A. Noam Chomsky: Shaping a Humane World Through Global Connections

STAR PRESS RELEASE – 10/07/2020

In a recent leadership team meeting of the STAR Scholars Network, the world-renowned public intellectual Noam Chomsky raised an existential question: Are we going to survive?

STAR is an international forum of scholars that advances global social mobility through research and advocacy. Chomsky was invited to the meeting with one agenda item: to establish the A. Noam Chomsky Global Connections Awards which recognize individuals with outstanding contribution in international research. Professor Chomsky was honored that the STAR Scholars Network had established the A. Noam Chomsky Global Connections Awards.

“We are at a moment where human beings have to determine whether they have the moral and intellectual capacity to join together, to cooperate, to overcome the existential problems that are global in character,” Chomsky remarked, expressing his hope that STAR Scholars Network members will be at the forefront of these vexing problems our world is facing today.  “[Global connections] are the kind of thing the world needs.”

We are at a moment where human beings have to determine whether they have the moral and intellectual capacity to join together, to cooperate, to overcome the existential problems that are global in character. [Global connections] are the kind of thing the world needs. – A. Noam Chomsky

Dr. Mousumi Mukherjee, the STAR Country Director of India, made an official proposal to Professor Chomsky to give his name to the STAR Global Connections Awards to inspire the recipients of the award with his dedication towards academic scholarship, public engagement and advocacy.

“The concept of global connections happens to have a particular resonance for me in my personal life,” said Chomsky, in response to Mukherjee’s proposal, speaking during the virtual global leadership meeting of the Network on Friday evening. Professor Chomsky reflected on how linguistics emerged as a discipline with a small number of people involved in it.

“Now it is global,” he said, “There is no part of the globe where it is not existing or flourishing.” He expressed happiness that it has extended into many other directions. He noted that the understanding of human language development has extended into other cognitive areas.

“People’s attention is focused on the pandemic as a global crisis,” said Chomsky. “But that’s the least of the crises we face. There are more serious crises including the impending environmental catastrophe. We have a few decades left in which we can be careless, and what else, but then the game is over.”

“There is another one,” Chomsky continued,, referring to the threat of nuclear war, particularly in South and South East Asia. He warned that the threat of nuclear war and environmental crisis pose an existential challenge to the 200,000-year history of humans on earth, raising a fundamental question: Are we gonna survive?

Chomsky held out hope in the convergence of research and inquiry, alluding to the striking “global character” of our problems. He expressed joy in seeing researchers from all over the world come together through the STAR Scholars Network to engage in constant interactions, and he applauded the “integrating fields of knowledge and understanding that have been quite separate from one another.”

People’s attention is focused on the pandemic as a global crisis. But that’s the least of the crises we face. There are more serious crises including the impending environmental catastrophe. We have a few decades left in which we can be careless, and what else, but then the game is over. – A. Noam Chomsky

Chomsky recounted the development of linguistics by Jacobson and Bernstein and how “common elements” of human capacities were discerned that contributed to the development of human language. He also expounded on the extraordinary creativity and the breakthroughs of homo sapiens while also touching on what was bothering Charles Darwin while developing the theory of evolution.  He explained how many disciplines are interacting and converging. “That’s the striking example of connections that are global,” continued Chomsky, “both in space and in a range of fields and areas that are being interconnected.”

Dr. Uttam Gaulee, President of the STAR Scholars Network, said: “Global Connections Awards celebrate the power of human connections.” The awards recognize distinguished service to the global mission of the STAR Scholars Network. Several individuals with a deep impact on advancing global, social mobility will be recognized every year. Nominations for these awards are welcome from around the world, and the nominee can be from any field.

Gaulee said that STAR conferences are designed to empower the institutions of higher learning in the developing world and rotate from one developing country to another annually. Professor Chomsky will address the STAR 2020 Conference on December 8, 2020, during the closing ceremony of the 2020 STAR Conference, which is hosted by Nepal Open University in Kathmandu.  STAR Scholars Network is recognizing him during the conference, which coincides with his 92nd birthday.  “Professor Chomsky is a stalwart who is pushing our world in a more humane direction every day by speaking truth to power,” said Uttam Gaulee, the President of STAR Scholars Network, “Noam Chomsky wrote a revolutionary transformational or generative grammar in 1957. Since then his ideas have had a deep impact on how we organize our world and how we understand each other.”

Noam Chomsky wrote a revolutionary transformational or generative grammar in 1957. Since then his ideas have had a deep impact on how we organize our world and how we understand each other. – Uttam Gaulee, President of the STAR Scholars Network

Dr. Edward Valeu, the VP of Executive Innovation and Workforce Development at the STAR Scholars Network, who is also in- charge of the 2020 STAR Conference, explained the importance of Nepal’s contribution to humanity. Dr. Keith Wright, a professor of music, gave a musical representation of transformational grammar by playing Bach on his flute, an idea that Chomsky espoused in 1957.

Dr. Krishna Bista, the STAR Division Head of Education Services thanked everyone at the end of the meeting.

Present during the meeting were Dr. Darla Deardorff, a STAR Advisor, Mr. Muhammad Uddin, STAR Outreach director; Dr. Handoyo Widodo, a STAR Fellow from King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Man Bk, a STAR Fellow from Nepal; Dr. Keshav Bhattarai, STAR Fellow from University of Central Missouri; Dr. Tirth Raj Khaniya, STAR Senior Director of Domestic and International Programs; Dr. Otgonjargal Okhidoi, STAR Fellow from Mongolia; Elena de Prada, STAR Country Director of Spain; Yuriko SATO, STAR Country Director of Japan; Prof. (Dr.) Khadga K.C., STAR Fellow from Nepal;  Dr. Catherine Gomes, STAR Country Director of Australia; Dr. Keith Wright, STAR Fellow of Music; Dr. Kapil Dev Regmi, STAR Associate at HISSAN, Nepal; Ms. Marguerite Dennis, STAR Director of Mentoring Programs; Professor Edward Valeau, STAR VP of Executive Innovation and Workforce Development; Dr. Arjun Karki, Ambassador of Nepal to the United States; Dr. Marvin Perry, STAR VP of Business Development;  Dr. Chris R. Glass, STAR VP of Research and Public Policy; Dr. Krishna Bista, STAR Vice President of Educational Services: Dr. Shuning Liu, Director of International Education Research and Development;  Dr. Mousumi Mukherjee, STAR Country Director of India; Mr. Ramesh Silwal, President of HISSAN; Dr. Alok K. Bohara, STAR Fellow; and Dr. Medani Bhandari, STAR Fellow and Editor In Chief-The International Journal -the Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment.

 

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