2017 Provost's Lecture Series 

Guidelines for Provost Lectures »  

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March 2: Claude M. Steele 

steeleStereotype and Identity Threat: Toward a Science of Diverse Community
Claude M. Steele is a social psychologist and a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. He has also served in several major academic leadership positions: for the past two years as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UC Berkeley, the three years prior as the I. James Quillen Dean for the School of Education at Stanford University from 2011–2014, and before that as the 21st Provost of Columbia University. Steele has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. 

Steele is recognized as a leader in the field of social psychology and for his commitment to the systematic application of social science to problems of major societal significance. He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. His earlier work dealt with research on the self (e.g., self-image, self-affirmation) as well as the role of self-regulation in addictive behaviors. In 2010, he released his book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, summarizing years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education.

Co-sponsor: Division of Undergraduate Education   

Abstract: The Why, What and How of Making Diverse Learning Communities Effective for All

Thursday, March 2, 10:30 am, Wang Center Theater



February 10: Hopi Hoekstra 

hoekstraWhat Darwin Didn’t Know
Hopi Hoekstra is the Alexander Agassiz Professor of  Zoology and Curator of Mammals in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. She became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2013, and in 2016, she was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. Hoekstra is an evolutionary geneticist who studies the molecular basis of adaptation in deer mice. Her research focuses on understanding how variation is generated and maintained in natural populations. In particular, she is interested in understanding both the proximate (molecular, genetic and developmental mechanisms) and ultimate (timing, strength and agent of selection) causes of evolutionary change. Thus, much of her research focuses on identifying and characterizing the molecular changes responsible for traits that affect fitness of organisms in the wild, in which ecological, developmental and genomic information can be combined to address questions about the evolution of morphological, behavioral and reproductive diversity.

Darwin Day is supported by the Department of Ecology and Evolution and the Living World Lecture Series of Science Open Nights.

Abstract: When Darwin articulated his grand theory of evolution by natural selection in 1859, he was still missing one crucial piece: while he recognized that offspring resembled their parents, he didn’t know how this information was transmitted from one generation to the next.  In the last 150 years, not only has DNA been discovered as the carrier of genetic information, but we are increasingly able to link specific genes to the traits that they encode. Now, we can study how traits evolve – as Darwin did – but also find evidence for evolution at a once unimaginable level: in DNA, genes and genomes. This presentation will explore Hoekstra's work studying evolution in action – by combining experiments in both the lab and the field – linking genes to traits and ultimately to survival.

Friday, February 10, 7:30 pm, Earth and Space Sciences Lecture Theater 001

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