Fri April 1, 2011
Meet Dr. John Churchill, Secretary (or CEO) of Phi Beta Kappa
By Rich Fisher
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Today on ST, we hear from Dr. John Churchill, the secretary (or CEO) of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's oldest academic honorary society. Dr. Churchill spoke last night here in Tulsa (Thursday the 31st) at the still-in-progress 14th Annual TU Student Research Colloquium; his remarks were delivered in the Allen Chapman Activity Center on the TU campus. Dr. Churchill gave a lecture entitled, "Can You Explain That So I Can Understand It?: Specialized Research and the Public Mind" --- and his talk was aimed at helping both those in the realm of academic/research work as well as those in the corporate/professional world. Specifically, he meant to help such professionals in their efforts to communicate complicated concepts to diverse audiences. Although explaining specialized ideas or findings to lay-level colleagues can, of course, be quite difficult, it is, as Dr. Churchill asserts, increasingly necessary in an increasingly complex world such as ours. "Everything is connected," as our guest on StudioTulsa explains, and yet "nobody's able to keep up everything" --- that is, in terms of staying fully informed about the great number of academic fields or professional specialties now out there. It all comes down to "a sense of responsibility," as Dr. Churchill puts it, a commitment to being aware of advances in knowledge that can make a practical, tangible, or useful difference in our lives. Also on our show today, commentator Ian Shoales is thinking about Oprah's newly launched TV network: OWN.