About the 2014 theme, CONSILIENCE
Consilience (n) kən-ˈsil-yən(t)s: The linking together of principles from different disciplines especially when forming a comprehensive theory.
In 1998, the term ‘Consilience’ was introduced to popular lexicon through a critically-acclaimed book of the same title by scientist Edward O. Wilson, who argued that the integration between the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities is necessary in solving the greatest challenges facing our civilization.
In the past century, we witnessed a remarkable explosion of information and diversification of human enterprise. Amidst the rapid process of disciplinary fragmentation and specialization, we risk an ever increasing rift between the arts/humanities and the sciences, the perpetuation of information silos within industries, disengagement between practitioners of different disciplines, and the narrowing of intellectual paradigms and perspectives.The inaugural TEDxWellesleyCollege conference, inspired by the theme of Consilience, is dedicated to the antithesis of fragmentation. What are the different and similar ways in which bankers and biologists, poets and physicists, artists and computer scientists, etc. approach and perceive the richness of our world? How do we promote meaningful and creative collaboration across the different fields? Do the paths to truth and beauty converge? As we explore these and other questions, it is our hope that our conference will revive a conversation on the classical ideal of a unity of knowledge.