The Emerson-Wier Symposium

In an era characterized by a global economy and an unparalleled rate of technological and social change, a quality liberal arts education is more valuable than ever before. Ironically, at the same time that  America needs more college graduates who are innovative, articulate, readily adaptable and broadly educated, the mounting costs of private liberal arts colleges have made this sort of time-tested academic preparation inaccessible for many students of moderate means. Today, an affordable public liberal arts education stands to have a major role in the professional preparation of the “new” workforce.

The private school model that has traditionally provided a quality liberal arts education to generations of American leaders and innovators cannot easily be duplicated by grafting liberal arts curricula onto existing programs at large, comprehensive state universities. Most public university educational models would require an extensive deconstruction and rebuilding to be truly effective liberal arts institutions. Fortunately there are public institutions with time-proven fidelity to liberal arts traditions to serve the needs of the next generation of job seekers and to serve as models for meaningful development of effective liberal arts education at institutions that emphasize specialized curricula.

USAO has been Oklahoma’s designated public liberal arts college since 1965. Its long-standing historical commitment to liberal arts education began almost a century ago in 1908 when it was founded as the Oklahoma College for Women. Interdisciplinary team-taught courses, a 4-year sequence of integrated general education courses and faculty, administration and staff committed to the liberal arts vision are USAO’smeasurable hallmarks of quality liberal arts education. The Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium was created to nurture that vision and the unique mission established by the state of Oklahoma for USAO.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Edward O. Wilson

Evolutionary Biologist and

2-time Pulitzer Prize Winner



Thursday, March 26, 2009
7:30 pm
Te Ata Memorial Auditorium, Troutt Hall
Chickasha, Oklahoma

Edward O. Wilson Selected Bibliography with Links to

•The Theory of Island Biogeography (1967) with Robert H. MacArthur  (Link)
•The Insect Societies (1971) (Link)
•Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) (Link)
•On Human Nature  (1979)*** (Link)
•The Ants (1990) with Bert Hölldobler *** (Link)
•The Diversity of Life (1992) (Link)
•Naturalist (1994) (Link)
•Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998) (Link)
•The Future of Life (2003) (Link)
•From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books (2005) (Link)
•The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (2006 ) (Link
•The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies (2009) with Bert Hölldobler (Link)

***Pulitzer Prize

To access articles about Dr. Wilson and his work click here


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Symposium Schedule

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. · Panel Discussion  · The Promise of Science and Challenges of Science Education

Davis Hall Amphitheater

What will 21st Century Science Look Like?

Dr. Robert Frodeman, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas

Why Science Matters

Dr. Kenneth R. Hobson  - Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of Oklahoma

Building a Premier Science and Mathematics High School in Oklahoma

Dr. Edna Manning , President & Founder of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics  

Obstacles to Science Literacy

Dr. Keith Miller, Research Assistant Professor of Geology at Kansas State University

Establishing Religion by Intelligent Design

Professor Joseph Thai, Presidential Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma

Moderator, Dr. Erik Guzik, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. Public Lecture

Dr. Edward  O. Wilson

Te Ata Auditorium

Troutt Hall

The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth