If you think countries should have open borders, then Joseph Carens, a prominent political theorist, is on your side. But, why?
In the state of nature before society began setting boundaries for humanity into separate countries, everybody has equal moral worth and value.
In fact, isn’t restrictive citizenship almost the same as feudal birthright privileges? As such, Carens even goes as far as saying that political borders (i.e. countries, nations) are incompatible with the equal status of individuals!
The most fool-proof way to defend your argument is against people of all different perspectives and theories. This is exactly what Carens does. He shows that a utilitarian, Nozickian, and Rawlsian ALL lead to the same conclusion: countries should all have largely open borders!
The Insight Spark (TIS) is an intercollegiate academic research review that seeks to educate and inform the general public on complex topics by breaking down prominent and important academic research. We are dedicated to providing accurate and concise information for your everyday ease. We aim to bridge the information gap to promote educational and informational equity.
The Insight Spark was founded to help mitigate informational privilege, which is "the idea that access to information is based on an individual's status, affiliation, or power." Oftentimes, only those who are skilled, educated, and credible are able to access high-quality and complex research. Through our writing and journalism, we hope to allow ALL people to have a better understanding of the research field. We are committed to raising awareness, creating community impact, and highlighting social issues by employing research-based tools, academic theories, and findings to help us better understand how to approach and solve the pervasive issues in our society.
The Insight Spark consists of writers and contributors from colleges across the nation, such as Princeton University, Harvard College, Columbia University, Stanford University, and more!
Health & Wellness: We cover mental, social, emotional, and physical health and wellness. You can find research ranging from lifestyle habits to sleep to mental health.
Science: We encompass the research on the structure and composition in physical, biological, and natural realms, including topics like viruses, vaccines, cells, and more.
Society & Culture: We cover research on wide-ranging social and cultural phenomena, often to highlight sociocultural issues and concerns.
Politics: We cover the experiments, polls, studies, and theories in the realm of politics and political theory.
Personal Finance & Economics: We cover research to help guide your own personal financial decisions and highlight prominent economics research and theories in the field.
The structure of our publication consists of Topic Series, in which each topic series covers a specific issue, subject, or concept within each of our five sections. Our writers often publish podcasts with thought-provoking discussions on the research they uncover, which can be found on The Insight Spark Podcast. Listen to students from colleges across the nation talk about interesting research and their passions!
Sophia Zheng (she/her)
I am passionate about equitable education and making a change in the world. I am an Economics major at Princeton University. I am in charge of the Society + Culture section.
Fun Fact: I have played the violin for over 15 years!
I am from the great city of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Princeton University. Not only do my eyes dash at science, but I also enjoy the fanatical process of envisioning what the world could be if laws of science weren't so limited! I also enjoy watching & playing soccer (huge fan of Messi!) and I enjoy trying new dishes.
Design and Marketing
Gillian Hilscher (she/her)
I am so excited to help others and improve access to important resources. I am a Molecular Biology major at Princeton University with minors in Neuroscience and Gender & Sexuality Studies. I run the Health + Wellness Section.
Fun Fact: I'm a vegetarian, and I've actually never eaten meat!
Director of Marketing and Outreach
I am a second-year Columbia College student on track to major in Philosophy and Economics. I am most interested in the philosophy of art, aesthetics, moral philosophy, and the art market. I occasionally writes poetry and her poetic publications can be found in Quarto and the Blue and White.
I'm a chemistry major at Stanford who writes about science! I'm passionate about chemistry, technology, and how cutting edge basic research can be translated into impactful therapeutics. In my free time, I enjoy playing with chemistry in the kitchen, baking breads, pastries, and cakes!
Mary Cate Hyde (she/her)
I am an Ecology & Evolutionary Biology major at Princeton University and I am so excited to help bring new research to a broader audience! I run the Science section, and I write articles about animal behavior, evolution, and the environment.
Fun fact: I’ve been to 37 states!
I'm a second-year at Princeton majoring in Chemistry and I write for the Science section. I get excited by almost anything STEM-related, but especially chemical reaction and bonding theories, cool mathematical constructions and microbiological insights into the way our bodies work. Fun fact: I have two sisters, one of which is currently in Australia and the other in Moscow, so together we almost exactly trisect the Earth's circumference :)
Director of Partnerships
I am a first-year Columbia College student on-track to major in Philosophy and Economics. I am most interested in philosophy of art, aesthetics, moral philosophy, and the art market. I occasionally write poetry and my poetic publications can be found in Quarto and the Blue and White.
Touch Education Technology @ MIT
Touch Education Technology Inc. is an education technology company, collaborating with world-leading universities and experts, to provide global learners with Blended Learning based academic programs.
OpportuniMe is a startup that connects the next generation of leaders & global citizens to experiential learning opportunities for personal and professional development. We create content, host workshops, coach, and consult on career development, financial wellness, and self care, empowering the next generation of leaders to realize & reach their full potential at work and in the world.
ADVISORY BOARD OF MENTORS
New York University
Lecturer, Political Science
Lecturer, Germanic Languages
Lecturer, American Studies
Lecturer, Molecular Bio.
PhD, Civil & Env. Eng.
Director of Undergraduate Research
I'm Caroline Zhao, a freshman at Princeton majoring in Chemical and Biological Engineering. I'm passionate about all STEM subjects, and I love interdisciplinary work, where I can combine my interests to innovate further and solve larger problems. A fun fact about me is that I play guitar and am an audio engineer in my free time.
I am a freshman at Columbia University studying economics, political philosophy, and data science. I am interested in understanding the challenges presented by new technologies and economic transformations through a humanistic and philosophical lens.
I'm a third year undergrad at Princeton studying applied math with minors in global health and cognitive science. My academic interests include medicine, entrepreneurship, and artificial intelligence, and I'm writing for the Health + Wellness section. Fun fact: I play the oboe!
I am a sophomore at Columbia College majoring in History and concentrating in English. I am excited to be contributing to the Society + Culture section and am interested in the ancient Greek and Roman past, broader histories of decolonization, and in exploring how these two histories interact. I love to read Italo Calvino and James Baldwin in my free time as well as make butterscotch and do yoga.
I am a sophomore at Columbia majoring in Computer Science and Sustainable Development. I have led Kuwait’s first experiment to space and was involved in air pollution data collection through my project AirGoKuwait which was launched after witnessing the impact of the Lebanese Trash Crisis. I am passionate about ensuring environmental protection while considering economic growth and social equity.
I'm Varun, an Integrative Biology major at the University of Illinois. My writing can be found in the Science section. I love learning about all things science and hope to pursue medicine as part of the surgical field. I am fascinated by genetic engineering technology and hope to be a leader in the furthering of its safe use.
Fun Fact: I have a fraternal twin brother!
Hi, I'm Rajveer but I go by Raj and I am a Molecular Biology major at Princeton University. I am passionate about medical advancements especially those in the fields of dermatology and neurology.
Fun Fact: I have rode the world's faster, tallest and oldest roller coasters!
I am a freshman at Princeton University studying Civil and Environmental Engineering. I write for the Science section and am passionate about conservation, sustainability, and the environment. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis and baking!
My topic series are about Science. I study Molecular and Cellular Biology as well as Computer Science at Harvard. Some of my passions are planetary health, interstellar travel, and art. A fun fact about me is that I have over 4,500 songs (and counting) in my playlist!
I'm interested in learning about recent medical discoveries that not only have widespread implications for improving patient health but also ensure sustainability within the larger global context. Some examples include the widespread uses of botox as a treatment for conditions that affect muscular function and exploring the ethics behind new medical technology such as CRISPR. As for a fun fact, my favorite show is Bridgerton, and I love attempting to speak with a British accent!
My name is Yash Thakkar and I am an aspiring BSE Computer Science at Princeton University. I also hope to get a Finance, and Statistics and Machine Learning Certificate. I look forward to being part of The Insight Spark.
Elijah Benson (he/him)
I am a Politics major with a minor in African American Studies at Princeton University. I write within the Politics section at The Insight Spark. I am passionate about finding true equality for people of all backgrounds.
Fun Fact: I love sports and my favorite teams are the Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Yankees.
Nabaa Al Hashimi
I am a sophomore at Princeton University majoring in Chemical and Biological Engineering on the biotechnology and pre-med track. My interests are in science, health, and wellness, mainly focusing on technology's intersection with medicine and wellness. Other than my love for STEM, I have also been a painter for 8 years.
My writings fit specifically in the science (especially interested in renewable energy and AI systems) section. I'm a freshman attending Princeton University, hoping to concentrate in either physics or computer science. One non-academic topic I'm passionate about is my preservation of my culture and heritage as an Armenian American; especially with the recent aggression towards Armenians by Azerbaijan, I am an activist for Armenian Genocide recognition and modern day injustice advocacy. In terms of a couple fun facts, I love to play the piano and I'm a black belt in taekwondo.
I am a student of Sociology and Education at Stanford University. My areas of interest include issues of identity, inclusion, and multilingualism. In my free time, I can be found researching mother-tongue education in post-colonial nations, trying to figure out how the world works or, most importantly, having conversations. Contact me at: email@example.com
I'm undecided right now, but on the premed track. I'm passionate about health policy and quantitative biology research, which I plan to do a LOT of while I'm here in college. Thus, I'm probably going to write a lot of Politics and Health/Wellness related articles. FUN FACT: Outside of my health interests - I bike, play Civilization VI, and obsess over international politics.
My writing with Insight Spark fits within the interdisciplinary topics of Society and Science. I am attending Harvard University, in the Class of 2024, and am planning on concentrating on Bioengineering in the premed track. I am passionate about the science behind medicine and equity in the field of medicine and healthcare. A fun fact about me is that I love to cliff dive!
I am a student at Stanford University, double majoring in International Relations and Comparative Literature and my writing fits within politics. I am passionate about human rights, swing dancing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. One time, I licked the Statue of Liberty.
Sreeta is a math major at Princeton University, pursuing minors in Finance and Statistics and Machine Learning. In her free time, she enjoys playing and composing for the piano.
I am a junior at Princeton University majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Computer Science. I am passionate about exploring the effects of technology in child development. During my free time, I enjoy making origami and playing boardgames with family and friends.
Charlie is a Politics writer for the Insight Spark. He is a prospective SPIA major at Princeton University. He is passionate about all things politics, especially criminal justice and the effects of the media. Charlie also loves comedy and has even written some of his own material.
I write on religion and American intellectual history for the Society + Culture section. I am a history major at the University of California, Berkeley, where I concentrate on American religious history, intellectual history, and ideas of morality and civil society. Within these areas, I am especially interested in the interactions between people of faith and secular spaces.
Fun Fact: I love to hike and run on the Bay Area's beautiful trails!
I am a Human Biology major at Stanford, concentrating in neurobiology and neurology. She is fascinated by how the brain orchestrates complex human behavior such as consciousness and sleep. I write about the societal impacts of sleep within the Health + Wellness section, using scientific findings to promote wellbeing. When I am not writing or podcasting, I enjoy watching Vine compilations, reading fantasy novels, and cooking for her friends and family.
I am a sophomore at Princeton, and I for the Health + Wellness section! As a Chemistry major on the pre-med track, my research interests include medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, and drug discovery, and in my free time, I can usually be found reading dystopian novels or eating cookies. A fun fact about me is that I love kiwis even though I'm mildly allergic to them!
I'm majoring in Materials Science and Engineering with a concentration in Energy Technology at Stanford University. I'm interested in sustainability; equity in STEM education; and language, culture, and rhetoric. A fun fact about me is that I'm a proud lacrosse goalie. Our topic is at the intersection of sociology, political science, economics, and community organizing.
I am a Society + Culture writer from Los Angeles, California. When not getting lost in the sonic correspondences of Sun Ra and Drexciya, I can be found hiking around the San Bernardino Mountains. I am an English major and necronaut-in-training from Stanford.
As a scholar who is passionate about service and science, I hope to inform readers about ongoing efforts in the academic field to gain a better understanding of modern science. I am currently a Freshmen at Princeton University and I plan on studying Astrophysics. A fun fact about me is that I was born and raised in Hawai'i.
I'm Eli, a Human Biology major at Stanford. I'm passionate about the arts, and support the utopian vision of a society where sustainable production is done by AI and people live on a universal basic income, free to pursue their interests. Currently, I'm writing about imagining alternatives to exploitative systems, which lies at the intersection of economics, political science, sociology, and community organizing.
As a Classics major at Columbia University, Gabrielle Epuran has contributed her passion for literature and philosophy to the Society and Culture section of The Insight Spark. If she were to bring a single item to a deserted island, she'd bring a hat, just in case it gets too sunny.
I am a student at Princeton University and plan on majoring in history. I compete in Quizbowl and play the trumpet. Outside of academics, I enjoy composing orchestral music, reading books, and playing Fire Emblem.
I'm a sophomore at Princeton studying Economics with minors in Finance, Statistics and Machine Learning, and East Asian Studies. I'm very passionate about political economy, macroeconomics, and international trade and development. When I'm not writing for the Personal Finance & Economics section, I can be found exploring new food places and trying how to replicate their recipes.
I am a Political Science major and Arabic Studies minor at Swarthmore College with a passion for exploring the factors that lead people to have the political beliefs and behaviors that they do. I write for the Politics section!
Fun fact: I know how to make homemade cheese!
My writing/editing fits into economics and personal finance. I am an Economics major at Princeton, completing the Political Economy track and the Finance certificate. My passions range from taking over the world with nothing but a sharpie and smartphone to daydreaming about becoming a pirate.
Fun fact: I was born exactly on the leap day, in 2000, so I am five years old -- therefore not responsible for anything I might have said on this bio.
I am a sophomore at Northwestern studying Communication Studies and Asian American Studies. My writing fits into the Society and Culture section, as I am especially passionate about human rights and Third World feminism.
Fun Fact: I love dogs and thinking about food! In my free time, I like to play the cello, mountain bike and watch baking videos.
I am a biochemistry and data science major at Columbia University and I am super interested in exploring the intersection of clinical practice and medical research as a physician-scientist! My articles will fall under the Science section covering immunology and personalized medicine.
Fun fact: I've moved from the east to west coast, and back again!
I am a junior at UC Berkeley studying Economics and Data Science. I am interested in using economic analysis to better how we can build more sustainable cities in the face of climate change. I hope to make a difference through research, analysis, and policy.
Fun Fact: I can make a mean sourdough!
I am a student at Princeton University majoring in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Fun Fact: I am an international student from India!
I'm a freshman at Princeton University and I would say my writing best fits within the Science and Personal Finance and Economics section. Currently, I'm debating between studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering or Operations Research and Financial Engineering along with certificates in Sustainable Energy and Archaeology. I'm extremely interested in the intersection of renewable energy technology and energy finance, specifically how to promote energy integration in developing nations, and while I'm not writing for the Insight Spark or doing problem sets, I love playing and watching sports as well as learning how to cook!
I am a sophomore at Columbia College, majoring in Biochemistry with a potential Education concentration. I currently conduct research in the Biomedical Engineering Department on the frontiers of artificial intelligence and medical advancements. I am planning to do humanities research as well, hopefully getting the chance to analyze disparities in health across different communities. A fun fact about me is that I am a major tea enthusiast!
I am a writer whose content falls under the science section of The Insight Spark. I am a junior at Stanford University pursuing a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in English and a coterminal M.S. in Biology. Dante is passionate about basic science research, advocating for educational equity and working to understand social determinants of health. In my free time, I enjoys playing the flute, experimenting in the kitchen and starting books I won't finish.
I am a homeschooled Tejano from the small town of Manvel and member of the Class of 2022 at Princeton. I am interested in microbiome and community health as a career path and supporting rural and indigenous communities. My other interests include studying Amerindian oral history, serving in Princeton Christian Fellowship, scootering, and observing native flora with friends.