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Robin Weeks

Robin Weeks

There are two powerful and passionate streams running through my life. The first relates to the meaning and significance of science in our lives and society. I was originally drawn to science because of my love of the natural world. I studied it in graduate school, conducted research on oceanographic ships, and worked as an academic scientist in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. And as my work progressed and I personally evolved, I came to realize that traditional modes of science had some major limitations. It provides a very limited means of inquiry and produces only a very limited view of the true and the real. Yet, we as a culture instill science with great authority as a (and perhaps the) revealer of truth. 

The second stream in my life relates to education and learning. I spent a few years as a student and faculty at Naropa University in Boulder experiencing and practicing their model of contemplative learning. The combination of contemplative practice and academic study (inner meets outer) was transformative for me, and I developed a passion for what I felt true learning to be. The awakening of a true love of learning is for me a very spiritual practice, and I am interested in educational approaches that foster this. 

Ultimately both of these threads come together for me in an overarching theme of connection (relationship) – to others and to the natural world. During my science career, I felt my loving connection to the natural world was increasingly eroded and I began to feel quite isolated from all the things I cared about. I came to see that this is because, in both science and our educational systems, we typically leave our full selves out of the equation – we inquire with only a limited range of our being. 

Hence, I am interested in all ways we can increase the range and depth of our inquiry. If we bring our full selves to science it reveals a universe full of wonder, awe, mystery, and meaning. If we bring our full selves to academic study, we discover a deep love of learning – an intrinsic part of who we are. Ultimately we learn increasingly deeply about ourselves in these processes. 

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