LETTERS

First humanist

YOUR CORRECTION NOTICE (žLETTERS,Ó Summer Ž95) concerning žA Case for FellowshipsÓ states that J.J. Winckelmann (1717-1768) žis considered the first Humanist.Ó What about the Renaissance Humanists, such as Erasmus and Pico della Mirandola, who lived some centuries before Winckelmann? Or is Winckelmann considered the forerunner of the Scientific Humanists, such as Sir Julian Huxley and Paul Kurtz? Or is Winckelmann a Humanist in the sense in which Ruskin, William Morris and Matthew Arnold were Humanists? What about the Stoics and the Epicureans, whose thought has a great deal in common with both the Renaissance Humanists and the Scientific Humanists? There may be a sense in which Winckelmann was the first žHumanistÓ (as a forerunner of Goethe, Fichte, Marx and Nietzsche, for instance); but I am curious what this sense is.

Frederick Kraenzel, PhDŪ76
D»partement de philosophie
C»gep de la Gasp»sie et des Ďles
Gasp», Que.

Noticing hypocrisy

IN THE SUMMER Ž95 MCGILL NEWS (žLettersÓ), Amlan Gupta of Ontario wrote of having žno respect or affection for the institution [McGill] that does nothing to stand up for minority rights.Ó It is interesting that while Amlan Gupta chastises McGill, he fought the battle for minority rights in Quebec by leaving the province. I guess that hypocrisy, like bad breath, is easier to notice coming from others than from oneself.

Perry Adler, BScŪ82
Montreal

Late to the lottery

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR invitation to participate in the žAlumni LotteryÓ (Spring Ž95). The deadline you gave was January 1, 1995. Unfortunately, because of the poor mailing systems in my own country, I could not respond as required. I therefore pray that you kindly consider this submission.

Since leaving McGill and returning to Nigeria, I have been involved in university teaching and research. I joined the faculty of the new Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria, in April 1982. The challenges that faced all the pioneer senior academic staff of the university included the development of acceptable undergraduate degree programs, establishment of appropriate laboratories and workshops for both teaching and research, and the admission of high quality pioneering students. To attract research grants into a young university in a developing country was quite difficult, as was the absence of postgraduate students to assist in effective research activities.

By the third quarter of 1982 I had teamed up with other enterprising faculty members to produce two award-winning research proposals: ždevelopment of tillage tools for the cultivation of Nigerian tuber cropsÓ and žcomprehensive studies on erosion control in the rainforest, Southeastern Nigeria.Ó

The first proposal was related to my work at McGill on soil tillage. Since my return to Nigeria I have been developing a tillage machine to mechanize the use of the hoe in making mounds for the tuber crops. I am happy to report some success.

The second proposal, funded by the European Community, was a collaborative program between our university of Technology and Delft University and Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands. We were faced with the problems of erosion devastation in Southeastern Nigeria due to rainfall intensity, often resulting in collapsed buildings, schools and roads and silted-up streams.

The effect of the program was that, within the first 10 years of the establishment of our university, we now have highly specialized laboratories for erosion studies. The federal government of Nigeria has upgraded the Erosion Research Project to an Institute of Erosion Studies. I am presently the Director of the Institute and an Associate Professor in Agricultural Engineering. However, after eight years of collaboration, the European Community has phased out the funding of the project, and it is presently being solely funded by the government of Nigeria and the funding has become relatively low. I am therefore seizing this opportunity to also appeal to McGill to consider collaborating with us in research and training on tropical erosion.

My wife Helen is an Assistant Registrar in the university. Our son Chukwuma and our daughter Nkechi are presently studying medicine in the university. Members of my family still have good memories of our stay in Canada, especially our stay in Robertson Terrace at Macdonald College. We have been looking forward to an opportunity to meet our Canadian friends, such as Professors Broughton, McKyes, Raghavan, Norris and Chandra Madramootoo of the Department of Agricultural Engineering.

I also wish to sincerely thank all at the McGill News for faithfully keeping in touch with those of us who have been unable to contribute financially toward the Alma Mater Fund. Some of us in the developing countries are really handicapped by foreign exchange difficulties and we can only contribute morally through prayers.

Chibueze Ibegbu Ijioma, PhDŪ82,
Owerri, Nigeria
The McGill News reserves the right to edit letters.