Freedom, the Market, and Curricular Reform: An Interview

THE SPHERE’S editor-in-chief sat down with Profs. Lanier Anderson, Sarah Church, Dan Edelstein, and Tom Kenny to discuss their groundbreaking proposals for curricular reform. From shrinking the major to expanding the core, they discuss the place of freedom, the market, and Montaigne in their revival of liberal education. For a summary of the reforms, we recommend taking a look at this interview in Stanford News. If you want to understand the ideas behind the reforms—a universal capstone requirement, a humanistic core for freshmen, a radical rehaul of the major—keep reading.

Continue reading “Freedom, the Market, and Curricular Reform: An Interview”

How Stanford Hides Conflicts of Interest

THERANOS’ DOWNFALL was perhaps the first time that Stanford’s ties with Silicon Valley received some much-needed criticism—the company’s disgraced founder, its first board member, many of its employees, and a good deal of its prestige had all come from Stanford. The whole affair became a testament to the scale and importance of our community’s involvement with the corporate world, and it inspired the Sphere to take a closer look at Stanford’s ties to the biotech industry. But we didn’t just discover the scale of these ties: we found ourselves before an alarming lack of accountability when it comes to keeping research and financial interests separate.

Continue reading “How Stanford Hides Conflicts of Interest”

Eleven Must-Take Courses This Fall

BY NOW, it’s a time-honored tradition: the Sphere’s definitive list of the quarter’s must-take classes. Whether you prefer Yugoslavia, linear algebra, or Gloria Anzaldúa, our writers have combed through the darkest & dismalest corners of Carta—DESINST, SCCM, OPHT, sailing the whole of the acronymic sea—for the Farm’s very best. In our oldest recurring feature, we present below an alphabetized list of the most interesting classes of the fall.

Continue reading “Eleven Must-Take Courses This Fall”

The 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates, Ranked

WHO WILL challenge Donald Trump in 2020?

It’s a question that Americans have been asking since before Trump even took office. The Democratic Party was in shambles after the 2016 election; it had bet the kingdom on Hillary Clinton, only to suffer a crushing and unthinkable defeat. With only one other serious contender during the primaries—one whom critics viewed as an outsider and a sore loser—Democrats were at a loss as to who would be next to take on Trump.

Continue reading “The 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates, Ranked”

Don’t Dismantle Legacy. Expand It.

AT GREAT universities like ours, the privileged children of alumni and faculty don’t need to bribe their way in—that’s what legacy admissions are for. Since the bribery scandal broke, plenty of ink has been spilled on the ethical implications of legacy admissions. Seldom, however, are the arguments in favor of legacy taken seriously: let’s break them down.

Continue reading “Don’t Dismantle Legacy. Expand It.”