NCIS Partner NEWS Spring-Summer 2021

FIRE-UK: Forum for Independent Research Endeavours – UK is a newly formed Partner group of independent researchers in the United Kingdom. FIRE-UK holds and has held a series of successful online events. FIRE-UK is starting to think about our programme and activities for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.

To start the ball rolling FIRE-UK is holding a Networking event at 19.30 (UK time) on Thursday 10 June 2021. This is an opportunity to meet and network with other independent researchers, meet the FIRE-UK Steering Committee, tell us about your ideas about how FIRE-UK could help you, the kinds of activities you would like to join, find out how you can get involved in FIRE-UK, and help shape FIRE-UK's future plans. The event will be held online and last for approximately 1.5 hours. The event is free of charge. 
For the Zoom code, please email or by Tuesday 8 June 2021 mentioning 'FIRE-UK Networking event' in the subject line.

For more information, write to

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IHS: Institute for Historical Study (San Francisco) is an active, independent community of researchers, writers, and artists who share a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, IHS members share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history. Recent and upcoming programs include:

  • June 20, monthly program, via Zoom: David Hirzel gave a presentation on “The Socialite and the Sea Captain: Louise Arner Boyd and Captain Bob Bartlett on the 1941 Voyage of the Effie M. Morrissey.”
  • June 9, Writers Group via Zoom, with presentations by Katya Miller and Rosemarie Cleese.
  • May 16, monthly program, via Zoom, with program by Richard Hurley on “Campaigns of the California Volunteers,” a multimedia show chronicling the experiences of the nearly 17,000 young men who volunteered for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Other 2021 programs:
- On April 18: David Goldberg presented "A Family History – a photographic historical essay"
- March 21: “Keys to Successful Self-Publishing” was presented by Beth Wright
- February 21: “Centennial of the Suffragist Portrait Monument in the U.S. Capitol” with Bonda Lewis and Elizabeth Thacker-Estrada
- January 17: “Digging for Online Gold from Alaska (or Anywhere)” by Steven Levi

For further information  on IHS activities consult the website:


Independent Scholars’ Association of Australia
ISAA publishes a National Newsletter several times a year and the ISAA Review twice a year plus the proceedings of the Annual conference. The upcoming issue of the ISAA Review, edited by Lesley Vick and Christine Jennett, explores the theme of “Law and Life.”

E-resources: The June 2020 ISAA Newsletter presents a concise guide to electronic research resources from national, state, and territorial libraries.

In response to recently passed legislation “Jobs Ready Graduates” which revises funding and investments in Australian higher education, ISAA is sending letters to government ministers to advocate for support of both humanities programs and academic careers in general, as well as the technical and vocational education sector.

- ISAA National Conference has been re-scheduled for 23-24 September 2021 with the theme “No Place Like Home.”

New South Wales ISAA Chapter holds two work-in-progress meetings and two open forums per year. 
- On  4 February 2021, Christine Yeats spoke on the topic, “Doing Research: Shedding Light on the Australian Joint Copying Project.” The National Library of Australia has digitized over 10,000 reels of microfilm, covering 1560 to 1984.
- On 19 May 2021, at the second open forum, Professor Shirley Randell AO and Dr Hilary Yerbury made a presentation on their forthcoming publication: Gender and Learning in Rwanda: Reflections on feminist pedagogy and technocratic governance on empowerment of women

Australian Capital Territory (ISAA-ACT) holds monthly meetings in the National Library, Canberra.
- 16 May: Heather Jenks on Rebuilding ANU Library’s collections lost in the flood
- 20 June: Martha Sear on current developments in the National Museum of Australia
- 10 July: Sarah Macneill on being an Anglican bishop.

For more information:


MISF: Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum
The Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum (MISF) exists to foster scholars, whatever their formal credentials or academic involvement. We encourage all projects of disciplined intellectual inquiry. In an age of ever more sophisticated means of communication, MISF promotes face-to-face interaction among scholars as an irreplaceable means to scholarly excellence. Our membership is open to anyone who supports these goals.
To achieve its mission, MISF provides scholars with
(1) opportunities to collaborate with other scholars of similar interests;
(2) regular opportunities to exchange ideas on designated topics in small groups;
(3) opportunities to present, to the critical eye of other scholars and to the public, the fruits of study, both in oral and written form*;
(4) fiscal agency for scholarly grant submissions.

*The semi-annual journal The Minnesota Scholar, accepts articles of scholarly interest of up to 1800 words from both members and would-be MISF members.

Recent & upcoming events include:

April 24, “Celebrating Earth Month: Learn, Do, Make an Impact!” was presented by Benn Fromm via Zoom.
May 22, Ginny Hinson Poetry Day: Philip Bryant,  professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College, presented “Ellingtonia, the Great Migration and the Promised Land” via Zoom.

June 26, on Zoom, Rheanna O’Brien will give an illustrated program on the well-known work of Minnesota architect Cass Gilbert.

September 25: Erica Nutzman will present a program entitled Resources of the Minnesota State Law Library.

For more information about MISF,


NISA: Northwest Independent Scholars Association NISA meets five times per year (every other month except July) to encourage and promote scholarly discussion, research, writing, and publication outside of formal institutions of higher education, for individuals who are actively pursuing serious scholarly research.

May 5, 2021, Martha Bailey spoke on "Science, Skepticism, and the Unknown: Educating Community College Students about Science." Many students arriving at the community college today have not had sufficient education in and about science to understand scientific procedures and findings, much less make good judgments about information that purports to be scientific. They are unable to separate science from pseudo-science. This talk will discuss one class that seeks to address the issue, PHL 195 at Portland Community College, and the challenges educators have today, in countering the anti-science rhetoric in the broader culture.

On November 11, 2020, Margaret DeLacy gave a presentation about her research, “The Early 18th-century Apocalypse: Some Origins, Confluences, and Questions.” This study makes fascinating connections between political and military history with the spread of disease, and uncovers parallels for our experiences with Covid-19.

On March 31, 2021, Barbara Canavan gave a presentation on “Zoonotic Disease: Past and Present.”

September 30, 2020: Barbara Canavan "High Politics and Pandemic Predictions: The Swine Flu Fiasco of 1976"

For more information about NISA and their bi-monthly meetings, see


Princeton Research Forum (PRF) offers a diverse group of scholars in the Princeton area the opportunity to share their research interests, expertise, and creative endeavors in a supportive environment with other independent scholars. In addition to meeting monthly during the academic year, PRF members participate in ongoing study groups in the humanities, science/history of science, and poetry as well as annual general meeting in early summer and a social kickoff event in the fall.

The PRF Poetry Group, chaired by Winifred Hughes, meets twice a month (by Zoom at present). They have recently taken an in-depth look at poems by Gary Snyder and Alice Oswald.

The PRF Science / Science History Group, hosted by Boris Katz, meeting online using Zoom conferencing software, is discussing Life's Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable by Rutgers professor Paul. G. Falkowski. On our invitation Prof. Falkowski joined our discussion of his book. Anyone interested in joining the group should contact Boris Katz.

Robert W. Craig, architectural historian, has been awarded the 2020 Paul E. Buchanan Award by The Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF). The award honors exemplary projects that illustrate the highest standards for meticulous documentation and rigorous study of historic vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. Bob was honored for his studies of New Jersey buildings with  patterned brickwork in his reports for the Office of Historical Preservation, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and his recent, open-access article, article, “Traditional Patterned Brickwork in New Jersey.”

With great sadness, PRF reports the passing of mathematical physicist and PRF Advisory Board member, Freeman Dyson; architectural historian Constance Greiff ; and longtime PRF Treasurer and philosopher Stephanie Lewis.

Karen Reeds, PRF member, has compiled a useful compendium of research resources for “those stuck at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.” It can be found in the PRF Newsletter for Winter-Spring 2020 at

For more information, go to


SDIS: San Diego Independent Scholars (SDIS) holds ongoing meetings of six study groups, in addition to monthly general meetings. Study groups include Colloquy Café, Culture One, Film Group, Neuroscience Group, General Relativity Group, Reading Experience and Inside Politics. Because of Covid-19, all meetings are currently being held via Zoom video-conferencing.

Saturday, May 15. Lecture by Dr. Tom K. Wong, “Immigration Policy from Trump to Biden” An overview of major policy changes that we may see under the Biden administration, viewed in the context of broad social issues.
• Colloquy Café meets on the third Wednesday of every month. During their April meeting, they discussed the concept “Patriotism.” In May, the group explored the concept of “free speech.”
• The Film group met on May 5 to view On the Basis of Sex. In June, they’ll continue their series of films by women directors by viewing Europa, Europa, directed by Agnieszka Holland.
• The Physical Science group, which meets every other Wednesday, is reading David Griffiths Introduction to Elementary Particles; recent topics have been symmetries and momentum, quantum mechanics, and the time element of wavefunctions.
• The Science Study Group is exploring the topic of CRISPR and gene editing.
• The Reading Experience group meets on the third Monday morning of each month. Their April gathering discussed A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Mcintyre. In May they examined Henry James’ novel What Maisie Knew.
• Inside Politics has been organized as a Socratic discussion group about hot button political issues. In April, the topic was the general topic of race; in May the discussion focused on immigration.

For more information on SDIS, go to For questions or to be placed on the SDIS mailing list, contact

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