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Creating New Knowledge

To celebrate its 250th anniversary, Columbia convened a series of academic symposia in which leaders and scholars tackled topical issues of the day in depth.

Click on links to view the symposium executive summary, video archive, event overview, schedule, related resources, and more.

Frontiers in Creativity

Representing some of the finest new-media performance art in the world today, Columbia artists presented new pieces followed by responses from a panel of leading critics. The symposium took place on September 30, 2004, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the Morningside campus. View

The 21st-Century City and Its Values: Urbanism, Toleration, and Equality
Distinguished scholars, architects, urban planners, and other expert commentators explored new kinds of cities emerging in the 21st century. The symposium took place on October 1, 2004, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the Morningside campus. View

Brain and Mind

Brain and Mind
Leading neuroscientists gathered at this C250 symposium on May 13 and 14, 2004, to discuss the accomplishments and limitations of reductionist and holistic approaches to examining the nervous system and mental functions. View

Alma Mater

Our Past Engaged: Four Turning Points in Columbia's Recent History
On April 7, 13, 20, and 27, distinguished historians, invited respondents, and audience members examined important and contentious aspects of Columbia's past—issues of both historical significance and contemporary relevance. View

Earth's Future: Taming the Climate

Earth's Future: Taming the Climate
Leading scholars and decision makers met on April 22 and 23, 2004, to discuss how to respond to climate change. View

State of the Planet

State of the Planet
The third biennial "State of the Planet" conference on March 29 and March 30, 2004, featured global decision makers and leading scientists providing a roadmap to sustainable development in the twenty-first century. View


Constitutions, Democracy, and the Rule of Law
A Columbia 250 symposium on October 16 and 17, 2003, tackled the pressing question of how to strike the right balance between liberty and security. View

Genetic Revolutions

Genes and Genomes: Impact on Medicine and Society
An international group of scholars and researchers gathered at Columbia on October 16 and 17,2003, to explore the remarkable birth, astounding impact, and puzzling future of genetics. View

The academic symposia of Columbia 250 have been made possible by a generous donation from the University Seminars at Columbia University. Click here to find out more about the seminars.

Symposia pages are created and maintained by Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures, a service unit of Columbia University.

The Course of History
In its evolution from a tiny college to one of the world's finest universities, Columbia and its people have helped shape the modern world.

Write Columbia's History
Columbia's history, as seen by those who have studied, taught, and worked here.

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