the BU Mellon Sawyer Seminars, 2016-2018
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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminars
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminars were established in 1994 to provide support for comparative research on the historical and cultural sources of contemporary developments. The seminars, named in honor of the Mellon Foundation's long-serving third president, John E. Sawyer, have brought together faculty, foreign visitors, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from a variety of fields mainly, but not exclusively, in the humanities and social sciences, for intensive study of subjects chosen by the participants. The Mellon Foundation’s support aims to engage productive scholars in comparative inquiry that would (in ordinary university circumstances) be difficult to pursue, while at the same time avoiding the institutionalization of such work in new centers, departments, or programs. Sawyer Seminars are, in effect, temporary research centers. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a Sawyer Seminar Fellowship to Boston University in 2016 to pursue interdisciplinary exploration of ethical aspects of everyday life in a computationally driven world.