Visits and Events
FALL SEMESTER 2016
Campus Visit: September 11-17, 2016
Campus Visit: October 7-18, 2016
Thursday, October 13, 2016
How a Salamander Saved a City
How are endangered species discovered? How can they save a city?
Barton Springs is a resource unique to Austin, Texas drawing thousands of visitors every year. Yet, Barton Springs is home to endangered species of salamanders rarely seen by the public. In the early 1990s, Dr. David Hillis, a professor at The University of Texas, discovered the Barton Springs salamander. Dr. Hillis will share how the Barton Springs salamander was identified as an endangered species and its impact in Austin’s economic development.
CONVERSATION AT KEETON HOUSE
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm
William Keeton Residence House, West Campus
The Last Great Unexplored Realm of Earth
This talk will discuss the effort to discover and understand the Earth’s biodiversity,
why we know so little of the Earth’s biota, why it matters to our health, prosperity, and happiness, and some possible solutions for addressing the world’s biodiversity challenges in the years ahead.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Is Geo-logy the New Umbrella for All Sciences?
Klarman Hall Auditorium
If the disputed notion of the Anthropocene is taken seriously, in what way does it modify the organization of the old Humboldtian university? Starting from an analysis of some geo-science, the lecture will explore what are the effects of the new climatic regime on social sciences and the humanities.
CONVERSATION AT KEETON HOUSE
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
William Keeton House, West Campus
“Climate: Make It Work!”
For the first time in the 20 years of existence of the UN Climate negotiations, 200 students from all around the world gathered in Paris to act out and reinvent a life-size COP. They had three days and a night to reach consensus. Their motto: Make It Work!
Campus Visit: November 13-19, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
“In Defense of Crazy Ideas”
After a lecture by the great physicist Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr said : “We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.” I will discuss the essential role of crazy ideas in science (not just physics) and what distinguishes bad crazy from good crazy. What does it mean to be “crazy enough”? Some of the examples will be drawn from prominent past Cornell professors and distinguished visitors. Most published science is mundane and most funding mechanisms favor conventional directions and no consideration of others ( cf. Robert Frost’s The Road not Taken). Even the best science can have a large amount of conventional scientific justification (LHC finding the Higgs boson, LIGO finding gravitational waves). Good speculation is hard. The proof of this claim lies in the evident rarity of examples. A well-formulated personal and institutional portfolio of science should include the good crazy and the good speculation. The trick lies in identifying it (even when it is wrong, as is often the case).
SPRING SEMESTER 2017
Campus Visit: March 26-March 30, 2017
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
“The Amazing Race… to Save the Cheetah”
The world’s fastest land mammal, the cheetah is the animal kingdom’s icon of speed and grace. But with less than 7,100 in the wild, this popular big cat is running for its life. Cheetah numbers are declining at such a rapid rate, the species is in danger of becoming extinct during our lifetimes. Can you imagine living in a world without cheetahs? Conservation Biologist Dr. Laurie Marker cannot. She has devoted her life to saving the cheetah from extinction. Over a career spanning more than 40 years, Dr. Marker’s cheetah conservation, research and outreach initiatives have taken her from a safari park in Oregon, to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and for the past 26 years to the rugged savannas of Namibia, Africa as well as the halls of government and academia across Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. Dr. Marker will detail the challenges she’s faced and the reasons she has hope this beautiful big cat can be saved.
Campus Visit: RESCHEDULED MARCH 2018
Campus Visit: April 26-May 2, 2017