2018 Program


The New Jersey Scholars Program 2018

June 24 – July 27

Mind and Body: The Future of Being Human

We are living in a time of rapid re-categorization of “the human being.” Neuroscientists continue to push our understanding of the brain into territories affecting our beliefs about the “mind,” “soul” and “will”; biologists claim animals show empathy, culture, and emotional lives that have more in common with ours than we ever imagined; social activists claim gender, race, and biology are identities to be selected, rather than inherited; technological entrepreneurs are actively pursuing initiatives to integrate the human brain with machines and make machines able to learn, self-organize, and invent; medical researchers hope to clone our organs and transplant them into our bodies, or splice out disease-causing DNA in utero, prolonging human life, perhaps, indefinitely; NASA has plans to colonize Mars. We seem perched to transcend the traditional limits of “the human condition” upon which millenia of human cultures have been built. Or are we? And if we do, what then? What will we say to an artificial intelligence that may demand to know what makes a mind a mind, a person a person, or someone valuable? Or anything valuable? What can it mean to be human in an age when traditional markers of humanity are up for grabs? What is the best future we can imagine? How can we get there? This year, we won’t be looking to the past as a guide to answering traditional human questions. We will be looking to the future and developing answers to current questions so that it can be a bright one!

A crucial part of the magic of the New Jersey Scholars Program (NJSP) derives from the fact that the Scholars live together for five weeks (with one long weekend at home, July 13-16) in one dormitory with each gender residing on separate floors.  Together they help each other rise to the challenges posed by NJSP.  The camaraderie that develops is extraordinary.  With their resident housemaster and assistant housemasters, the Scholars learn to live together, learn together, and laugh together.  Athletics provide a useful way to rest the brain and are conveniently accessible at The Lawrenceville School’s athletic facilities — pool, golf course, track, fitness and weight rooms, and tennis, basketball and volleyball courts.  Scholars also organize a few off-campus jaunts for a change of pace.  The program ends with a graduation ceremony to which all parents and families are invited.  All in all, the New Jersey Scholars Program offers an extraordinary experience.

Daily Schedule

7:30 am                      Breakfast in the Irwin Dining Center where students and faculty will frequently share ideas, announcements and presentations

8:30-10:00 am             Morning lecture for all Scholars and faculty

10:15-11:45 am           Morning seminar session (small groups of Scholars with a faculty member)

12:15 pm                      Lunch in the Irwin Dining Center

1:30-3:00 pm               Afternoon seminar session

Free time                     Time for reading, research, relaxation, and athletics

5:30 pm                        Dinner in the Irwin Dining Center

There will be occasional evening lectures or films.


Important Dates

Sunday, June 24                 Scholars arrive at their dormitory for registration

Wednesday, July 11          College admissions panel presented by the NJSP Board of Trustees and dinner

Thursday, July 12              Field trip – Philadelphia

Thursday, July 12              Scholars “Long Weekend At Home” begins after the field trip

Sunday, July 15                 Scholars return to NJSP

Saturday, July 21              Arts Festival

Friday, July 27                   Graduation ceremony