approach and helping parents infuse their teaching with it. By subscribing to In Context and supporting the work of the Nature Institute, parents will be able to deepen their understanding of a healing approach to science and to support one aspect of its expression.
The Nature Institute
20 May Hill Road
Ghent, New York 12075
Telephone: (518) 672-0116
Fax: (518) 672-4270
For those interested in technology issues, the Nature Institute publish the e-mail newsletter, NetFuture, which has been called by the New York Times "a largely undiscovered national treasure". See here for more information: www.netfuture.org
For more about From Nature Stories to Natural Science: www.christopherushomeschool.org/nature_stories.htm