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 Feb 20 | Plant Intelligence or Plant Signaling?
Ashwini Chhatre, (Professor of Geography at U of I – Urbana-Champaign) discusses the wicked problem of sustainable development in rural India. Discussion moderated by Ben Crow, (UCSC, Sociology) and hosted by Andrew Mathews (SJRC Acting Director). Continue Reading Feb 11 | Collaborating to Learn about Wicked Problems: Water, Food, and Energy in Rural India
Jim Kent joined the Science & Justice Working Group for a conversation on how he and his team created the ebola genome browser. He will discuss not only their successes but the challenges they faced as they provide insights into the larger problems of knowledge and justice raised by the ebola crisis. Continue Reading Dec 03 | A Conversation with Jim Kent on the Ebola Genome Browser
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?
Environmental historian Simo Laakkonen (Adjunct Professor of Social and Economic History, University of Helsinki) discusses his experiences directing multidisciplinary research networks in the Baltic Sea Region on different spatial scales, time spans and with Maya Peterson (Assistant Professor of History, UCSC). Continue Reading Sea and Cities: Interdisciplinary Research in the Baltic
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
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
Panel discussion about how cultural values shape what research questions are asked and how research is conducted, examining how research questions change depending on who is asking them, complex relations between research agendas and the socio-cultural identities of scientists, and the importance of diversity within STEM fields. Panelists: Faye Crosby (Distinguished Professor Psychology, UCSC), , Barbara Gee (Vice President of Programs for ABI), Joan Haran, (Research Fellow, Cesagene, Cardiff Centre for Ethical and Social Aspects of Genomics & Epigenetics) and Melissa Jurica (Associate Professor, MCD Biology, UCSC). Moderated by Ruth Müller (University of Vienna). Continue Reading Broadening Participation in Science and Engineering: Social and Intellectual Diversity
Can humans and other species continue to inhabit the earth together? Through noticing, describing, and imagining, we renew conversation about life on earth. Full schedule: ANTHROPOCENE: Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet Video documentation of the conference: http://anthropocene.au.dk/arts-of-living-on-a-damaged-planet/ … “Anthropocene: Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet” begins Thursday evening with a talk by acclaimed science fiction author… Continue Reading ANTHROPOCENE CONFERENCE: Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet
A film screening event featuring “FIXED: The Science/ Fiction of Human Enhancement,” a new film which challenges old perspectives on disability, technology and the body. Post-screening discussion with Foster Andersen (Founder and President of Santa Cruz non-profit Shared Adventures) , Nancy Chen (UCSC, Prof of Anthropology), and Regan Brashear (LGBT Youth organizer).
Continue Reading Film Screening “FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement”