Open Minds Book Club

The Open Minds Book Club invites thoughtful participation from GVSU students, faculty and staff, Hauenstein Center members, and community members. Kahler Sweeney, program manager of the Common Ground Initiative, and Brian Bowdle, associate professor of psychology, will host discussions on books that seek to understand and serve the needs of our democratic society.


Join us for our March 2023 Open Minds Book Club!

The Hauenstein Center is excited to offer a free copy of the book to the first twenty individuals to register!

It is widely understood that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution completely revolutionized the study of biology. Yet, according to David Sloan Wilson, the Darwinian revolution won’t be truly complete until it is applied more broadly—to everything associated with the words “human,” “culture,” and “policy.”

In a series of engaging and insightful examples—from the breeding of hens to the timing of cataract surgeries to the organization of an automobile plant—Wilson shows how an evolutionary worldview provides a practical tool kit for understanding not only genetic evolution but also the fast-paced changes that are having an impact on our world and ourselves. What emerges is an incredibly empowering argument: If we can become wise managers of evolutionary processes, we can solve the problems of our age at all scales—from the efficacy of our groups to our well-being as individuals to our stewardship of the planet Earth.

The Open Minds Book Club invites thoughtful participation from GVSU students, faculty and staff, Hauenstein Center members, and community members. Kahler Sweeney, program manager of the Common Ground Initiative, and Brian Bowdle, associate professor of psychology, will host discussions on books that seek to understand and serve the needs of our democratic society.

Join us as we discuss the core themes of the March pick, This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution, by David Sloan Wilson. This Open Minds Book Club meeting will be on Wednesday, March 1st, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Richard M. DeVos Center’s Meijer Regency Room located on the GVSU Pew Campus.

Please order or request your copy of the book by February 17th to allow time for shipping and to enjoy the reading before the discussion.

Register here!


Join us for our April 2023 Open Minds Book Club!

The Hauenstein Center is excited to offer a free copy of the book to the first twenty individuals to register!

During a time racked by war and environmental catastrophe, George Orr discovers his dreams alter reality. George is compelled to receive treatment from Dr. William Haber, an ambitious sleep psychiatrist who quickly grasps the immense power George holds. After becoming adept at manipulating George’s dreams to reshape the world, Haber seeks the same power for himself. George—with some surprising help—must resist Haber’s attempts, which threaten to destroy reality itself.

A classic of the science fiction genre, The Lathe of Heaven is prescient in its exploration of the moral risks when overwhelming power is coupled with techno-utopianism.

The Open Minds Book Club invites thoughtful participation from GVSU students, faculty and staff, Hauenstein Center members, and community members. Kahler Sweeney, program manager of the Common Ground Initiative, and Brian Bowdle, associate professor of psychology, will host discussions on books that seek to understand and serve the needs of our democratic society.

Join us as we discuss the core themes of the April pick, The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula K. Le Guin. This Open Minds Book Club meeting will be on Wednesday, April 5th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Richard M. DeVos Center’s Meijer Regency Room located on the GVSU Pew Campus.

Please order or request your copy of the book by March 24th to allow time for shipping and to enjoy the reading before the discussion.

Register here!


Past Titles

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 The White Mosque by Sofia Samatar

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges

Wednesday, October 19, 2022Liberalism and its Discontents, by Francis Fukuyama

Thursday, April 14, 2022 Suspicious Minds by Robert Brotherton 

Wednesday, January 27, 2022 — No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 —  Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them by Ethan Zuckerman

Thursday, June 24, 2021 — Self Portrait in Black and White by Thomas Chatterton Williams

Friday, March 12, 2021  Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech by Keith E. Whittington


Goals of the Open Minds Book Club

Initiating the kinds of conversations necessary for fostering an informed citizenry and wise leadership
Bridging cultural, ideological, and generational divides through civil discourse
Growing a shared sense of belonging in our West Michigan community


Page last modified January 30, 2023