J. James Woods - Lectures in the Sciences & Mathematics

Indianapolis Prize Winner Iain Douglas-Hamilton

Monday, September 27th, 2010 :: 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

hamilton Four decades ago, Iain Douglas-Hamilton pioneered the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behavior that has set the standard for every study to follow. Douglas-Hamilton founded 'Save the Elephants' in 1983 and led emergency anti-poaching efforts in Uganda to bring the elephant population there from the very brink of extinction. He has testified before Congress on behalf of his beloved elephants multiple times, leading to the African elephant bill, to date the most successful funding program for the species.

His pioneering Global Positioning System (GPS) elephant tracking, widely emulated in Africa and Asia, has become a model survey technique. He recently partnered with Google Earth to show elephant movement in real time via satellite images. For more than forty years Iain Douglas-Hamilton has devoted himself to the study and protection of African Elephants.

Because of his relentless, lifelong devotion to the elephants' survival, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., has been named the 2010 recipient of the Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation. The Indianapolis Prize is given to an individual animal conservationist who has made significant achievements in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. The $100,000 biennial award brings the world's attention to the cause of animal conservation and the brave, talented and dedicated men and women who spend their lives saving the world's endangered species. It represents the largest individual monetary award for animal conservation in the world and is given as an unrestricted gift to the chosen recipient.

An Evening with Visionaries: Energy, Design, and the Future of Indianapolis

Presented by the Center for Urban Ecology and the J. James Woods Lecture Series, Supported by Major Sponsor Energy Solutions

Thursday, October 21st, 7:00 pm, Clowes Memorial Hall


Free of charge; ticket required Tickets available at the Clowes Hall Box Office and Ticketmaster, ticketmaster fees apply

Spend the evening with two visionaries discussing the future of ecological design in a post-carbon economy.

Bob Berkebile is a principal at BNIM Architects in Kansas City, MO.  He is a founding member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and helped develop the Leadership in

Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating system.orr

David Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College. He is best known for his pioneering work on environmental literacy in higher education and his recent work in ecological design. He is the author of six  books including his most recent, "Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse".  Following the presentation, we will hold a panel discussion that considers innovative, sustainable design opportunities as they relate to the City of Indianapolis.



Chymistry and Alchemy

Monday, November 8th, 7:30 pm, Pharmacy and Health Services Building 150

newman1Bill Newman's research interests focus on early modern "chymistry", the combination of alchemy and early chemistry.  Newman's chymistry experiments replicate the works of Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Daniel Sennert, and the first famous American scientist, George Starkey.  Newman is also the general editor of "The Chymistry of Isaac Newton", an integrated project that combines new research on Newton's chymistry with an online edition of his manuscripts in both diplomatic and normalized texts.  His presentation will include demonstrations of these historical experiments.

As a professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at IU Bloomington, Newman teaches courses on the history of matter-theory and the history of early chemical technology. He has been awarded fellowships, grants, and prizes from a wide variety of foundations, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, and the National Science Foundation.  Newman was recently featured in the July-August 2010 issue of Discover Magazine as well as on NOVA: Newton's Dark Secrets.


Spring 2011

The Virus Hunter - Nathan Wolfe

Tuesday, February 22, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

wolfeNathan Wolfe rethinks pandemic control for our globalized world. By concentrating on how epidemic diseases--such as HIV, SARS, and West Nile--all stem from human contact with infected animals, he is able to discover new threatening viruses where they first emerge. In 2009, Rolling Stone named him one of their "100 Agents of Change", and Google and the Skoll foundation have given him over $11 million in funding - making Wolfe, a Stanford University professor, one of the leading minds in epidemiology and virology, a man poised to eradicate pandemics before they even happen.

As the founder and director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative--an acclaimed research institute monitoring outbreaks in Africa and Asia--Wolfe is fueled by unwavering curiosity. "We have the potential to explore a completely new biological world and go out and really find new things all the time." A dynamic field-oriented virologist, he has spoken, accessibly and entertainingly, for the likes of TED and the National Institute for Health. A Fulbright Fellow, Wolfe is the recipient of the National Geographic Emerging Explorers Award.



Conservation, African Elephants and American Land Trusts

Presented by the Central Indiana Land Trust and the J. James Woods Lecture Series

katyMonday, March 7, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

Katy Payne started her career listening to the songs of the humpback whale.  That changed in 1984 after an encounter with two Asian elephants at the Washington Park Zoo.  She was intrigued by the infrasonic calls made by the elephants that were separated by their enclosures.  Studies soon followed that showed elephants use these low-frequency calls to coordinate their social behavior over long distances. In 1999 the Elephant Listening Project (ELP) was founded to further the use of acoustic methods to study and aid in the conservation of forest elephants in Central Africa.

Katy retired from the ELP in 2006, but is still involved with its activities and projects. Her current interests include global and local conservation efforts and the role of land trusts in conservation.  Payne will talk about her work with elephants and the important role land trusts play in conservation.  She is the author of "Silent Thunder: In the Presence of Elephants".


In Search of The Shape of The Universe


Tuesday, March 29, 7:30 pm, Atherton Union Reilly Room

In  2003 Grigoriy Perelman, a reclusive Russian mathematician, announced that he had solved the Poincaré Conjecture.  This conjecture is one of the most famous problems in mathematics and was considered to be virtually unsolvable.  Donal O'shea, the Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs and  Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Mount Holyoke College will be speaking about the amazing story of this 100 year old theorem. The conjecture was presented in 1904 by mathematician Henri Poincaré. O'Shea explores the history of the conjecture and the lives of Poincaré, his predecessors, contemporaries, and successors. O'Shea is also the author of " The Poincaré Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe".