Past Events

Working Against Female Genital Mutilation in Khartoum, Sudan

Dr. Atif Fazari, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Medical Sciences & Technology, Khartoum- Sudan, will discuss his work as a reconstructive surgeon and opponent of Female Genital Mutilation. He spoke about various strategies for reducing this practice, and discussed these with Dr. Carolyn Martin-Shaw (Emerita Anthropology Professor, UCSC ). Continue Reading Working Against Female Genital Mutilation in Khartoum, Sudan

The H+ Film Festival: Cyborg Fictions and Futures

How does our popular culture shape our visions of that future, and what ethical questions should we consider today rather than in a transhuman tomorrow? This film festival presents science fiction classics: RoboCop (1987), Ghost in the Shell (1995) and documentary Transcendent Man (2009) followed by panel discussion with Ed Neumeier (cowriter of RoboCop, UCSC alum), Dr. Vivienne Ming (UC Berkeley), and Dr. Chris Gray (UCSC, author of “Cyborg Citizen”). Continue Reading The H+ Film Festival: Cyborg Fictions and Futures

Science Journalism: Education, Entertainment or Instigation?

How much can you educate someone about DNA tests or climate change in three and a half minutes? Is “education” even the goal? NPR science journalist Joe Palca discusses what he hopes to accomplish in his science segments for public radio, as well as the reporting and production effort behind them. Join him in a conversation with Science and Justice Professor and fellow journalist Sally Lehrman about the role of science news in society, including the interplay of scientists and audience in its expression. Continue Reading Science Journalism: Education, Entertainment or Instigation?

Plant Intelligence or Plant Signaling?

In recent years, plant scientists have been increasingly interested in complex forms of plant behavior, including the ways in which plants communicate with each other by long distance electrical signals and chemicals. The capacity of plants to anticipate, remember, and learn is referred to as the concept of “plant intelligence” and studied in the emerging field of ‘plant neurobiology.’ For some researchers, ‘neurobiology’ is a potentially distracting anthropomorphism which diverts attention from the actual capacities of plants which they see as utterly different from human conceptions of intelligence. Elizabeth van Volkenburgh presents her research on plant growth and adaptations to stress, followed by a conversation with Anthropologist Natasha Myers around what is gained or lost by seeing plant communication as a form of intelligence. Continue Reading Plant Intelligence or Plant Signaling?

Is Bamboo the Next Green Gold?

One of the fastest growing plants in the world; bamboo has emerged as a silver bullet for sustainable design and architecture. However, bamboo also has long been used in artisanal construction in Asia and South America, where it is part of important ecological and cultural systems. Can bamboo satisfy all its lovers or – like sugarcane for ethanol – will it become the next green gold? Darrel DeBoer, Jennifer M. Jacobs and Rudolf von May will examine this significant problem, while focusing on tropical bamboo as an emerging case study. Continue Reading Is Bamboo the Next Green Gold?

Bike-Body-Trail Assemblages

The Science & Justice Working Group presented “Bike-Body-Trail Assemblages,” exploring a comparative approach to mountain biking in California and Austria. This panel explored how riders’ subjectivities are attached to and enacted by (changing) technologies of leisure, in context of local discursive and bodily practices. Continue Reading Bike-Body-Trail Assemblages

Preventing Cervical Cancer in Nicaragua

Can vaccines and screens be means of solidarity? Kaye Edwards (Assoc Prof, Haverford) will talk about why cervical cancer, which is largely preventable, remains the most common cancer among women in impoverished countries like Nicaragua. Her talk will cover the natural history of this disease to highlight potential points of intervention; the social, political and economic factors that help explain why cervical cancer mortality rates are up to 12-times higher in some countries than in the United States; and the larger issue of the need for community engagement in discussions about how to prevent and treat diseases. Continue Reading Preventing Cervical Cancer in Nicaragua