J. James Woods - Lectures in the Sciences & Mathematics

2008 - 2009 Series

Mistakes were Made (but not by me)

Thursday, September 18th, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

Elliot AronsonElliot Aronson, named one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, Elliot Aronson is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is best known for his work on cognitive dissonance and cooperative learning. His books include Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion after Columbine and The Jigsaw Classroom: Building Cooperation in the Classroom. His latest book, Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why we Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, will be the focus of his talk.

A Naturalist and Other Beasts

Tuesday, September 30th, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

Prize Schaller Courtesy WCSGeorge B. Schaller, relentless in his efforts to save endangered species across the globe since 1952, the renowned field biologist George B. Schaller has been named the 2008 recipient of the Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation. Schaller will share his experiences traveling back to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after 50 years, his current research in the Tibetan Plateau, and his groundbreaking research in Rwanda with mountain gorillas. Schaller is Senior Conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and has written more than 220 popular and scientific articles and 16 books. His lecture is cosponsored by the Indianapolis Zoo.

Ancient Fossil Hunters: The Griffin and the Monster of Troy

Wednesday, December 3rd, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

Adrienne MayorAdrienne Mayor, a folklorist and historian of ancient science, investigates natural knowledge embedded in ancient mythology. Her books include The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times, Fossil Legends of the First Americans, and Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs. Mayor's work has been featured on the History and Discovery channels. Her lecture will discuss how the discovery of ancient fossils influenced the myths of Greek and Roman antiquity.

Secret Lights in the Sea

Wednesday, March 4th, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

Edith WidderBiologist and deep-sea explorer Edith Widder combines her expertise in research and technological innovation with a commitment to reversing the worldwide trend of degradation in our marine environment. Widder, a recent MacArthur Fellow, is president of the Ocean Research & Conservation Association. A key effort of the Association is the development of state-of-the-art sensors and technological systems for evaluating water quality and ecosystem health. While translating complex scientific issues into workable solutions, Dr. Widder is fostering greater understanding of ocean life as a means to better, more informed ocean stewardship. A specialist in bioluminescence, she has been a leader in helping to design and invent new for the observation of deep-sea environments.

Search for the Chimera

Monday, April 6th, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

James RandiJames Randi is an acclaimed magician, escape artist, and 1986 MacArthur Fellow who has devoted his life to debunking claims of pseudo-science and the paranormal. Perhaps best known for his debunking of Uri Geller's claims of psychic powers, Randi has turned his skeptical eye toward everything from UFOs to faith healers. In his lecture, Randi will discuss examples of pseudo-scientific claims (from UFOs to the Bermuda triangle), and will show how ordinary people and even many scientists have been fooled. Mr. Randi is founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation, an institution that seeks to educate the public about claims of the supernatural and paranormal.