Science & Philosophy

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, click here and also see more details at the bottom of this page.


Coordinators: Michael Hamburg, Steve Allen

This class is perfect for anyone who has wondered what the universe actually is, where it comes from, and where it is headed. We will begin on Earth and continue on towards the farthest reaches of the observable universe. Prior knowledge or technical expertise in math or science is not required. Just bring your questions and a sense of wonder.


Coordinators: Sanford Kessler, Bob Gottfried

In this course, we will consider how some of the great Western political philosophers viewed the relationship between human nature and politics. Topics covered will include the purpose of government, political leadership, the scope of freedom, and the relationship between ethics and politics. Students will read aloud and discuss short selections from the works of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, and Nietzsche.


Coordinators: Steve Allen, Larry Shapiro

Our focus will be on how philosophy approaches particular issues, as opposed to an in-depth analysis of specific philosophers. A short reading will be assigned as preparation for each week’s discussion, but each class will start with a brief summary of the reading to allow some participation by “drop-ins.”


Coordinators: Pete Weis, Jim Brook

This course will explore major advances in applied science or technology that have fundamentally altered how we all go about our daily lives. Topics will take us from the invention of the plow to the coming of the internet or anything in between. We will also consider processes such as the assembly line or automation that have had a profound effect on everyday life. Each presentation will explore what the world was like before the innovation, the story of its invention and how it forever changed our lives for the better—or perhaps the worse.


Coordinators: Steve Allen, Gil Santiago, Marion Schultheis, Brenda Wilder

Advances in science uncover wonders that transform our lives and deepen our understanding of humanity, life, and the world around us. Science literacy is the key that opens doors to the extraordinary beauty of our natural world. This course will explore various pathways of scientific inquiry, their impacts and limits, and highlight some of the men and women responsible for groundbreaking research. Presenters will strive to communicate in a way that all can understand.