Human beings have waged war or engaged in violent conflict with
each other since ancient times, an observation that prompted a
Member at the Institute to suggest in the course of a casual
conversation that surely it was a waste of time and
Does war have a time? The idea of “wartime” is regularly invoked
by scholars and policymakers, but the temporal element in warfare
is rarely directly examined. I came to the Institute in 2007–08
intent on exploring the history of war’s impact on...
The mid-1950s saw the invention of a new, highly mythologized
housing type, the bachelor pad, articulated most fully in the pages
of Playboy and in films. The bachelor pad is an apartment
for a single professional man, organized for entertaining
A sign and eight low buildings pass
unnoticed in a field the size of Central
Park: a wall-flower by a college town.
Wandering its halls, one chair offices,
bare egg white walls, nothing stands out until
I reach a lounge where mathematical
On November 14, the Institute for Advanced Study announced
the appointment of Robbert Dijkgraaf as its ninth Director,
succeeding, as of July 1, 2012, Peter Goddard, who has served as
Director since January 2004.
Philosophers have always been interested in moral questions, but
social scientists have generally been more reluctant to discuss
morals and moralities. This is indeed a paradox since the
questioning of the moral dimension of human life and social...
Historians today can hardly answer the question: when does
history begin? Traditional boundaries between history,
protohistory, and prehistory have been blurred if not completely
erased by the rise of concepts such as “Big History” and
How is a revolution born? What are the causes from which a revolution originates, the mechanisms whereby it is triggered? How does one move from claims and protests to revolution? The Tunisian revolution was unexpected. It surprised everybody, including the very actors involved in it and those who led it.
Artist Paul Hodgson spent some time at the Institute as a
Director’s Visitor last fall. He created the work he is pictured
with at left (shown here in progress) in a studio on campus and
gave the talk “Honest Doubt” to the Friends of the
Reliquaries were designed as receptacles for tiny bundles of
sacred stuff such as handfuls of dust, pebbles from Biblical sites
in the Holy Land, tiny fragments of the hair, clothing, and even
bone of those deemed to be saints and martyrs by the...