Bill Vitek


Bill Vitek is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, where he has taught for twenty one years. With a B.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Union College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Vitek's research and writings are focused on the intersection between social practices and the environmental, cultural, and historical contexts in which they occur. His current focus is on the substantial cultural and social changes that will be necessary-in our lifetimes-to live without easy access to cheap, carbon-based energy in the form of soils, forests, oil, natural gas and coal. He is the author of one book, Promising; the co-editor of three books: Applying Philosophy (with Terrell Ward Bynum); Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place (with Wes Jackson); and The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability and the Limits of Knowledge (with Wes Jackson). He is the author of popular essays and articles on professional ethics, community, and public life. He is currently writing a book of his own essays titled Post-Carbon Sense. He was a 2007 Visiting Scholar with The Center for Humans and Nature and with The Land Institute.

Vitek co-founded and directed Clarkson's Environmental Science & Policy Program for eight years, and was Associate Director of Clarkson's Center for the Environment for four years. He directed Clarkson's 2001-02 Sustainability Initiative. Vitek has won numerous teaching and advising awards at Clarkson, including the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Phalanx Award for "outstanding leadership qualities and quality participation in organizations with Clarkson and the Potsdam community."

Vitek is also a jazz pianist. He co-wrote and co-produced three collections of jazz nursery rhymes. "Rhythm and Rhymes" (1982) was awarded an American Library Association "Notable Children's Recording," and the Oppenheim Gold Seal "Best Audio Award." "Go with the Flow" (1994) was awarded Family Life's Critic's Choice Award. He currently performs with bassist Dan Gagliardi. They recently released "A Fine Line," a collection of jazz classics.