Woods Lecture Series 2014-2015
Patricia C. Wright
Saving Lemurs from Extinction: The Challenges
Monday, Sept. 29, 2014 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
The 2014 Indianapolis
Prize Winner, Patricia Chapple Wright, presents the challenges,
cooperation, and triumphs in her efforts to save some of the most
critically endangered species on Earth. Wright gives new meaning to
the phrase, "It takes a village." You will see how a team effort
between the Malagasy government, villagers, and Wright is making
life better not only for the people, but also the lemurs. Wright
and the lemurs were featured in a 3-D IMAX documentary released
nationwide in April 2014, titled "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar."
The film, narrated by Morgan Freeman, aimed to inspire a mainstream
audience to advance the conservation efforts for lemurs,primates
that have been around since the time of the dinosaurs.
From the Mendelian Gene to the Dynamic Genome
Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
briefly sketch the history of the gene concept from the heyday of
Mendelian genetics in the early 20th century through the landmark
discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953 and
the Human Genome Project to the contemporary concept of the genome.
He will explain how current understanding of genomes has displaced
or marginalized traditional and still widely held interpretations
of genes as the causes of particular features of organisms.
Dupré will also discuss how increasingly dynamic
understandings of the genome are undermining and supplanting
popular ideas of the genome as a blueprint or a program.
Your humble Servant, Is. Newton
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
years ago, Cambridge University Press published the
correspondence of Isaac Newton, a seven-volume, 3000-page
collection of letters that provide insight into this great,
if difficult, genius. In this talk, Dunham shares his
favorite examples of Newton as correspondent. From his
earliest known letter in 1661 (where he scolded a friend for
being drunk); through exchanges with Leibniz, Locke, and others; to
documents from his days at the Mint in London, these writings give
glimpses of Newton at his best … and his worst.
Paradigms and the Cold War "Struggle for Men's
Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015- 7:30 p.m., Reilly
This lecture will
explore Thomas Kuhn's famous theory of scientific paradigms and how
it was inspired and shaped by the anticommunism of cold war
America. Sketching his new theory of scientific revolutions at
Harvard in the 1950s, Kuhn thought about science in an age of
dramatic political conversions, McCarthyism, brainwashing, and the
specter of totalitarian mind control.
These anxieties shaped his new theory of science as well as his
life and career. They also helped prepare the United States for a
revolution of its own, as the 1950s gave way to the psychedelic
60s-and Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions became the
most important and widely read book about science in America.
A 4D Future
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
3D printing has grown in
sophistication since the late 1970s. TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is
shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing: where the
fourth dimension is time. This emerging technology will allow us to
print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over
time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a
printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.
In this keynote, Tibbits explains how we are now able to program
nearly everything-from bits of DNA, proteins, cells, and
proto-cells; to products, architecture, and infrastructure.
Programmability and computing are becoming ubiquitous across scales
and disciplines. Tibbits shows us how soon these small-scale
technologies will translate into solutions for large-scale
applications-and what it means for your industry.
Cities Unseen: How Microbes Can Make Better Public Spaces,
Buildings, and Human Beings Healthier
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 7:30 p.m., Reilly
How can a
deeper understanding of microbes help us create sustainable cities,
healthier buildings (including our hospitals and homes), and more
robust green spaces? Green explains how in this visually stunning
talk, while ultimately touching on even deeper questions about
humanity: What does it mean to be an individual? Where does your
identity begin, and where does it end?
Every person has a unique and unseen universe of microorganisms
living in, on, and around them. These trillions of tiny creatures
define who we are. Yet we are only just beginning to understand how
our microbes interact with the people around us, our buildings, and
the natural environment. How do microbes make us healthier, more
resilient, and more vibrant? How do microbes influence our moods,
our public spaces, our relationships with everything we touch?
Green, a scientist and TED Fellow, explores the microbial cities
living in our gut, on our skin, and in our homes.