J. James Woods - Lectures in the Sciences & Mathematics

Woods Lecture Series Schedule

Fall Series Schedule

Gregory Pence
"Ethics of Stem Cell Research"

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly Room

PenceGregory Pence is known as one of the founders of bioethics and an aggressive defender of all cloning research. One of the pioneering bioethicists in America, Pence has a unique point of view since he has seen many past prophecies of doom fail and is optimistic about biotechnology.

In a phrase: Pence believes his opponents are creating a new Age of Darkness.

He is nationally and internationally famous for defending cloning and genetically modified food against bio-Luddites and Nay-Sayers, who oppose research on stem cells and cloning. And because of his views, his talks have been picketed by Greenpeace and anti-cloning zealots.

His book Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? rigorously attacks opponents of cloning.

His second book on cloning, Cloning After Dolly: Who's Still Afraid?, argues for the legalization of artificial wombs and trans-species hybrids. Pence notes that most people's perception of cloning is based more on science fiction than science, and that anti-cloners draw false or irrelevant distinctions based on questions of human dignity and a religious view of the embryo as a human life. He argues that cloning is actually a biological imperative: we must develop cloning technology in order to survive the next plague.

Indianapolis Zoo Prize Winner - Steven Amstrup
"Polar Bears and Global Warming: Reliable Predictions and Hope in an Uncertain World"

Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly Room

AmstrupIn 2007, Dr. Amstrup's research team at the U.S. Geological Survey projected that we could lose two-thirds of the world's polar bears by mid century and may lose all of them by the end of this century. More recently, he and his colleagues showed that preventing the extinction of polar bears is largely a matter of controlling greenhouse gas rise. The good news is that prompt action to arrest greenhouse gas rise will preserve sustainable polar bear populations over much of their current range. Even more importantly, acting in time to save polar bears will benefit the rest of life on earth-including humans.

Read more about the Indianapolis Zoo Prize.

Ronald Mallett
"Time Traveler: A Scientist's Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality"

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 - 7:30 PM, Reilly Room

MallettIn his popular lectures, attended by his peers and interested onlookers, Ronald Mallett explains his theories, which are derived from the work of Einstein and Gödel and from his own experiments over 30 years (much of which has been published in journals). But behind the science - which is delivered in clear, captivating language with inspired metaphors (a spoon stirring a glass of water)-lies Mallett's personal story. He touches on the death of his father when he was a boy (which set him on his current path to invent a time machine) and tells us how he overcame poverty and racism to become one of the few African-American Ph.Ds in theoretical physics.




Spring 2013 Woods Lecture Series Schedule

John Marzluff
Paving paradise: the response of birds to urbanization

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly Room

John -Marzloff

John Marzluff is Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington.  His

graduate (Northern Arizona University) and initial post-doctoral (University of Vermont) research focused on the social behavior and ecology of jays and ravens. With his wife, Collen, he has just published Dog Days, Raven Nights (2011), which combines reflection with biology and the recreational pursuit of dog sledding to show how a life in science blooms.  Gifts of the Crow (2012) applies a neurobiological perspective to understand the amazing feats of Corvids.  He has led studies on the effects of military training on falcons and eagles in southwestern Idaho, the effects of timber harvest, recreation, and forest fragmentation on goshawks and marbled murrelets in western Washington and Oregon, conservation strategies for Pacific Island crows, and the effects of urbanization on songbirds in the Seattle area. He is currently leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Recovery Team for the critically endangered Mariana Crow, a member of the Washington Biodiversity Council, and a Fellow of the American Ornithologist's Union.

Frances Champagne
Epigenetics and early life experiences

Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2013 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly Room

Frances -Champagne

Frances A. Champagne Ph.D. completed graduate training in 2004 at McGill University, obtaining a M.Sc. in Psychiatry and a Ph.D in Neuroscience followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge, UK and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University and a Sackler Scientist with the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University. Dr. Champagne's current and ongoing research explores the implications of these influences for the transmission of behavior across generations and the molecular mechanisms through which these effects are achieved.  The interplay between genes and the environment is critical during the process of development and exploring the role of epigenetic mechanisms in linking experiences with developmental outcomes is an evolving field of study.  Dr. Champagne uses rodent models to study epigenetics, neurobiology, and behavior and also collaborates with clinical researchers who would like to apply the study of epigenetics to better understand origins of variation in human behavior.  In addition to investigating the modulating effects of mother-infant interactions, Dr. Champagne is currently exploring a broad array of social influences and environmental exposures.

Keith Devlin
The Symbol Barrier: Using Video Games to Overcome the Greatest Obstacle to Good Mathematics Learning

Tuesday, Apr. 2nd, 2013 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly Room

Keith -Devlin

Dr. Keith Devlin is a mathematician at Stanford University in California, a co-founder and Executive Director of the university's H-STAR institute, a co-founder of the Stanford Media X research network, and a Senior Researcher at CSLI. He is a World Economic Forum Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His current research is focused on the use of different media to teach and communicate mathematics to diverse audiences. He also works on the design of information/reasoning systems for intelligence analysis. Other research interests include: theory of information, models of reasoning and communication, and mathematical cognition. He has written 31 books and over 80 published research articles. Recipient of the Peano Prize, the Pythagoras Prize, the Carl Sagan Award, and the Communications Award of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics. In 2003, he was recognized by the California State Assembly for his "innovative work and longtime service in the field of mathematics and its relation to logic and linguistics." And he is "the Math Guy" on National Public Radio.