From J Dixon —
It is my pleasure to announce the creation of the Rod Swenson Graduate Fellowship at the Center for the Ecological Study of Perception in Action (CESPA). The fellowship honors Rod’s extensive contributions to Ecological Science through his work on the thermodynamic foundations of living systems. Rod put forth the seminal proposal that life is an expression of a fourth law of thermodynamics, and that perception-action follows as a natural consequence. This insight serves as one of the theoretical pillars of Ecological Science, and is a touchstone for physicists, chemists, and biologists actively researching non-equilibrium self-organization.
The fellowship will help support a graduate student whose work focuses on fundamental questions about the origin and nature of organisms as thermodynamically driven, self-organizing systems, with a particular emphasis on their cognitive or perception-action capabilities. Prospective and current graduate students are welcome to apply; applications from students who are members of underrepresented groups are especially welcome. The amount of the award will likely be around $2,000 initially.
To continue supporting the excellent work of our students at CESPA, we also invite donations of any amount to the Rod Swenson Graduate Fellowship. You can donate now via the UConn Foundation’s online portal ( https://www.foundation.uconn.edu/fund/rod-swenson-graduate-fellowship/ ); please contact me for other means of donating. We will continue to seek donations to grow the fellowship in the coming years.