“Gender-Bending” Chemicals, Science-for-Hire, and Philosophy

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In 2011, I was a first-year philosophy graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I was taking a philosophy of biology course focused on the topic of evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo. As I was trying to think of a good term paper topic, I came across the story of Tyrone Hayes, a UC Berkeley biologist. In the late 1990s, Hayes was looking at the effects of the herbicide, atrazine, on frog development in partnership…

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Digital Humanities and the Future of Political History

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In a recent New York Times editorial, historians Fredrik Logevall and Kenneth Osgood lament the decline of traditional political history as print outlets and universities move to privilege scholars and scholarship that emphasize political change from the “bottom up.” Yet whether one aligns with the Logevall and Osgood call for more “traditional” political history or with those who focus on the contributions of historically underrepresented groups, the print mediums historians use to address and document…

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No Country for Old Concepts: Hell or High Water

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I grew up watching Westerns. John Wayne was my hero, and Rio Bravo to this day is probably my favorite movie. I had the plastic cap-gun six shooters that, in retrospect, might literally get me shot if I had them today. I loved Westerns not just for the heroes and the villains and the standoffs, but because there was a certain level of self-consciousness you could expect from them. They knew exactly what they were…

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The Power of a Letter in a Digital Age

Taylor Stanton

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A dreary day passed while I went from class to class. I trekked through the rain as it fell out of the sky and bounced off the pavement under my shoes. I journeyed past rows of cars covered in water droplets and over newly formed streams rushing before sidewalks. Closing in on my destination, I climbed up the stairs of my new porch and stepped into the shelter of the house. There I found an…

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