Searching for the Roots of Selflessness
One of our favorite Cleveland-based writers, Kristin Ohlson, made a savvy observation when she was interviewed about writing on public radio station WCPN not long ago. She said that despite the fact that much of her writing time is taken up with books and other longer projects, she still loves tackling shorter freelance magazine stories, because for her, each project is like taking a class in a new subject. The January/February issue of Utne Magazine (the word "Reader" has been dropped from the title) benefits from her latest coursework. She wrote an interesting piece about the Cleveland-based Institute for Research Into Unlimited Love, which is led by CWRU bioethicist Stephen Post. "Not a New Age brothel or a branch office for a goddess cult, IRUL encourages scientific research that examines the source and impact of unselfish, altruistic love," she writes. Since its inception in 2001, the institute has raised about $4 million, $2.5 million of which has been awarded to 33 researchers who are working on such diverse fields as evolutionary biology, theology, sociology, positive psychology and medicine. Click here to go to the institute's website, where you can sign up for an electronic newsletter with the intriguing title "Works of Love."