Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Science and creativity combine to imagine a city where everyone thrives

"I never imagined that I'd be co-teaching with a comedian," says Emory biologist Micaela Martinez, "but it's awesome working with David." Photo by Kay Hinton.

A scientist and a comedian walk into a classroom. They start a discussion about how art can influence social justice. 

You’ll have to wait for the punchlines. Emory first-year students will create them as part of a new fall seminar “Human Flourishing: Imagine a Just City.” 

“Humans cannot flourish without true justice,” says Micaela Martinez, Emory assistant professor of biology, who developed the class. “We have so many huge societal problems that need creativity, imagination, hope and optimism to solve.” 

The class is among the new First-Year Flourishing Seminars, aimed at deepening what students know but also who they aspire to be. It is also part of the Emory Arts and Social Justice Fellows program, which pairs Emory faculty with Atlanta artists to explore how creative thinking and artistic expression can inspire change. 

Martinez is co-teaching with Arts and Social Justice Fellow David Perdue, a comedian. 

“You can’t save the world with jokes,” Perdue says. “But humor can be a good way to raise awareness of what’s going on. It’s a first step.” 

Read the whole story.

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