2017 Provost's Lecture Series

Lecture Series Guidelines

October 2: John Hooker
john hookerTaking Ethics Seriously: Why Ethics Is an Essential Tool for the Modern Workplace
John Hooker is T. Jerome Holleran Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, and Professor of Operations Research, at Carnegie Mellon University. He has also held visiting posts at numerous universities, most recently at the London School of Economics and the State University of Campinas, Brazil. He holds doctoral degrees in philosophy and management science. He brings his extensive background in philosophy, mathematics and logic to the rigorous analysis of ethical dilemmas, and his background in management to making sure the dilemmas are realistic. He has published more than 170 research articles, eight books, and five edited volumes on ethics, operations research, and cross-cultural issues, including Business Ethics as Rational Choice, Taking Ethics Seriously, and Working across Cultures. Hooker is the founding editor-in-chief of the world’s only academic journal dedicated to teaching business ethics and has organized international ethics conferences in China, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. He also has a strong interest in cross-cultural ethics and has lived and worked in 10 countries on 6 continents. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences and has served on numerous program committees and editorial boards.  At Carnegie Mellon, he developed the ethics program in the Tepper School of Business and received a Distinguished Academic Leadership Award, an Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence (one of only two awarded), and the Gerald Thompson Award for Excellence in the Classroom. 

Co-sponsors: Center for Integration of Business Education & Humanities and College of Business

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

October 12: Carl Zimmer
carl zimmerScience Reporting in the Age of Fake News
Carl Zimmer is a columnist for The New York Times, national correspondent for STAT, and three-time winner of the  American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Kavli Science Journalism Award. He has written 13 books about biology and medicine and hundreds of features for magazines such as The Atlantic, National Geographic and Scientific American. As one interviewer wrote of Zimmer, “Unlike his literary icon, Herman Melville, he doesn't adorn his writing with ornate flourishes or complicated scaffolding. His approach is simple, elegant, and potent, much like the microscopic lifeforms he so often examines. And, like these microorganisms, he is a marvel of adaptability and innovation. “ The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award lecture series brings winners of the distinguished journalism award to campuses for public lectures and workshops with journalism students. Zimmer won the AAAS Kavli Award twice in the large newspaper category (2012 and 2009) and once in the online category (2004).

Co-sponsors: School of Journalism, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science and The Kavli Foundation.

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

The Presentation of the Rohlf Medal

October 24: Dennis E. Slice
dennis sliceAn Unexpected Journey: A Curious Career in Shape Analysis
Dennis E. Slice is a professor in the Department of Scientific Computing at Florida State University and Honorarprofessor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria. He received his doctorate in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology at the College of Charleston, SC. His work focuses on the development of theoretical and methodological issues in shape analysis, morphometrics, and on their application to real-world problems such as the fit and function of protective equipment and the development of tools and methods for forensic science. He has produced over one hundred scholarly works and is the manager and moderator for MORPHMET, the international mailing list for morphometrics. He has released in excess of twenty computer programs for use by the morphometrics community and has lectured and taught courses and workshops on shape analysis in fourteen countries.

Co-sponsors: Department of Anthropology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Abstract: The field of modern morphometrics grew up around me while in graduate school, and I was most fortunate during this period to be closely associated with the founders and leaders of the field. In this talk, I will indulge myself a bit and summarize some of the people and events that led me to the unlikely position of being in the right place at a propitious time to be part of this growing and increasingly important field. I will discuss some of the developments in shape analysis during my graduate career and the people who were involved and who influenced me. I will conclude with a summary of my post-graduate work in software and methodological development and applications, my outstanding students who are now making important contributions of their own, and speculate just a bit on the short-term advances of which I hope 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

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