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LBC Speaker Series Archive

2015-16 LBC Student and Faculty Speaker Series

Who Should Count as a Woman on the Playing Field? The Question of Intersex and Trans in Sports

Alice Dreger

Tuesday, November 10th, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

This talk begins with a review of how many sports have historically been divided by gender (man/woman), although we've generally pretended the division is by sex (male/female). The more that we learn about gender and sex, the more we know the drawing sex and gender divisions is not so easy. So what should happen in sports? This lecture explores this question, taking into account biology, the nature of sport (including the value of fairness), and social justice concerns. The speaker, who has consulted on this question with the International Olympic Committee's Medical Commission, will parse out the issues and offer a few possible solutions.

Saving the Rainforest: A Personal Journey Practical Approaches Chucanti, a Cloud Forest in Panama

Guido Berguido

Thursday, October 29th, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Hailed by conservation biologists as a beacon of hope for saving tropical Rainforests, Guido Berguido is a scientist on a mission to save Panama’s rainforests before unknown species are driven to extinction. His background as a birdwatching guide and his passion for environmental education led him to create the Chucantí Cloud Forest Reserve before loggers destroyed this unique forest. Since its creation, several new species have been described from the area and scientists are finding more each year.

Neuroscience and Human Experience: Deep Insight or Neuro-babble?

Mark Reimers

Tuesday, October 6th, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Neuroscience has become ubiquitous in the past decade; newspapers report almost daily about how some aspect of everyday life affects, or depends on, some brain function. How much of this is useful insight, and how much is hype? Recent books like Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, take pop neuroscience to task. How credible are newspaper reports about the neuroscience of daily experience? Will the new technologies of the BRAIN initiative give a more nuanced picture? How will neurobiology change our understanding of what it means to be human?

The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club

Eileen Pollack

Wednesday, April 6, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Presentation Video

In 2005, when Lawrence Summers, then president of Harvard, asked why so few women, even today, achieve tenured positions in the hard sciences, Eileen Pollack set out to find the answer. A successful fiction writer, Pollack had grown up in the 1960s and ’70s dreaming of a career as a theoretical astrophysicist. Denied the chance to take advanced courses in science and math, she nonetheless made her way to Yale. There, despite finding herself far behind the men in her classes, she went on to graduate summa cum laude, with honors, as one of the university’s first two women to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics. And yet, isolated, lacking in confidence, starved for encouragement, she abandoned her ambition to become a physicist.

Years later, spurred by the suggestion that innate differences in scientific and mathematical aptitude might account for the dearth of tenured female faculty at Summer’s institution, Pollack thought back on her own experiences and wondered what, if anything, had changed in the intervening decades.

Based on six years interviewing her former teachers and classmates, as well as dozens of other women who had dropped out before completing their degrees in science or found their careers less rewarding than they had hoped, The Only Woman in the Room is a bracingly honest, no-holds-barred examination of the social, interpersonal, and institutional barriers confronting women and minorities in the STEM fields. This frankly personal and informed book reflects on women’s experiences in a way that simple data can’t, documenting not only the more blatant bias of another era but all the subtle disincentives women in the sciences still face.

The Only Woman in the Room shows us the struggles women in the sciences have been hesitant to admit, and provides hope for changing attitudes and behaviors in ways that could bring far more women into fields in which even today they remain seriously underrepresented.

Vaccines and the Rising Number of Vaccine Hesitant Parents

Mark Largent

Tuesday, March 1, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Presentation Video
Presentation Slideshow

Over the two decades, the U.S. has witnessed a rising number of parents who have expressed serious reservations about the number and timing of the vaccines they are expected to allow their children to receive. At the same time, the number of vaccines has drastically increased. How do we maintain high levels of vaccine compliance in the midst of increasing concerns and heated debates?

Prof. Largent has spent the last eight years studying parental concerns about vaccine compliance. In 2012 he published Vaccine: The Debate in Modern American (Johns Hopkins University Press), and he is currently working with Prof. Aaron McCright on a study of vaccine-hesitant parents. His talk will explore some of the underlying concerns about vaccines and describe the ways in which public health officials can address them.

Darwin in London

Joe Cain

Tuesday, February 9, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Presentation Video
Presentation Slideshow

Darwin lived in the central metropolis of London for a short, but crucial, period in his life. This was after his travels on HMS Beagle and until his move to Down House in 1842. The period witnessed his transformation into a established gentleman of science, his marriage to Emma Wedgewood, and the start of his life as a publishing writer. The talk explores Darwin's intellectual and social life in London. What did it matter that he lived in the metropolis? How did Darwin use the city's resources to his advantage?

The Flint Water Crisis: How could things go so wrong?

Susan Masten

Tuesday, January 26th, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Presentation Video
Presentation Slideshow

Once a robust city due to a booming automotive industry, Flint MI is now suffering a serious economic decline; so severe that it has compromised public health. The City of Flint is home to 99,002 residents, down from a peak of ~197,000 in 1960. More than 40% of those population live below the poverty line. Due to the dire economic challenges facing the city, an emergency manager was appointed November 29, 2011. For the decade prior, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) has supplied drinking water to the city from Lake Huron. In an attempt to reduce costs, on April 25, 2014, the City of Flint began operation of their own drinking water treatment plant using water from the Flint River as the source. In the subsequent weeks, the drinking water quality for Flint residents plummeted. Residents complained of red colored water. A rapid increase in water use also occurred. This was only the beginning of months of problems that have now lead to the mayor declaring the city a disaster area and requesting State and Federal assistance. What really happened? How could things have gone so wrong?

 

2014-15 LBC Student and Faculty Speaker Series

Engines of Knowledge or Merchants of Doubt: Can We Trust Industry-Funded Research?

Kevin Elliott

Tuesday, October 7th, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Private industry now pays for about two-thirds of scientific research and development in the US, but there have been notable cases in which industry-funded research has been manipulated and designed to produce misleading results that harm the public. Prominent examples include tobacco-industry studies developed to exonerate cigarettes and second-hand smoke, pharmaceutical research strategically designed to assist with marketing, and fossil-fuel industry efforts to challenge research on climate change. This talk will explore these worries about industry-funded research, examine the conditions under which research tends to be inappropriately influenced, and offer some suggestions for promoting research that can be widely trusted.

Facebook and Well-Being: A Relationship worth Pondering?

Ethan Kross

Thursday, November 6 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
University of Michigan

Close to a billion people login to Facebook daily, the world's largest online social network. And they are highly motivated to do so. Yet, we know remarkably little about how interacting with this technology influences well-being. In this talk, I will review findings from an ongoing program of research that is examining how interacting with Facebook influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives.

Beyond Masculinity: Testosterone, Sexuality, & Gender/Sex

Sari van Anders

Tuesday, December 2 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
University of Michigan

We all know the story: testosterone is intimately tied to masculinity and sexuality. But what happens when data get in the way of a good story? In this talk, I will detail ongoing empirical and theoretical work from my lab on testosterone and sexuality that provides a new way of conceptualizing the evolved social functions of testosterone. Using results that range from experiments to qualitative focus groups, I will describe how testosterone can be uncoupled from behavioral masculinity per se in humans, and linked to other social constructs. I will highlight how social neuroendocrinology provides a way to ask hormonal questions that have evolution and social construction in their answers, and what this means for the ways that gender/sex can and can't be separated.

The 2012-13 LBC Student and Faculty Speaker Series

Below is a listing of the currently scheduled talks for the Fall 2012 semester.

Headline Events in Lyman Briggs College

Tuesday, October 02

Dr. Elizabeth Simmons: "Newsflash: CERN reports on the Higgs"

Speaker: Dr. Elizabeth Simmons (Dean of Lyman Briggs College and Professor of Physics, Michigan State University)
Time: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: C-106 Holmes Hall
Title: Newsflash: CERN reports on the Higgs

Abstract: Just before dawn on July 4th, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) dramatically announced its latest findings in the search for the Higgs Boson, a particle that may lie at the heart of mass in our universe. But if you slept in that day, here's your chance to get the scoop. Dean Elizabeth H. Simmons, a particle physicist who studies the origin of mass will put the Higgs search in context, explain the new results, and discuss the implications for particle physics... and beyond.

For futher reading:


Wednesday, October 17

London Study-Abroad Informational Meeting

Speakers: Dr. Rich Bellon & Dr. Jim Smith
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: C-106 Holmes Hall

Title: Nature, Frankenstein and the Age of Wonder: A Study-Abroad Program to London

Description: Dr. Bellon and Dr. Smith will provide information and answer questions the "History of Science in Europe" study-abroad program, being held in London from June 29 to July 20, 2013. In addition to exploring science, history and literature in one of the world's most vibrant cities, students can choose from a wide range of classes to fulfill university or college academic requirements: several 300-level HPS classes, the Briggs senior seminar (LB 492), ISS 310, among other classes.


Tuesday, October 30

Dr. Rachel Ankeny: "Bermuda Principles of human genomics and the ideal of 'open science'

Speaker: Dr. Rachel Ankeny (Professor, University of Adelaide)
Time: 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: C-102 Holmes Hall
Title: The Bermuda Triangle: Principles, Practices, and Pragmatics in Genomic Data Sharing (co-authored with Kathryn Maxson and Robert Cook-Deegan)

Abstract:This paper explores the sociocultural history of the 'Bermuda principles' (drafted in their initial form in 1996-7) for scientific data sharing, considered by many to be a model of collaboration within science. The principles require researchers to post their genomic data publicly within 24 hours for unconditional use by others. The Bermuda principles are often cited as critical to the ethos of contemporary biomedical research, and many emphasize the communitarian motivations related to the desire by some researchers to foster public science as being central to their drafting. However much less attention has been paid to a variety of pragmatic considerations which underlay the drafting of the principles, including the need to develop coordination mechanisms for biomedical research which was occurring on an unprecedented global scale (perhaps the best example of ‘big science’ within biomedical research) as well as at a relatively rapid speed. Using historical and sociological research techniques, we explore the epistemological and pragmatic values underlying the principles as well as their effects on scientific practices particularly within large-scale genomic research.

For futher reading:


Events co-sponsored by Lyman Briggs College

Monday, October 08

Dr. Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP

Speaker: Dr. Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP (Professor for Theory and Practice of Medicine, Stanford University)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Wharton Center
Title: TBA

Dr. Verghese's lecture is part of MSU's World View Lecture Series. Advance tickets are available for free to students and faculty.

Tuesday, October 23

Dr. Gail Dines

Speaker: Dr. Gail Dines (Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, Wheelock Colege)
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: RCAH Theater in Snyder Hall
Title: Identity and Intimacy in a Pornographic Culture

Monday, October 29 thru Thursday, November 01

Will Wilson

Speaker: Will Wilson (Navajo photographer and social activist)
Time: 7:00 p.m.(reception begins at 5:00 p.m.)
Location: RCAH LookOut Gallery in Snyder-Phillips Hall
Title: TBA

Reappointment and Promotion Talks

Note: The intended audience for the talks below is LBC faculty and staff.

Friday, November 02

Dr. Sean Valles

Speaker: Dr. Sean Valles (Assistant Professor, Lyman Briggs College and Deparment of Philosophy, Michigan State University)
Time: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Location: C-101 Holmes Hall
Title: TBA

Friday, November 09

Dr. Mark Waddell

Speaker: Dr. Mark Wadell (Assistant Professor, Lyman Briggs College and Deparment of History, Michigan State University)
Time: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Location: C-101 Holmes Hall
Title: TBA

Friday, November 16

Dr. Kelly Millenbah

Speaker: Dr. Kelly Millenbah (Associate Dean of Lyman Briggs College and Associate Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University)
Time: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Location: C-101 Holmes Hall
Title: TBA