Scholars Forum

Students at a musical performance by Caique Vidal and Batuque in Scholars Forum
Students at a musical performance by Caique Vidal and Batuque in Scholars Forum

The life of Mark Twain. The rise of the surveillance state. Aerial Dance. A history of African American music. The curious case of the disappearing bee. How Will became Shakespeare. Restoring the Mississippi River. Societal impacts of genetic engineering.

These topics have been included in Scholars Forum, which provides opportunities for students to encounter and consider controversial issues, cutting-edge technologies and a range of questions drawn from the arts, the sciences, and politics. Scholars Forum features musical and theatrical performances, addresses by major public figures, world-class scientists and renowned authors, conversations with faculty members, and debates and discussions of significant public policy issues. Scholars Forum guests have included Dr. Mark Plotkin, ethnobotanist and author of the Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice, Broadway performer and comedian Lisa Jolley, musician and USP graduate Kyler England, NASA astronaut and USP graduate Christina Hammock, environmentalist and CNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke, aerial performance group BANDALOOP, and Pulitzer Prize-winning science author Deborah Blum.

In addition to the weekly Scholars Forum, students also have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of alternate events, including discussions, films, musical and theatrical performances, and field trips.

The Requirement

In order to successfully pass the course, students must attend a minimum of 12 Scholars Forum events over the course of the semester. A link to the full schedule of Scholars Forum events can be found by navigating the side menu of this page. University Scholars are required to successfully pass 3 semesters of Scholars Forum in their first 4 semesters in the program. University Honors students must complete one semester of Scholars Forum.