The expression "speak truth to power" is captured in this theme. The college encourages students to consider their responsibility in regards to truth in the classroom, power in their professional lives, and the interplay of these forces in the world. These concepts can be as personal as academic integrity, as global as religious and cultural conflict, and as topical as policy decision making.
The quest for objective truths plays a central role in all cultures, whether testing scientific principles, supporting religious beliefs, or questioning the impartiality of the legal system. Many societal units, such as familial, local, national, or spiritual groupings, teach their members clear principles for defining what is true. Seeking new proof of seemingly objective claims and subjective perspectives is what fuels the advancement of knowledge in every discipline and, correspondingly, change in the world.
The concept of power also inspires analysis inside and across disciplines. A physicist can insist that power is the rate at which work is performed or energy is transmitted. A sociologist or psychologist may examine how a shift in power changes interpersonal and societal dynamics. The humanities often explore the limitations and possibilities of traditional and modern power structures. While one may see the visual and performing arts as expressions of the artists’ personal power, art itself can have the power to stir emotions and open minds to new perspectives.
Common agreements on what constitutes truth can help define a social order. The proponents of these truths often retain political, religious, and cultural power. Academic inquiry and debate facilitate societal changes by developing new versions of truth and, correspondingly, new owners of power.