Richard Simon

"As a species, we have a whole host of existential problems that many of us are entirely unprepared to understand, let alone to solve. Among them are global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels; the drastic changes in our climate system that increased global heat retention causes and which have already begun to unfold; acidification of oceans; mass extinctions; shortages of water, soil, food, and energy resources; and an ever-expanding global population. Big History is a beginning, a means of providing some foundational knowledge of how the actual world actually works, and a sense of the recurring patterns in the vast sweep of existence, from the cosmic to the atomic. With this understanding at the root of their education, our students will be well-prepared to not only lead in finding solutions, but also prosper from that leadership."

Richard Simon - cropRichard B. Simon is the lead editor and author of Teaching Big History, our faculty's collectively penned book of pedagogy for teaching Big History, published in 2014 by University of California Press. A fiction writer, essayist, and journalist, he received his BA in English and Environmental Studies from Colgate University and his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He has written for Rolling Stone, MTV,, Juxtapoz, the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, San Francisco's National Public Radio affiliate KQED-FM, and elsewhere. He is currently a contributing editor at Relix magazine. With passion for topics ranging from environmental advocacy and improvisational rock music to art-based social activism and illustration, Mr. Simon offers a wealth of knowledge and experience to his Big History students.