On my final exams, I frequently ask my students why they should be expected to know — or care — about the literature my colleagues and I teach. I usually get answers about being a well rounded person, or understanding the roots of our current attitudes toward a variety of topics.
Another possible answer, of course, is that we’ve been wondering about the same things for centuries, and it may be useful to know how we’ve thought about them. That brings us to a series at The New Atlantis, which uses the stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne as a lens for considering “the moral meaning of modern science.” As I’ve come to expect of TNA, it’s good stuff. Check it out.