It seems like an old story now. Painkillers prescribed by a well-meaning doctor that lead to addiction and a deadly downward spiral. In the early days of the nation’s opioid epidemic, it seemed everyone knew someone who lost someone to a bottle of little white pills. Two decades later, the storyline has changed, and yet stubbornly remained the same—people are dying, and they don’t have...
Earlier this year, several semi-trucks rolled up to UVM’s Library Research Annex in Williston and disgorged more than 3,000 white cartons containing nearly 50 years of American history—the Leahy Archive.
Adrienne Miao is trying to build something, but many of the important tools she needs for successful construction are locked up out of reach. That’s speaking figuratively, but it describes a real problem—for Miao, and for countless other scholars, professionals, and other seekers of knowledge across modern society.
This conversation began with garden snails. I was reading a philosophy paper on the conjecture that simple-brained snails might be conscious. In 1974, Thomas Nagel famously asked, “What’s it like to be a bat?” The philosophy paper followed Nagel’s question, wondering if snails have some dim sense of self. Is there something it’s like to be a snail?
In the coldest months of the year, the University of Vermont does not retreat. (Though some of us do enjoy putting up our wooly feet by the fire.) The place is crackling with research and teaching, learning and laughter, mountain adventures and meditative moments.