Contact Us

Brian Barrett, CICC Co-Chair
Foundations and Social Advocacy Department
Cornish Hall, Room 1224


Howard Lindh, CICC Co-Chair
Performing Arts Department

Dowd Fine Arts Center, Room 214


Calendar of Events

To Be Announced

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Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee

The Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee (CICC) is an all-campus committee of faculty and staff appointed by the Provost. Each year members of the Committee choose a theme to frame a year-long series of lectures, discussions, film screenings, and art exhibits. This theme is meant to promote cultural life on campus and help the campus and Cortland community engage in discussions connected to issues relevant to today's world.

If you are a member of SUNY Cortland's faculty or staff and would like to participate in the CICC, please contact Brian Barrett or Howard Lindh, the committee's current co-chairs. If you are member of the student body or the Cortland community and have a suggestion for a speaker or event, please feel free to contact us as well.

2014/2015 Academic Year: R/Evolution

Inherit the Wind book coverEvolution for Everyone book coverBest Science and Nature Writing book cover

CICC is pleased to announce R/Evolution as the theme for the 2014-2015 academic year. The theme and related programming are being organized around three books that will, together, compose a campus common reading.

We believe the common read can: create a shared academic experience, help us continue discussions of ethics, civility, and global citizenship, foster connections among students, faculty and staff, and increase cross campus participation in and awareness of the yearly theme. 

The Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee’s (CICC) intellectual theme for 2014-15, R/EVOLUTION, questions the notion that evolution always represents positive change. Please join us in reading any of our three common reads around this theme. Related campus events will also occur throughout the year. 

Inherit the Wind (Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee) is a dramatic rendering of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, which saw a teacher convicted for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution, a violation of Tennessee state law at the time. At root, the play stands as a defense of intellectual freedom; as playwright Jerome Lawrence told The New York Times in 1996, “it is about the right to think.”

Evolution for Everyone (David Sloan Wilson) speaks to non-scientists and scientists alike. Rather than dwell on the debates about creationism, this book shows how evolution provides a framework for investigation in many disciplines. Wilson proposes that evolutionary biology might help us better understand religion, culture, psychology, and morality. In accessible language, the book introduces readers to recent developments in evolutionary biology and explains the role of theory in the sciences, but instructors in the humanities and the social sciences will also find provocative essays for student discussions about the still disputed role of biology and genetics in the study of human behavior. Education instructors might be interested in several pieces revealing Wilson's approach to teaching and undergraduate research at SUNY Binghamton, where he is a professor of evolutionary biology and anthropology. This collection of essays can be read in total, or individual pieces can be extracted for shorter assignments. Please visit CICC’s 2014/15 Common Read webpage for further description of the book’s individual chapters.

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 (Siddhartha Mukherjee, Ed.) includes twenty seven essays representing the best of American science writing for a general audience from 2013.  The editor, Siddhartha Mukherjee says: “Most of the selected essays share a common thread: they describe how science happens.  They don’t present facts alone (although facts are abundant in them).  They describe the extraordinary process by which scientists extract those facts from the grim soil, roots and tendrils intact, to glean knowledge about the inner workings of nature.” Please visit CICC’s 2014/15 Common Read webpage for further description of the book’s individual chapters.

For reading guides and other information, please see our Common Read website. Also, visit us on Facebook!

Past Themes

Past guest speakers have included Seymour Hersch, Jonathan Kozol, and Bill McKibben. The CICC has organized a year-long theme since 2005.

Past themes have included:

     2005-2006: Rights Inalienable in a Time of War

     2006-2007: Fundamentally Speaking

     2007-2008: Earthly Matters

     2008-2009: Inequality

     2009-2010: Walls

     2010-2011: Re-Education

     2011-2012: In/Civility

     2012-2013: In/Common

     2013-2014: Inter/Action