Past Events

March 05, 2015 | 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 March 05, 2015 | The H+ Film Festival: Cyborg Fictions and Futures

March 04, 2015 | 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 March 04, 2015 | Science Journalism: Education, Entertainment or Instigation?

Feb 20, 2015 | 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 Feb 20, 2015 | Plant Intelligence or Plant Signaling?

Nov 19, 2014 | 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 Nov 19, 2014 | Is Bamboo the Next Green Gold?

May 28, 2014 | 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 May 28, 2014 | Preventing Cervical Cancer in Nicaragua

May 14, 2014 | Broadening Participation in Science and Engineering: Social and Intellectual Diversity

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 May 14, 2014 | Broadening Participation in Science and Engineering: Social and Intellectual Diversity