2017 Provost's Lecture Series
The Presentation of the Rohlf Medal
An Unexpected Journey: A Curious Career in Shape Analysis
Abstract: This talk will summarize some of the people and events that led Slice to the unlikely position of being in the right place at a propitious time to be part of the growing and increasingly important field of modern morphometrics. He will discuss some of the developments in shape analysis during his graduate career and the people who were involved and who influenced him. He will conclude with a summary of his post-graduate work in software and methodological development and applications, his outstanding students who are now making important contributions of their own, and will speculate on the short-term advances of which he hopes to be a part. Application areas to be visited include ecology and evolution, the analysis of clothing and protective apparel, and computational forensics.
Tuesday, October 24, 4:00 pm, Wang Center, Lecture Hall 1
November 1: Todd Gitlin
Democracy, Populism and Fake News in the Age of Trump
Co-sponsor: School of Journalism
Abstract: The response to any threats to our democratic principles will require not only a reassertion
of political responsibility, but a reassertion of the highest values of the republic
by three of the institutions charged with its protection: the press, the courts and
a representative Congress. This talk will examine whether these institutions are up
to the challenge and propose a few ideas in an era of “fake news” and Twitter populism.
November 2: Paul G. Falkowski
This lecture will look “under the hood” of cells to examine the evolution of protein
structures that are responsible for life on Earth. These structures are literal nanomachines
that physically move electrons and generate energy for life. All of the core structures
evolved over 2.5 billion years ago in microbes and were subsequently inherited by
plants and animals. Ultimately they came to form a global electronic circuit that
is powered by the Sun. Over geological time, the global electronic circuit completely
altered the gas composition of Earth. This phenomenon guides us in our search for
life on planets outside of our solar system.
November 9: Claude M. Steele
Stereotype Threat and Identity Threat: The Science of a Diverse Community
Co-sponsors: Division of Undergraduate Education
Abstract: Drawing on stereotype threat and social identity threat research, this talk will address
how of diverse learning communities:
why they are important, a working hypothesis about
what is critical to their success and what research reveals about
how to achieve that success. The talk’s practical aim is to identify features of diverse
learning communities—schools, universities and academic disciplines—that while good
for all students, are especially helpful for minority students generally, and for
women in STEM fields. The talk will also explore the psychological significance of
community and its role in learning.
November 14: Eugene Alletto
The Entrepreneurs Edge
Co-sponsor: College of Business
The Entrepreneurs Edge is an interview-format speaker event with highly successful entrepreneurs from Long
Island, New York City and around the country. Joe Campolo, Chairman of Protegrity
Partners is the moderator/interviewer and asks tough but respectful questions about
real-life business experiences, including successes, challenges and inevitable failures
along the way. The event provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like
to build a successful business.
October 2: John Hooker
Taking Ethics Seriously: Why Ethics Is an Essential Tool for the Modern Workplace
Abstract: Ethics is no less important to an organization than technology or finance. We need ethics not to decide who is good or bad, but to build social infrastructure that, like physical infrastructure, is indispensable to getting anything done. Simplistic platitudes cannot accomplish this. Only a sophisticated intellectual framework can guide us through the complexities of today’s world. This talk illustrates why failures to think analytically about ethics, not bad people, lie behind many ethical lapses in organizations. It presents examples of how ethical dilemmas can be resolved, and sound organizational policies developed, on the basis of rigorous ethical analysis.
Monday, October 2, 2:30 pm, Wang Center, Lecture Hall 1
The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Lecture
Science Reporting in the Age of Fake News
Abstract: Are humans causing the planet to get hotter? Do vaccines cause autism? Did our species evolve 300,000 years ago? Scientists have answered these questions (yes, no, yes), yet these subjects and many others are now fiercely contested, in some cases by government officials. This talk will explore the current state of science reporting, including some hopeful innovations that may bring more understanding to the public about how the world works.
Thursday, October 12, 4:00 pm, Wang Center Theater