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Reed welcomes letters from readers about the contents of the magazine or the college. Letters must be signed and may be edited for clarity and space. Our email address is reed.magazine@reed.edu.


Science at reed
From Thomas Strong ’94 and Cielo Lutino ’94

In boosting Reed’s fabulous biology program, Todd Schwartz [Reed, November ’01] suggests that their training in biology will help future Reed alumni address the important and vexing ethical and social issues that new biotechnological practices raise. Perhaps, he intimates, these scientists will be able to tell us “what should be done.” That may be true—irrespective of their studies in biology. Max Weber, in his famous and important essay “Science as a Vocation,” reminds us that science cannot answer Tolstoi’s question, What shall we do? Indeed, it is the bracketing of such questions that is one mark of scientific objectivity. While science may clarify and advance our technological means, it cannot decide for us what the ends of enterprise should be. We recall Weber being required reading in many introductory social science courses and Humanities 220. Perhaps the magazine should devote an issue to the social sciences at Reed.

Searching for
spiritual dialogue

From Catherine Bleick ’67

I read each issue of Reed magazine with dismay. For too long Reed has been idolizing only Reed. Do we decline to submit our data to U.S. News because we are no longer No. 1? But November’s issue brought a ray of hope. September 11 made someone mention God without embarrassment. “Oh God, come sit in my heart” [Reed, November ’01, back cover] is what I learned from my guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. “Genius often lies in the instinct to explore the very opposite of what everyone else is investigating,” says Reed [November ’01, page 12]. Yet, as a Reed student I was once taunted by a professor for being anti-intellectual. Anti-whose intellect? I believe America did invite September 11 by bombing not only Baghdad, but also Yugoslavia, even Hiroshima and Nagasaki. C’mon, Reed, anybody at all interested in spirituality, as either a science or an art?

Kudos for Ralph Macy

From Jean-Marie Bergheim Wyld ’49

What sort of article was that you wrote about Reed’s department of biology [November ’01]? You extolled the activities of Lewis Kleinholz, and totally left out professor Ralph Macy. Dr. Macy was there years before Dr. Kleinholz. Dr. Macy made that department a beautiful place, where students wanted to work hard and give their all, where extra effort for Professor Macy was worth every second. He led biology groups to Depoe Bay tidal areas and made sure the students learned and also had a rewarding, enjoyable, inspiring experience. He was a special, wonderful teacher, mentor, and leader of the department. What could you have been thinking to have left him out?

[Ed. note: In addition to omitting Ralph Macy, we inadvertently misidentified Stephen Yezerinac, who was listed on page 8 of the November issue of Reed as a visiting professor of biology. He has been hired into a tenure-track position as an assistant professor of biology.]

Reed and WW II

From Carroll Hendrickson ’42

I am writing in response to the letter by Bob Rosenbaum ’41 about the Eastport open house [February ’01] on December 7, 1941, where most of us heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was working my way through college for Miss Brownlie in the commons to pay my room and board. I had already been drafted but had been given a postponement until the end of the semester in January. On Sunday, December 7, I and others realized there was no way to avoid the inevitable. Sam McCall ’42 and I skipped our classes on Monday and went from the RCAF to the Merchant Marine and the Chinese consulate to make an attempt to join anything rather than the Army—then back to Reed, for what was to have been a farewell dinner for Ethelwynne Lewis ’41 [letters, November 2001]. Ethelwynne was to have sailed that week back to Honolulu, but ended up spending the next several months at “western world” on the McCall ranch in Prineville. Classmate Jack Dudman ’42 left Reed that spring to join the Navy and later returned to Reed as a faculty member. Carl Stevens ’42 also was a naval officer who returned to Reed. I ended up signing up for the Navy’s V-7 program, designed for college seniors to finish their year and, after midshipmen’s school, to become a 90-day wonder ensign. That worked for me, and I became an LST stores-watch ensign. Part of my duties was responsibility for all the provisions and galley. It was due to three years’ experience of doing every job that the Reed commons offered under the direction of Miss Brownlie that served me in good stead. She was a taskmaster who required perfection. Breakfasts and lunches were cafeteria style, but in orderly lines; dinners were served by hashers in starched white jackets. We were well mannered and fairly well dressed, but had a great deal of fun with both serious discussions and impromptu singing after dinner. God bless Miss Brownlie.

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