Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov was a Soviet geneticist, botanist and agronomist, and collector of one of the world’s largest seed banks, who was sentenced to death in July 1941 for defending scientific truths about genetics. While he escaped his death sentence, he lived the last twenty years of his life in a Soviet labour camp, disgraced and ostracised. His crime was to have criticised Lamarckian inheritance–the notion that changes to an organism in its lifetime can be passed on to offspring via genetics. Because Lamarckian inheritance emphasised the importance of the environment it was the favoured evolutionary theory among the socialists and communists of the time, and thanks to the advocacy of Trofim Lysenko, scientists who departed from this orthodoxy were shunned, persecuted, and in the case of Vavilov, sent to a gulag. When the siege of Leningrad occurred, Vavilov and a group of botanists who were holed up in a secret vault, famously chose to starve themselves before consuming their seeds, which they were preserving for the sake of humanity. While Vavilov died in obscurity, he is now recognised as one of the greatest Russian scientists of all time.
This riveting, haunting, and informative interview touches on a phenomenon of intense impact that moves the listener to concerns of the heart, and to a deeper grasp of delicate geopolitical realities of our time.
Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami is a world figure of our time who both inherited and embodies the profound spirituality of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu), the founder of his tradition and of his family.
This interview draws from the seminal work and research into Acharya Goswami’s life and work by renowned scholar John Stratton Hawley , Claire Tow Professor of Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University, Krishna’s Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century (Oxford 2020).
Professor Charles Selengut continues his important scholarship, taking on challenging and controversial issues with courage and rigor.
In this episode of the PWPA Scholars interview series Professor Selengut discusses his recent article “The New Anti-Semitism” published in The Jewish Standard , in which he posits the dire prospect that Jewish life in America teeters on the brink of radical change, a kind perhaps too haunting to entertain.
The interview examines evidence, implications, and causes. It is captivating:
Near the opening of the article, Selengut writes:
The current wave of anti-Semitic knifing and murderous attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions all over the United Sates, most prominently in the greater New York area but also in places like Texas and Pittsburg, rightly have frightened and terrorized many Jews about their safety in the United States. Rarely a day goes by without a report of harassment or violence in Jewish neighborhoods. These horrific attacks, however, are but an outward sign of the radically changed position of Jews and Judaism in America.
Dr. Anderson offers an engaging comparison between human health, and the health of social and political systems. As scientists desperately hunt for solutions and cures to the debilitating threat of covid-19, might we not similarly use this chance to examine how social and political systems likewise get invaded and attacked by parasitic, destructive forces.
Please enjoy this conversation, and please contact us with your ideas and responses
On February 4 and 5, 2020 Professors World Peace Academy, USA, together with the Universal Peace Federation and the Hyo Jeong Academy for the Arts and Sciences convened the four-part World Peace Academic Conference 2020 in Seoul, Korea.
Section 1 was for Physical and Natural Science, Section 2 for Political and Social Science, 3 for Religious and Theological scholarship, and Section 4 for Higher Education and University Presidents and administration.
All sections had fours hours of meeting time over the course of two days, comprising presentations from prepared papers, moderated panels, and question and answer segments open to participants.
Speakers of special note, presenting in prominent parts of the schedule included Drs.: Sun-Jin Moon, Modadugu Vinjay Gupta, Marc Vogelaar, and Chan-Yul Lee.
Professor Nicholas N. Kittrie, President of PWPA-USA and a dear friend and colleague, passed away December 9, 2019. He was 93. I initially became acquainted with him through the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA). In 1984 I became Secretary-General and, in 1985, he became the President of the U.S. chapter. We became lifelong friends and worked together on many projects including International Journal on World Peace of which I became Editor in Chief and he was a Senior Advisor. Before reminiscing on our work together, I want to provide an overview of his distinguished life and career.
Early Life and Education
Nicholas Norbert Nehemiah Kittrie was born Nehemiah Kronenberg in Bilgoraj, Poland, on March 26, 1926. His youth was shaped by the rise of Hitler. In the 1930s, his family emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine. His maternal uncle Leon (Leib) Felhendler, who he spent a lot of time with as a child, would later co-lead the October 1943 prisoner uprising from the Sobibor Nazi Death Camp. As a teenager, Kittrie served in the British Middle East Command as a personal aide for Orde Wingate, a Zionist British intelligence officer who pushed for the creation of Israel, while in Cairo in 1944-45. Wingate, a strategic genius, later became Major General and was a lifelong inspiration for Kittrie. Kittrie’s parents, who were British citizens, moved the U.S. in 1944.
Kittrie attended school at the University of Cairo in 1946 and the University of London in 1947 and earned LL.B. and M.A. degrees from the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, Kansas in 1950 and 1951. This was followed by a prestigious fellowship at the University of Chicago School of Law. He was appointed as counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, through the sponsorship of Senator Alexander Wiley (Wis., R) to serve as Special Counsel to its Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver (Tenn, D). He received his LL.M and S.J.D (doctoral degree in law) from Georgetown University School of Law.
On October 27 the HyoJeong Academy of Arts & Sciences held its inaugural meeting in Europe. This Korean-based Academy, founded by Hak Ja Han Moon, sponsored the 28th International Symposium on Unification Thought under the title “Vision for the Unity of the Sciences and a HyoJeong World of Peace.” Dr. Thomas Selover, President of PWPA-International in Korea, chaired a PWPA Forum at the historical Maison des Polytechniciens in Paris.
PWPA-USA Secretary-General Gordon Anderson presented his thoughts on the future of PWPA to participants in HyoJeong Academy meeting at the Polytechnic Institue in Paris, France. Dr. Thomas Selover (behind) chaired the panel discussion.
Forum on Place for Peace and Understanding organized by Sir James Mancham International Centre for Peace Studies and Diplomacy
October 1-5, 2018.
Honorary Chair – Lady Catherine Mancham
Official Host – Vice President of Seychelles, H.E. Vincent Meriton
Greetings from Gordon L. Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal on World Peace, and Member of the Board of the James R. Mancham International Centre for Peace Studies and Diplomacy.
This 8 minute video greeting recounts Sir James’ distinction between “politician” and “statesman.” It also emphasizes the distinction between negative peace and positive peace, indicating negative peace relates to security and positive peace to human happiness. Negative peace involves legal guarantees of rights that come from government, while positive peace requires motivation, skills, and responsibilities that come from the cultural and economic spheres.
Note: The author of this article, who resides in Europe, believes it is important to promote discussion in the US about smaller steps of conflict reduction such as divided family contacts, increased economic cooperation, and other forms of citizen and private sector exchanges.
Korea: An Olympic Truce: Time for Concerted Non-governmental Efforts
The holding of the Winter Olympics in South Korea from 9 to 25 February followed by the Paralympics 9 to 18 March may be an an opportunity to undertake negotiations in good faith to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to establish, or re-establish, forms of cooperation between the two Korean governments.
Such negotiations in good faith would be in the spirit of what is known as the “Olympics Truce”. Truce in classic Greek meant a “laying down of arms”. A truce was usually announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure that the host city was not attacked and athletes and spectators could travel safely to the Games and return to their homes.
In 1924, Winter Olympics were added to the Summer Olympics which had been revived earlier in an effort to re-establish the spirit of the Classic Greek games. At the 2000 Sydney games at the opening ceremony, South and North Korean delegations walked for the first time together under the same flag. Today, with greater tensions, there needs to be more than symbolic gestures. There needs to be real government-led negotiations to reduce tensions. In addition to the two Korean States, the USA, China, Russia, and Japan are “actors” in the Korean “drama.” Continue reading →