At the interdisciplinary Kahn Liberal Arts Institute, risky exploration is encouraged. Here, Smith students, alongside faculty scientists and literary scholars, philosophers and artists, explore elusive notions and research questions as far ranging as how the idea of “making” infuses our sense of the world or what makes the concept of “perception” an essential form of human experience. More...
The drawdown of Paradise Pond has begun. It’s the first step in a multi-week experiment to send unwanted, heavy sediment accumulations on their way downstream—restoring the pond to a healthy ecosystem.
The spotted hyena's unique physiology and mating patterns compel us to take a closer look at what we think we know about reproduction.
Denise McKahn has her sights set on creating hydrogen fuel cells that perform more efficiently and are safer for the environment than lithium-ion batteries for powering small portable devices.
The dark underbelly of perfectionism and its crippling side effects can take a significant toll on the human mind, says Smith psychology professor Patricia DiBartolo.
Geosciences professor John Brady has made a life’s work of deciphering the stories that rocks have to tell about the world, including the fascinating story of the landscape of the Connecticut River Valley.
Though it is currently grappling with a catastrophic air pollution crisis, China hopes to redefine its economy and become a dominant player in the world’s green energy future.
By transforming research into novel discoveries, Smith professor Michael Barresi’s study of zebrafish could shed new light on human ailments ranging from brain cancers to autism-spectrum disorders.
It’s a long way from a Smith classroom in Massachusetts to a prestigious seat on the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council in Dublin, but professor Róisín O’Sullivan’s career as a macroeconomist has taken her to both places.
During the mid-20th century, they shared drinks and quips in carpeted Oxford rooms while gathering to discuss their scholarly and literary ideas. Ceative appetites were nurtured and works flourished.
Some 240 acres of patchwork forest and field provide the setting for Smith College’s Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station in West Whately, Massachusetts, about 11 miles from the Smith campus.
The Smith College Museum of Art recently purchased a painting by Lockwood de Forest—one that was originally owned by the college but deemed unimportant and sold in the 1940s.
There seems to be no need to justify the importance of books in an academic environment that prizes critical thinking. But is that still the case, at a time when reading is increasingly limited to tweets and texts?
What happens to those left out or subordinated by such dominant systems as capitalism? How do they communicate while resisting the established order? They may go underground, says Kevin Rozario.
By delving deeply into five of Plato’s dialogues, Professor of Philosophy Susan Levin’s latest book offers scholars, bioethicists, medical historians and others in the medical field a fresh look at untapped ancient wisdom that could help us resolve some of our most pressing modern-day debates.
Whether searching out seeds or rare plant specimens from the high pine forests of northern Mexico or a single swamp in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Rob Nicholson has many stories to tell.
In the late 1870s, why did Smith begin aggressively collecting the works of a group of talented American artists who were still emerging in the art scene?
On the surface, composer Kate Soper’s opera Here Be Sirens seeks to unlock the mystery of the siren myth, but it also explores enduring, complicated questions—the kind that compel us to dive deeper.
Male bias in biomedical studies will soon be erased, thanks to a new policy that the U.S. government’s medical research agency—the National Institutes of Health—is rolling out beginning October 1.
Andrea Hairston’s new book of essays, a novel and play all capitalize on the idea that our stories give us the power to envision, plan and create how we want to live in the future.
What happens when you get a group of testate amoebae together, after they’ve been filmed in a Smith professor’s lab, and “interview” the microbial actors?
Using the power of the written word, English professor and human rights activist Eric Reeves has taken on the challenge of directing the world’s gaze toward the atrocities in Sudan.
Professor of Sociology Nancy Whittier says that today’s women’s rights activists need not stray too far from the course Gloria Steinem and other feminist leaders charted some 50 years ago.
How can a study of what goes on in a horse’s gastrointestinal tract help us learn more about combating parasitic diseases that affect millions of people worldwide?
A Smith professor is examining Cuba as a case study in what he sees as the globalization of ballet.
Mathematician Ruth Haas works on mathematical models and in particular the study of counting, which is called combinatorics.
Is gratitude an impulse hardwired in human nature? Is it a virtue or is it a practice? How does gratitude affect everything from the brain and the spirit, to the economy and the culture at large?
Despite the vital role teachers play, actual public perceptions of teaching are eroding, even in countries like Japan where the profession was once venerated.
Are drones the new way of the future for research scientists? Smith engineering professor Paul Voss would like to think so.
“Psychosocial capacity building” is now being put to practice by disaster responders and healthcare professionals being trained under the guidance of Smith College professors.
How and why did unusual rock mounds form near ancient Lake Enriquillo in a remote area of southwestern Dominican Republic?
What happens in a live music setting that doesn’t happen elsewhere? What relationships exist between performers and audiences? Music professor Steve Waksman wants to know.
A new collection of unique 3-D images depicting India in the 1890s can help us understand how cultures are created.
When President Barack Obama made addressing climate change the most prominent pledge of his Inaugural Address, many environmental advocates cheered.
Because of its global impact, its macabre history and its frightening potential, the disease known as the plague has inspired scholarship since the 14th century.
Featuring an array of Smith professors speaking on thought-provoking subjects related to their teaching, research and academic interests, Scholars in Studio is a video series that showcases our diverse and vibrant community of scholars. More...
Insight chronicles the ideas, intellectual life and creative thinking inherent within the culture of research and the liberal arts at Smith College, where a vibrant community of scholars and students exhibit a love of discovery. Through words, images and multimedia, Insight showcases the ideas, the people behind the ideas and the original contributions Smith is making to larger intellectual dialogues and a growing body of knowledge.
Insight is produced by the Smith College Office of College Relations. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Jan McCoy Ebbets is Insight's editor.