The Renaissance of a “Lively Experiment”: Seeing Anew
In its colonial charter (1661), Rhode Island’s founders defined their new colony as a “lively experiment.” Modern-day Providence, Rhode Island is still a “lively experiment” undergoing yet another renaissance from first a land where Roger Williams led his followers to be able to express freely and live their political and religious beliefs, to a 19th century industrial powerhouse, to a city which today is called “The Renaissance City,” and “The Creative Capital”—a city of learning and the arts.
Our “creative capital” as students, as thinkers, as scholars is our research that enables us to add “new knowledge” to that created by scholars who have come before us. We experience an intellectual rebirth or renaissance by learning first what we must to become experts in our subject fields, and then by “seeinganew” accepted beliefs to add to the collective knowledge of the past. Our research is a “lively experiment” by which we endeavor to enlighten ourselves, and then the world by sharing our newfound knowledge in conferences like the NHRC Conference you are attending in Providence, Rhode Island.
Our Conference theme of “A Lively Experiment: Seeing Anew” is about having the courage, the knowledge and a sound research methodology to challenge old belief systems. We are now struggling, for example, tosee how we can live on earth in sustainable ways and thus re-thinking how we create energy and how we can interact with the land and the seas without harming them and therefore, us. We are recasting old political and religious battles so that people of different parties and faiths can better understand one another and live together peacefully. We are looking anew at the human genome to alter the course of disease and studying anew the human immune system to eliminate particular diseases. You are the ones who will add to and sustain this “renaissance” of viewing one another and the world. Your thoughts, your new perspectives, your solid research will help us all to “see anew” the world and our place in it.