Browsing: Provost’s Lecture

Mass Extinctions and Evolution: What We’ve Learned Since Darwin David Jablonski is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences and the Committee on Evolutionary Biology (a multi-institutional PhD program) at the University of Chicago. He combines data on living and fossil marine organisms to ask large-scale evolutionary questions about origins, extinctions and geographic distributions. Jablonski grew up in New York City a few blocks from the American Museum of Natural History and knew he wanted to be a paleontologist by the age of five. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and…

Social Action in Suburbia: Post World War II Long Island as a Case Study Paul Arfin has served as executive director for Long Island nonprofit organizations since 1967. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia during JFK’s presidency and returned to the U.S. committed to a career in social change. During his Long Island career, Arfin founded Suffolk County’s first youth center and established Long Island’s first interpersonal dispute resolution center and its first corporate-supported intergenerational day care centers. He founded the YMCA of Long Island’s Family Services Division and the Community Programs Center of Long Island, where he served as CEO for 22…

Morphometrics and the Middle-Out Approach to Complex Traits Benedikt Hallgrímsson is Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the University of Calgary’s Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health. He is a biological anthropologist and evolutionary biologist who combines developmental genetics and bioinformatics with 3D imaging and morphometrics to address the developmental basis as well as evolutionary significance of phenotypic variation and variability. His work has focused on the mammalian craniofacial complex, craniofacial dysmorphology in humans, and skeletal biology and disease, and has employed both experimental and comparative approaches. The Rohlf Medal will be presented to…

Raising Global IQ Carl F. Hobert directs Boston University’s Global Literacy Institute and is the author of the bestseller Raising Global IQ: Preparing Our Students for a Shrinking Planet. He is founder and executive director of the Axis of Hope Center for International Conflict Management and Prevention, a Boston-based nonprofit organization that offers conflict-resolution simulation workshops for public and private school students, educators, parents and for executives around the world. During the past 30 years, Hobert has served as a negotiation adviser and mediator in issues ranging from intergroup conflicts in the workplace, to the US-Mexico drug war, and ethnic struggles in Rwanda,…

The Myth of the Modern Dad: What the New York Times, Pew Research, and Everyone Else Got Wrong Josh Levs is an investigative journalist, expert on issues facing modern families and author of All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses–And How We Can Fix It Together. After 20 years of reporting for NPR and CNN, Levs, a father of three, focuses his book on dispelling myths about today’s dads and moms, and explaining the necessity of new policies such as paid family leave. All In shows that men and women gain from these changes. Levs follows the money,…

Fishing for the Secrets of Stickleback and Human Evolution David Kingsley is a professor of developmental biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His genetic studies of classic mouse skeletal mutations have identified key signaling molecules and membrane transporters used by vertebrates to control skeletal patterning and susceptibility to arthritis. In 1998 he and postdoc Katie Peichel began using genetic mapping strategies to analyze the molecular basis of evolutionary change in natural populations of threespine sticklebacks. This work has subsequently revealed detailed genomic mechanisms that underlie evolution of new traits not…

Mechanotransduction in Endothelial Cells in Health and Disease Dr. Shu Chien is University Professor of Bioengineering and Medicine, Director of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of Bioengineering at the Institute of California for the UC System. He is a world leader in molecular, cellular and integrative studies on bioengineering and physiology in health and disease, with research focuses on mechanotransduction, mechanism of regulation of gene expression and stem cell bioengineering. Dr. Chien has published more than 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has edited 12 books. He has received outstanding…

Adventures in Urban Informatics Steve Koonin is the founding director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, a consortium of academic, corporate and government partners that pursue research and education activities to develop and demonstrate informatics technologies for urban problems in the “living laboratory” of New York City. Prior to his NYU appointment, Koonin served as the second Under Secretary for Science at the US Department of Energy and on the staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses. Koonin was professor of Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology from 1975 to 2006 and was the Institute’s Provost for almost…

Ukraine between “The East” and “The West:” The Final Cut? Georgiy Kasianov is head of the Department of Contemporary Politics and History at the Institute of the History of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine. He is the author, editor and co-author of more than a dozen books and collected volumes on the modern history of Ukraine, Ukrainian nationalism and the politics of history, including A Laboratory of Transnational History: Ukraine and Recent Ukrainian Historiography and Danse Macabre: The Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Politics, Mass Consciousness and History Writing, 1980s-2000s. His scholarly interests include the modern history of Europe, methodology of history, intellectual…

My Brain Made Me Gay: Scientific Perspectives on Sexual Orientation British-born neuroscientist Simon LeVay has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He achieved international fame with a 1991 Science paper that reported on a difference in the structure of the hypothalamus between gay and straight men. This study helped trigger an avalanche of new biological research into sexual orientation — research that has influenced popular views on the nature of homosexuality. Since retiring from laboratory science LeVay has authored or co-authored 12 books, including Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why, the…

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