Lave Gift Funds Magazine for Dorms
Robert Reynolds, Emeritus Physics Professor
This is the first year of a trial program that is providing a subscription of the nearly weekly magazine Science News to each Reed living unit. The magazine is published by the Society for Science and the Public, whose vision is “to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement: to inform, educate, inspire.”
The late Charles Lave ‘61, a Reed political science alumnus and a former trustee (1978-82), shared such a vision. The Lave Natural Science Fund is the result of a restricted series of annual contributions Lave made to the college for the purpose of promoting such understanding and appreciation. He valued the role of the now-defunct natural science course, and wanted to supplement its community effect.
To date, the fund has underwritten the presence of Starry Night software on the college computers, provided audio-visual materials to the Instructional Media Center and to the Visual Resources department, provided some equipment for the Astronomy Club, sponsored field trips to OMSI and Goldendale Observatory, and sponsored attendance to relevant performances, including a production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.
For the Science News subscriptions, I am particularly interested in receiving feedback from the living units as to how the trial program is working: Are residents aware of the presence of the magazine? Do people who take it to read return it to a common area? Do those who read it find it a useful source of science information? Does its presence stimulate any conversation? Is a single copy for each living unit enough, or is it not even noticeable at that level?
My view is that this magazine is written at an excellent level for non-specialists, meaning that non-scientists can enjoy and be informed by all of it, and scientists can profit from articles about fields not their immediate sub-specialty. If that belief is accurate, if students are aware that it is available and they have reasonable access to it, the magazine should be able to contribute strongly.
As fund administrator, I am also eager to learn of other appropriate uses; I would be happy to consider proposals that would further the aims Lave envisioned. Any suggestions regarding the subscription program are also urged and welcome. Please e-mail email@example.com or leave a voice message at x-7248.