THE FIRM. That’s what they call McKinsey & Company, and the leading F in Firm is richly deserved. The consultants are everywhere. Corporations, governments, the most prominent NGOs… Consultants apply their know-how and unimpeachable credentials to the problems of every company with the money to afford their fees. And they do indeed solve problems—they boil the data down to transferrable sets of questions that allow inexperienced recent grads to pretend to make a difference.
WINTER QUARTER. Frigid in ambient air temperature, but typically also in spirit. To warm you in the coming months—and to offer entertaining, educational respites between pluvial sprints across the quad—the Sphere has compiled an alphabetized list of the most scintillating classes at Stanford. In recognition of recent (frightening) events on the global political stage, we’ve especially tried to identify classes to help you make sense of the months ahead. Worried about imminent war with Iran? Try POLISCI 245R with Abbas Milani. More generally anxious about authoritarian politics both at home and abroad? We have a seminar for that, too. Keep reading below for our longest course list yet.
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.
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.
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.