Past Events

  • August 1, 2020 - 5:00pm

    The screening of finalists slated to take place on April 21st is cancelled.

  • August 1, 2020 - 8:30am

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities at Yale

    Franke Postdoctoral Research Award

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities at Yale is excited to announce a new year of the Franke Postdoctoral Research Award.  In summer 2020, the Program will select a few interdisciplinary research projects to receive funding of $3K each.  Preference will be given to scholars whose areas of research and methods advance our mission of fostering communication, mutual understanding, collaborative research, and teaching among diverse scientific and humanistic disciplines.  Funding should be used to develop an interdisciplinary aspect of a fellow’s current research program.  Awards are made upon evaluation of the submitted proposals by a selection committee that includes the Director of the Program and members of the Franke Program Advisory Board (https://frankeprogram.yale.edu/people).  Please complete and submit this page electronically to the Program’s Assistant Director, Ty Kamp (ty.kamp@yale.edu), along with your project proposal by August 1, 2020.  Successful applicants will be informed by August 20, 2020.  Fellows should be prepared to present their projects in a virtual gathering this fall.

    Academic specialization increasingly leads to isolation among scholars and the disciplines they study, resulting in misunderstanding and the erosion of common intellectual goals.  We hold that this isolation is also a barrier to research progress on interdisciplinary questions situated between traditional areas of study.  The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is founded on the twin convictions that the fundamental questions that engage humanists must be informed by basic insights of science and that meaningful scientific inquiry depends on humanistic knowledge.  Our goal is to build an intellectual community of scholars who think in a pan-disciplinary manner as we believe that this mind-set generates original, creative and innovative breakthroughs.  The Franke Program sponsors lectures, colloquia, conferences, undergraduate courses, faculty seminars, and performances, as well as independent research projects devised by undergraduate and graduate students.  Once selected, awardees are expected to attend a dinner conversation and presentation once a semester with the entire cohort of Franke undergraduate and graduate research fellows.  Upon completion of the work, a detailed summary of the project and outcomes is to be submitted to the Program.  Note that all funded projects must cite the support of The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities in all advertising materials and products. 

    FRANKE POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH AWARD APPLICATION 2020 – 2021

    Your application should include the following components:

    Name of Applicant and Yale Affiliation:

    Title of Proposed Project:

    Budget with Description:

    Timeline for Project:

    Letter of Recommendation in support of project work:

    (This letter should be from current faculty mentor, and the letter should indicate that the proposed research does not conflict with the postdoc’s primary research goals

    Description of Project (in no more than 1,000 words):

    NB:  We anticipate receiving a large number of submissions, so please format the file name of your submitted application in this way: 

    FrankeProgram.PostDocAward.[FirstNameLastName].Date.

  • August 1, 2020 - 8:30am

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities at Yale

    Franke Postdoctoral Research Award

    In summer 2020, the Program will select a few interdisciplinary research projects to receive funding of $3K each.  Preference will be given to scholars whose areas of research and methods advance our mission of fostering communication, mutual understanding, collaborative research, and teaching among diverse scientific and humanistic disciplines.  Funding should be used to develop an interdisciplinary aspect of a fellow’s current research program.  Awards are made upon evaluation of the submitted proposals by a selection committee that includes the Director of the Program and members of the Franke Program Advisory Board (https://frankeprogram.yale.edu/people).  Please complete and submit this page electronically to the Program’s Assistant Director, Ty Kamp (ty.kamp@yale.edu), along with your project proposal by August 1, 2020.  Successful applicants will be informed by August 20, 2020.  Fellows should be prepared to present their projects in a virtual gathering this fall.

    Academic specialization increasingly leads to isolation among scholars and the disciplines they study, resulting in misunderstanding and the erosion of common intellectual goals.  We hold that this isolation is also a barrier to research progress on interdisciplinary questions situated between traditional areas of study.  The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is founded on the twin convictions that the fundamental questions that engage humanists must be informed by basic insights of science and that meaningful scientific inquiry depends on humanistic knowledge.  Our goal is to build an intellectual community of scholars who think in a pan-disciplinary manner as we believe that this mind-set generates original, creative and innovative breakthroughs.  The Franke Program sponsors lectures, colloquia, conferences, undergraduate courses, faculty seminars, and performances, as well as independent research projects devised by undergraduate and graduate students.  Once selected, awardees are expected to attend a dinner conversation and presentation once a semester with the entire cohort of Franke undergraduate and graduate research fellows.  Upon completion of the work, a detailed summary of the project and outcomes is to be submitted to the Program.  Note that all funded projects must cite the support of The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities in all advertising materials and products. 

    FRANKE POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH AWARD APPLICATION 2020 – 2021

    Your application should include the following components:

    Name of Applicant and Yale Affiliation:

    Title of Proposed Project:

    Budget with Description:

    Timeline for Project:

    Letter of Recommendation in support of project work:

    (This letter should be from current faculty mentor, and the letter should indicate that the proposed research does not conflict with the postdoc’s primary research goals

    Description of Project (in no more than 1,000 words):

    NB:  We anticipate receiving a large number of submissions, so please format the file name of your submitted application in this way: 

    FrankeProgram.PostDocAward.[FirstNameLastName].Date.

  • July 14, 2020 - 7:30pm

    Details to follow!

    Kim Stanley Robinson (born March 23, 1952) is an American novelist, widely recognized as one of the foremost living writers of science fiction. Robinson began publishing novels in 1984. His work has been described as “humanist science fiction” and “literary science fiction”. Robinson himself has been a proud defender and advocate of science fiction as a genre, which he regards as one of the most powerful of all literary forms.

  • April 13, 2020 - 4:00pm

    THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED.  For more information, please visit this page:

    https://communications.yale.edu/covid-19-information

    Susan Hockfield has distinguished herself in a career that has spanned advanced scientific research and the presidency of one of the premier institutions of science and engineering in the world.

    After earning a B.A. in biology from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from Georgetown University at the School of Medicine, carrying out her doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Hockfield was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at San Francisco. She then joined the scientific staff at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Joining the faculty of Yale University in 1985, Dr. Hockfield focused her research on the development of the brain and on glioma, a deadly form of brain cancer.  She pioneered the use of monoclonal antibody technology demonstrating that early experience results in lasting changes in the molecular structure of the brain.  She gained tenure in 1994 and was named the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology.

    At Yale, Dr. Hockfield emerged as a strong, innovative university leader, first as dean of its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with oversight of more than 70 graduate programs, and then as provost, Yale’s chief academic and administrative officer.

    From December 2004 through June 2012, Dr. Hockfield served as the sixteenth president of MIT, where she continues to hold a faculty appointment as professor of neuroscience and as a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

    • Under her leadership, in 2006 MIT launched the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), raising more than $350 million to accelerate research, policy and education towards a sustainable energy future.  In recognition of MITEI’s momentum, in October 2009 U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a major energy address at MIT and visited its research laboratories, the first American President ever to do so.  In 2015, she served as a member of a Congressional Commission evaluating the U.S. Department of Energy laboratories.

    • As the first life scientist to lead MIT, she championed the breakthroughs emerging from the historic convergence of the life sciences with the engineering and physical sciences, in fields from clean energy to cancer, including the founding of MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard.  Dr. Hockfield’s book, The Age of Living Machines (2019), focuses on this historic convergence of the life sciences and engineering – a story that holds the promise of overcoming some of the greatest humanitarian, medical, and environmental challenges of our time.

    • Long an advocate for the research university as an engine of innovation and economic growth, Dr. Hockfield also helped shape national policy on energy technology and next-generation manufacturing.  In June 2011, President Obama appointed her co-chair of the steering committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a working coalition of academic, government and industry leaders.

    • In keeping with MIT’s entrepreneurial spirit and signature strength in working with industry, she actively fostered the burgeoning Kendall Square innovation cluster, populated by global giants and startups in the emerging frontiers of biotech, IT and energy, with many tracing their roots to MIT.

    • Dr. Hockfield argued forcefully for the value of MIT’s global engagement.  She actively expanded the Institute’s international education and research activities.  Building on the success of MIT OpenCourseWare in bringing high quality educational materials to learners the world over, in early 2012, Dr. Hockfield accelerated the conversation around cost, quality and access in higher education with the launch of MITx.  This online learning initiative offers a laboratory for experimenting with the use of new learning technologies and provides a portfolio of MIT courses to a virtual community of learners around the planet.  Further amplifying its impact, in May 2012, MIT joined forces with Harvard University to launch edX, a partnership in online education with the ambition to revolutionize learning on campus, to offer first-rate teaching to learners around the globe, and to open unprecedented paths to learning about learning itself.

    • International research collaborations also grew under Dr. Hockfield’s leadership, through new and expanded partnerships around the globe, from Abu Dhabi to Portugal, and from Singapore to Colombia.  MIT partnered to found several wholly new institutions, including the Singapore University of Technology and Design and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

    • Dr. Hockfield was the first woman to lead MIT, a development welcome at an Institute where nearly half the undergraduates are now women. A signature of her presidency was her vocal commitment to making MIT a leader in building diversity all along the pipeline of talent.  In November 2008, she convened MIT’s first-ever Diversity Leadership Congress, a gathering of 300 leaders from across the Institute committed to cultivating a culture of inclusion that allows everyone to contribute at the peak of their ability.  These efforts led to a marked increase in women and minority scholars joining the MIT faculty.

    Before returning to MIT following her presidency, Dr. Hockfield held the Marie Curie Visiting Professorship at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Carnegie Corporation/Vartan Gregorian Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy of Rome.  She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where she is the chairman.  She also serves as a director of the Charles Stark Draper LaboratoryCouncil on Foreign Relations, Partners HealthCare System, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and is a life member of the MIT Corporation.  She has served as a U.S. Science Envoy to Turkey with the U.S. Department of State.

    Dr. Hockfield holds honorary degrees from many institutions, including Brown University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Northeastern University, Tsinghua University (Beijing), Université Pierre et Marie Curie, University of Edinburgh, University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Rochester, and the Watson School of Biological Sciences at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Her accomplishments have also been recognized by the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists, the Wilbur Lucius Cross Award from the Yale University Graduate School, the Meliora Citation from the University of Rochester, the Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement, the Amelia Earhart Award from the Women’s Union, the Edison Achievement Award, the Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and the Geoffrey Beene Builders of Science Award from Research!America..

    Dr. Hockfield lives in Cambridge with her husband, Thomas N. Byrne, M.D.  They have an adult daughter, Elizabeth.

  • March 31, 2020 - 4:00pm

    THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED.  For more information, please visit this page:

    https://communications.yale.edu/covid-19-information

    Musicologist and performer Professor Coelho (on sabbatical, Spring, 2020) is a specialist in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian music, as well as popular music. His areas of research include Renaissance and Baroque instrumental styles, popular music, interdisciplinary approaches, and cross-cultural perspectives. As a specialist on popular music, he is interested in Blues, rock history, improvisation, and performance issues, and has appears regularly in digital and print media.

    He has held visiting appointments at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (1990), the University of Melbourne, and Cornell University. In 2004, he was Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti in Florence. From 1986 to 2005, he taught at the University of Calgary, where he was named University Professor. From 2007-2011, he held the position of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education at Boston University, and was the principal author of the University’s “One BU” report on undergraduate education. His books include Instrumentalists and Renaissance Culture (Cambridge, co-authored with Keith Polk), Music and Science in the Age of Galileo (Kluwer), The Manuscript Sources of 17th–Century Italian Lute Music (Garland), Performance on Lute, Guitar, and Vihuela (Cambridge), the Cambridge Companion to the Guitar, and the Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones (with John Covach). He is lutenist and co-director of the early music group “Il Furioso,” and his recordings appear on the Stradivarius and Toccata Classics labels. He also tours regularly as a blues guitarist with the Rooster Blues Band. For further information, clips, concert schedule, and downloads, please visit his personal website.

  • March 6, 2020 - 11:00pm

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is pleased to award the Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke. Three to five fellowships of $2,000 will be awarded to rising seniors to support senior essay, research, or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities. Interdisciplinary research or art projects should explicitly engage both scientific and humanistic issues or content. Awards are intended to support research during the summer between junior and senior year, or during the following academic year.

    Awardees will be asked to participate in dinners with Franke Program faculty and our benefactors to discuss the proposed projects (in the fall) and to present the final results of their work (during the spring semester).

    Fellowship monies are intended to offset costs related to the proposed research or project. These include travel costs, accommodation, and supplies and materials.

    The deadline is March 6, 2020.

     

    Application Information:

    Applicants should submit the following materials:
    -  a project abstract (125 words or less)
    -  a three-page proposal detailing the objectives of the project, the means by which it will be carried out, the applicant’s preparation and motivation for the proposed work, and how this interdisciplinary project relates to the applicant’s career plans and aspirations
    - a budget outlining project costs

    Applicants should arrange for the submission of a letter of recommendation from a faculty project mentor.  This individual should identify himself or herself as the mentor for the proposed project in the submitted letter. Please request this letter of recommendation well in advance of the deadline.

    If a language other than English is needed in order to conduct the proposed project, applicants should also arrange for the submission of a language evaluation form by a faculty member. If the applicant is a native speaker of the language, the proposal should mention as much.
     

  • February 26, 2020 - 4:30pm

    Zia Haider Rahman was born in a mud hut in a village in Bangladesh and moved to England with his family, living first in a squat before being housed in a council estate (social housing). After attending a north London comprehensive (state-funded) school, Zia took a first class honors degree in mathematics, as a college scholar, from Balliol College, Oxford, and was also a scholar of Stiftung Maximilianeum, a German foundation for gifted students. He continued study at Cambridge and Yale Universities and holds postgraduate degrees in mathematics, economics and law, and was awarded the highest merit scholarship at the English bar. After a brief stint as an investment banker with Goldman, Sachs, he worked for several years as a corporate lawyer, anti-corruption activist and international human rights lawyer. He holds only British citizenship.

    Zia is a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, a 2019 Walter Jackson Bate Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University; a Fellow at New America, Washington, D.C.; a Senior Fellow at the Kreisky Forum, Vienna; a 2018 affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; and has been appointed a Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He was a Visiting Professor in the low residency MFA program in Fiction and Non-Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University, after being awarded an honorary doctorate there. He is a contributor to BBC Radio 4’s A Point of View and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and elsewhere. Zia serves or has served on many application committees for American or international fellowships and has been appointed a judge for a number of prizes including the Neustadt Prize and English PEN’s Pinter Prize.

    In the Light of What We Know, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2014 to international critical acclaim and won the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2015, Britain’s oldest literary award, previous winners of which include EM Forster, DH Lawrence, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Rose Macaulay, Nadine Gordimer, Salman Rushdie, Lawrence Durrell, Jonathan Franzen, JM Coetzee and Iris Murdoch. The novel won or was shortlisted or long-listed for many other prizes. It appeared in many end of year lists of best books and has been translated into over a dozen languages.

    Details to follow!

  • February 24, 2020 - 4:00pm

    In this talk, Ross Andersen will discuss what he has learned about bringing the humanities to bear on the sciences, drawing from his own essays and other pieces in The Atlantic.

  • February 18, 2020 - 5:30pm

    The screening of finalists slated to take place on April 21st is cancelled.

  • January 28, 2020 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

    Taking a Random Walk: a scientific approach to art

    Join us for the 10th talk of Yale Quantum Institute series of nontechnical talks aiming to bring a new regard to quantum physics and STEM by having experts cast new light on often-overlooked aspects of scientific work. For this event, we will investigate science and art with visual artist Werner Sun.

    As two ways of knowing the world, art and science have been labeled either as diametric opposites or as strange bedfellows. Can both descriptions be correct? Ithaca-based visual artist with exhibitions in north America, Werner Sun discusses how his background in physics informs his work with sculpted images, in order to spark a conversation about the intersection of art and science.

    Talk open to all and will be accessible to students, researchers, the wider university public and the New Haven Community. This event is co-sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities

    Get your free ticket here

  • January 27, 2020 - 4:00pm

    New developments in Artificial Intelligence – particularly deep learning and other forms of “second-wave” AI – are attracting enormous public attention.  Both triumphalists and doomsayers are predicting that human-level AI is “just around the corner.”  To assess the situation we need a broad understanding of intelligence in terms of which to assess: (i) what kinds of intelligence machines currently have, and will likely have in the future; and (ii) what kinds people have, and may be capable of in the future.  As a first step in this direction, our speaker distinguishes two kinds of intelligence: (i) “reckoning,” the kind of calculative rationality that computers excel at, including both first- and second-wave AI; and (ii) “judgment,” a form of dispassionate, deliberative thought, grounded in ethical commitment and responsible action, that is appropriate to the situation in which it is deployed.  AI will develop world-changing reckoning systems, he argues, but nothing in AI as currently conceived approaches what is required to build a system capable of judgment. 

    ____________________________________

    Brian Cantwell Smith is Reid Hoffman Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Human at the University of Toronto, where he is also Professor of Information, Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, as well as being a Senior Fellow at Massey College.   

    Smith’s research focuses on the philosophical foundations of computation, artificial intelligence, and mind, and on fundamental issues in metaphysics and epistemology.  In the 1980s he developed the world’s first reflective programming language (3Lisp).  He is the author of *On the Origin of Objects* (MIT Press, 1996), and of *On the Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment* (MIT Press, 2019).

    Smith holds BS, MS and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  From 1981–96 he was a Principal Scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University.  He was a founder of the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University (CSLI), a founder and first President of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), and President (1998–99) of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP).  From 1996–2001 he was Professor of Cognitive Science, Computer Science, and Philosophy at Indiana University, and from 2001–03 was Kimberly J. Jenkins University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and New Technologies at Duke University, with appointments in the departments of Philosophy and Computer Science.  He moved to the University of Toronto in 2003, from 2003–08 serving as Dean of the Faculty of Information.

  • November 6, 2019 - 4:30pm

    SUPERIOR: How bias and prejudice are perpetuated by science

    As ethnic nationalism rises around the world, race science is experiencing a revival, fuelled by the abuse of data and facts by politically-motivated groups. The story of who humans are and how we evolved is being rewritten to suit these agendas.

    But even well-intentioned scientists, through their unconscious use of old-fashioned categories, betray their suspicion that race has some basis in biology. In truth, it is no more real than it was hundreds of years ago, when both racial and gender categories were defined and hardened by those in power.

    In Superior: The Return of Race Science, award-winning science journalist Angela Saini explores the concept of race in science, from its origins to the present day. Following her acclaimed 2017 book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, in this talk Angela explores the damaging legacy of prejudice in science, and why researchers still fall victim to bias.

  • October 14, 2019 - 5:00pm

    When cosmologists map the universe, they are imaging its past.  Our measurements  of the cosmic microwave background fluctuations map the universe’s condition only a few hundred thousand years after the big bang.

    These maps reveal a universe that is both remarkably simple and very strange.  The nature of the dark matter and dark energy that comprise 95% of the universe is one of the great mysteries of science and point to the need for physics beyond the standard model of astrophysics.  Ongoing experiments in Chile and the South Pole are making higher resolution maps of the microwave sky.   These maps reveal how the subsequent evolution of the universe has distorted the primordial image.  These distortions let us trace the large scale distribution of mass, pressure and momentum in the universe. 

    Learn more about Dr. David Spergel here.

  • September 27, 2019 - 5:00pm

    “In 2010 it began to be possible to sequence whole genomes from ancient human remains, making it possible to ask and answer questions about how present-day people relate to ancient people, and how ancient people related to each other, that simply had not been possible to address before. The findings have sometimes conflicted with prevailing understandings—rejecting some mainstream theories in archaeology, supporting other theories, and in multiple cases revealing previously unanticipated processes. I will focus my presentation on a case example: the evidence that between 5000-3500 years ago, people with ancestry from the Steppe north of the Black and Caspian Sea made a profound major genetic impact on both Europe and South Asia, probably spreading the Indo-European languages that are predominant in both regions, a series of findings that have unfolded over about a dozen ancient DNA papers and that go a long way to resolving the more-than-200-year-old mystery about the origin and spread of Indo-European languages. The overall context for my presentation is that technological developments have brought science into an area that until the last few years has been the province of the humanities, opening up dialogues between disciplines that have very different intellectual traditions but are addressing abutting issues. While the very different cultures in the sciences and the humanities in some cases lead to misunderstanding, these interactions in fact represent a welcome opportunity for intellectual progress and dialogue.

    Learn more about Dr. David Emil Reich and his genetics research here.

    Please note the start time of 5 p.m. for the talk.

  • September 5, 2019 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

    The Nature of Nature - What Happens When We Start Engineering the Wild?

    Join us for the 9th talk of Yale Quantum Institute series of nontechnical talks aiming to bring a new regard to quantum physics and STEM by having experts cast new light on often-overlooked aspects of scientific work. For this event, we will investigate nature and bio-engineering with award-winning science writer Rowan Jacobsen.

    Until recently, most genetic engineering has been limited to domesticated species like crop plants, livestock, and lab animals. But Crispr and other next-generation editing techniques have made it much easier to alter the genomes of more exotic species, and even to have targeted impacts on entire ecosystems. Using cases he has explored in depth—including the transgenic chestnut, the gene-drive mosquito, and the de-extinction of lost flower species,  Rowan explores the ethics and implications of this new power humanity is about to exert on the natural world.

    Talk open to all and will be accessible to students, researchers, the wider university public and the New Haven Community. This event is co-sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities

    GET YOUR FREE TICKET HERE

  • September 4, 2019 - 4:00pm

    People divide the world into objects (like rocks and toasters) and agents (like people and dogs).  How do we decide where robots should fall along this divide?  We’ll discuss some of the ways in which we view robots as different from objects, agents, and even other technologies (like virtual avatars).

  • April 26, 2019 - 4:00pm

    Steven Strogatz is an applied mathematician who works in the areas of nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, often on topics inspired by the curiosities of everyday life. He loves finding math in places where you’d least expect it—and then using it to illuminate life’s mysteries, big and small. For example: Why is it so hard to fall asleep a few hours before your regular bedtime? When you start chatting with a stranger on a plane, why is it so common to find that you have a mutual acquaintance? What can twisting a rubber band teach us about our DNA? An award-winning researcher, teacher, and communicator, Strogatz enjoys sharing the beauty of math though his books, essays, public lectures, and radio and television appearances.

  • April 18, 2019 - 5:15pm

    How did human culture take on the complexity manifest in all societies today?  Gary Tomlinson adopts a long perspective to answer this question, looking back across the last 500,000 years. Joining capacities of early human perception to mechanisms of cultural and biological evolution, he offers a new model of the emergence of modern humanity. 

  • April 16, 2019 - 5:00pm

    At this second private dinner, we continue to celebrate this year’s cohort of Franke Undergraduate and Graduate Fellows.  Over dinner at the Whitney, our Fellows will delivery their research findings in short presentations.

    Our 2018/2019 Fellows are:

    Undergraduate Fellows

    Marie Freudenburg - Worship, Medicine, and the Ancient World: Investigating Healing Narratives at the Temple of Asclepius

    Raeven Grant - Zika and the Media: A Comparative Analysis of Zika’s Portrayal in Brazilian and American News Over Time

    Hannah Hauptman - Archival Research on the South Cuba Sponge Fishery (1890-1930) for History Senior Essay

    Zachary Smithline - Phenomenologies: Visual and Moral Imagining at Thirteenth-Century Bamberg Cathedral

    Franklin Eccher - “Not in My Backyard”: The Human Dimensions to Native Cutthroat Trout Reintroduction in the Mountain West

    Oriana Tang - Body, Time, and Techno-Orientalism in the Works of Kazuo Ishiguro and Nam June Paik

    Graduate Fellows

    Mary Petrone - Motivating Behavior Change among Community Health Workers using Performance Dashboards in Kampala, Uganda

    Tyler Lutz - Science in Fiction: Modern Physics Mirror and Muse

    Davis Butner - Sounding Sacred: An Interfaith Comparison of the Evolution of Religious Architectural Acoustics and Sacred Musical Practices

    Ambre Dromgoole - “I’ll Keep On Living After I Die”: Black Women Songwriters, Gospel Music, and the Historical Record

    Zeyu Wang/Benjamin Olsen - The In-situ Occupiable Drawing:  Augmented Reality and Architectural Representation of Heritage Sites

  • April 8, 2019 - 5:00pm

    At this private dinner, we celebrate this year’s cohort of Franke Undergraduate and Graduate Fellows.  Over dinner at the Whitney, our Fellows will delivery their research findings in short presentations.

    Our 2018/2019 Fellows are:

    Undergraduate Fellows

    Marie Freudenburg - Worship, Medicine, and the Ancient World: Investigating Healing Narratives at the Temple of Asclepius

    Raeven Grant - Zika and the Media: A Comparative Analysis of Zika’s Portrayal in Brazilian and American News Over Time

    Hannah Hauptman - Archival Research on the South Cuba Sponge Fishery (1890-1930) for History Senior Essay

    Zachary Smithline - Phenomenologies: Visual and Moral Imagining at Thirteenth-Century Bamberg Cathedral

    Franklin Eccher - “Not in My Backyard”: The Human Dimensions to Native Cutthroat Trout Reintroduction in the Mountain West

    Oriana Tang - Body, Time, and Techno-Orientalism in the Works of Kazuo Ishiguro and Nam June Paik

    Graduate Fellows

    Mary Petrone - Motivating Behavior Change among Community Health Workers using Performance Dashboards in Kampala, Uganda

    Tyler Lutz - Science in Fiction: Modern Physics Mirror and Muse

    Davis Butner - Sounding Sacred: An Interfaith Comparison of the Evolution of Religious Architectural Acoustics and Sacred Musical Practices

    Ambre Dromgoole - “I’ll Keep On Living After I Die”: Black Women Songwriters, Gospel Music, and the Historical Record

    Zeyu Wang/Benjamin Olsen - The In-situ Occupiable Drawing:  Augmented Reality and Architectural Representation of Heritage Sites

  • March 8, 2019 - 5:00pm

    The deadline for the Franke Undergraduate Fellowship competition is approaching.  Applications will be received until 5 p.m. on March 8, 2019.

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is pleased to award The Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke.  Fellowships will be awarded to rising seniors to support senior essay, research, or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities.  Awards are intended to support research during the summer between junior and senior year, or during the following academic year.

  • March 6, 2019 - 4:00pm

    Official bio for our guest:

    Jack D. Hidary works on AI and Quantum Computing at Alphabet (Google X).  Jack’s work on AI includes investigation into the dynamics of generalization of deep learning  neural networks.  Here is a link to Jack’s recent  AI papers.  Jack’s work in quantum computing includes a forthcoming book on  applied quantum computing.

    Jack’s first company he founded is EarthWeb,  a company dedicated to the needs of tech professionals.  Jack led the company from its inception through three rounds of investment and then its IPO.  Under Jack’s leadership, EarthWeb acquired Dice.com, a website that connects users with IT positions, and other sites dedicated to the needs of IT professionals.  As Chairman and CEO of the public company, Jack continued to grow the company and engage with shareholders, customers and analysts.  (NYSE: DHX) www.dice.com

    After Dice, Jack co-founded and led Vista Research, a research web platform for investment firms.  Jack and team sold Vista to S&P after 3 years of growth and gaining a multinational client base.  Jack serves as Chairman of Primary Insight www.primaryinsight.com, a web-based financial firm led by alumni of Vista.

    Committed to community and philanthropic causes, he has received several industry and community awards as well as being recognized as a Global Leader of Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, Davos.  He serves on several boards including the X Prize Foundation. www.xprize.org

    Jack’s foundation is dedicated to medical oncology research and has supported work at Sloan Kettering and UCSF.  In this area, the foundation is particularly focused on treatments which move the field beyond chemo and external beam radiation.  The focus is on: immunotherapies, genomics, AI applied to oncology and nanomedicine.

    Jack studied at Columbia University and was then awarded a Stanley Fellowship in Clinical Neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Under the fellowship at the NIH, he conducted research on the use of AI tools such as neural networks to model and analyze the data in functional neuroimaging.  

     
  • February 28, 2019 - 7:30pm

    Immaterial Waves: Light, Sound, and Architecture 

    Join us for the 8th talk of Yale Quantum Institute series of nontechnical talks aiming to bring a new regard to quantum physics and STEM by having experts cast new light on often-overlooked aspects of scientific work. For this event, we will investigate art installation and architecture with YQI Artist-in-Residence Spencer Topel.

    Spencer Topel presents recent artistic works and research in relation to the historical emergence of phenomenological art forms in the 60’s and 70’s in the work of Alvin Lucier, Maryanne Amacher, James Turrell, and others. Based on this context, Topel discusses how site-specificity, notably in architecture, is inherently linked to experiential art installations, and how this informs his practice.

    Talk open to all and will be accessible to students, researchers, the wider university public and the New Haven Community. This event is co-sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities

    Get your free ticket on Eventbrite

  • February 6, 2019 - 4:00pm

    “City Unseen: New Visions of an Urban Planet”

    Humanity and the planet are rapidly urbanizing. Is this good or bad? Sustainable or not?  This talk will examine cities around the world in their larger geographic contexts, and discuss how the world shapes urban landscapes and how urbanizing landscapes are reshaping the world.

  • December 6, 2018 - 4:30pm

  • November 30, 2018 - 4:00pm

    Maps in the 21st century have moved far beyond their hand-drawn, paper-bound antecedents.  They are now interconnected ecosystems of computers, datasets, models, websites, primary documents, images, movies, and sound.  In this presentation,  Eric Sanderson of the Wildlife Conservation Society will discuss how these new and rapidly changing fusions of technology, geography, and history help us see and conceive of the world and the role of human agency within it, through discussion of three kinds of “maps” describing  arguably the most altered landscape on Earth, Manhattan island.  The first map, developed through the ground-breaking Mannahatta Project, describes Manhattan in the hours immediately prior to Henry Hudson’s arrival in 1609 via over 1600 data layers and associated renderings.  The second “map” is a modern composite of the current ecosystems of the city, where buildings, streets, parks, and a surprising amount of remaining forest and wetlands, are fueling critical discussions of what the city should be and what urban life means through a first-ever set of New York City nature goals.  Finally, Sanderson will discuss Visionmaker (visionmaker.nyc), a free, online, “map” designed for ecological democracy.  Visionmaker.nyc gives all New Yorkers an opportunity to create, test, and share visions of their own neighborhoods, with detailed and comparative evaluations of socio-ecological performance.  Such new kinds of maps are critical avenues for people to see, understand, and shape New York, and other cities and locales, in the centuries to come.

  • November 29, 2018 - 4:30pm
    Based on The New York Times bestseller by Andrew Solomon ’85, Far From the Tree is an intimate, profoundly human look at families raising children society deems “abnormal.” Tracing their joys, challenges, tragedies, and triumphs, Far From the Tree invites viewers to rethink what it means to be a “normal family.”
     
    Special thanks to the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office, Yale Department of Psychiatry, The Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation, The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, and Yale Program for Humanities in Medicine.
  • November 8, 2018 - 7:30pm

    Get your free ticket via Eventbrite here

    Einstein and the Quantum - How to write a fun book about a really scary subject

    Join us for the 7th talk of Yale Quantum Institute series of nontechnical talks aiming to bring a new regard to quantum physics and STEM by having experts cast new light on often-overlooked aspects of scientific work. For this event, we will investigate quantum physics and literature with our very own YQI member Douglas Stone.

    After a long career in theoretical physics Douglas Stone wanted to write a book that would communicate the drama and creativity of being a physics researcher. As someone drawn to the field late in his studies, he recalled the intimidating barrier of complex equations, confusing diagrams and cool, but impenetrable technical terminology. In 2005, the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s miracle year, in which Einstein created relativity theory and a critical foundation stone for quantum theory, a solution occurred to him.  Tell the true story of the atomic revolution, from the point of view of Einstein, a major but ambivalent participant in this turning point for human civilization. Einstein began as the earliest and most ardent quantist, and ended up as the theory’s greatest skeptic. Due to Einstein’s ultimate rejection of quantum mechanics on philosophical grounds, his full story had not previously been presented in a unified manner, accessible to general audiences.  In this talk Stone will recount how he attempted to craft a gripping and entertaining narrative from momentous but complex history of science.

    Get your free ticket via Eventbrite here

  • October 31, 2018 - 4:00pm
    Graphics, images and figures — visual representations of scientific data and concepts — are critical components of science and engineering research.  They communicate in ways that words cannot.  They can clarify or strengthen an argument and spur interest into the research process.  But it is important to remember that a visual representation of a scientific concept or data is a re-presentation and not the thing itself –– some interpretation or translation is always involved.  Just as writing a journal article, one must carefully plan what to “say,” and in what order to “say it.”  The process of making a visual representation requires you to clarify your thinking and improve your ability to communicate with others.
     
    Science photographer Felice Frankel is a research scientist in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with additional support from Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

    She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,  a Guggenheim Fellow, and was a Senior Research Fellow in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School’s Department of  Systems Biology.

    She most recently developed and instructed the first online MOOC addressing science and engineering photography.  Click the following link to access  34 tutorials and supplemental material:  “Making Science and Engineering Pictures, A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work.” (course 0.111x)

    Felice has received awards and grants from the following:

    •     National Science Foundation
    •     National Endowment for the Arts
    •     Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
    •     Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
    •     Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
    •     Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design
    •     Distinguished Alumna Award at Brooklyn College, CUNY
    •     Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography
    •     Skidmore Distinguished Visiting Faculty in Arts & Sciences
    •     Progress Award from the Photographic Society of America
    •     Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Arts and Sciences at UC Irvine.

    Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Felice’s images have appeared on journal covers, in journal articles, web spotlights and in various other international publications for general audiences such as National Geographic, Nature, Science, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Materials Today, PNAS, Newsweek, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, Popular Science and New Scientist, among others.

    Felice was founder of the Image and Meaning workshops and conferences whose purpose was to develop new approaches to promote the public understanding of science through visual expression. She was principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded program, “Picturing to Learn”, an effort to study how making representations by students, aids in teaching and learning, (Picturing to Learn).

    She and her work have been profiled in the New York Times, Wired, LIFE Magazine, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Science Friday, the Christian Science Monitor and various European publications. She exhibits throughout the United States and in Europe. Her limited edition photographs are included in a number of corporate and private collections and were part of MOMA’s exhibition, “Design and the Elastic Mind”.

    Additional links:

  • September 27, 2018 - 4:00pm

    **Please note a room change for this event.  It will now be held in WHC 208 instead of the Auditorium.**

    Matthew Edney, Professor of Geography; Osher Professor in the History of Cartography

    University of Southern Maine

    “The Limits to Mapping”

    What is “mapping”? Literally, it is the act of making maps, of turning the world to paper (or digital screen). Figuratively, it is bringing something to paper (or digital screen) as if it were the world being mapped; if the methodology is sufficiently structured and systematic then, pace Alfred Korzybski or Stephen Toulmin, the map is a theory and mapping is science. The metaphor works because we all know what maps are and therefore what mapping is. Or do we? Our understanding of “the map” is determined by a network of preconceptions and convictions that are deeply rooted in modern culture, a network that has cohered only since 1800. The network constitutes “cartography.” It is a simulacrum that imagines a thing that never existed such that it does not conceal a truth so much as conceal that there is none. No singular and universal endeavor of cartography exists; what humans actually do is follow a myriad of mapping processes to produce, circulate, and consume maps. This lecture therefore reconsiders the nature and limits of mapping as the creation of spatial meaning, or of meaning construed spatially. It uses a variety of case examples, including Mark Twain’s burlesque map of Paris (1870) and a mural from Neolithic Çatalhöyük (ca. 8000 BP), first to explain why “mapping” as a necessarily social and semiotic process and then to delineate markedly different mapping strategies that are always creative and never algorithmic.

    Matthew H. Edney is Osher Professor in the History of Cartography, University of Southern Maine; he also directs the History of Cartography Project at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. With Mary Pedley he has edited Cartography in the European Enlightenment (Chicago, 2019), Volume Four of The History of Cartography. He is the author of Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765–1843 (Chicago, 1997), numerous articles and book chapters, and the forthcoming Cartography: The Ideal and Its History (Chicago, 2019). He explores ideas relating to the history and nature of maps and mapping practices at mappingasprocess.net.

  • September 26, 2018 - 7:30pm

    The Heretical Idea of Making People - History of the creation of artificial people

    Join us for the 6th talk of Yale Quantum Institute series of nontechnical talks aiming to bring a new regard to quantum physics and STEM by having experts cast new light on often-overlooked aspects of scientific work. For this event, we are welcoming science writer Philip Ball to discuss the human obsession of creating life artificially.

    Can we make a human being? That question has been asked for many centuries, and has produced recipes ranging from the homunculus of the medieval alchemists and the clay golem of Jewish legend to the cadaverous mosaic of Frankenstein’s monster and the mass-produced test-tube babies of Brave New World’s Hatcheries. All of these efforts to create artificial people are more or less fanciful, but they have taken deep root in Western culture. They all express fears about the allegedly treacherous, Faustian nature of technology, and they all question whether any artificially created person can be truly human. Legends of people-making are tainted by suspicions of impiety and hubris, and they are regarded as the ultimately ‘unnatural’ act, offering a revealing glimpse of changing attitudes to the relationship between nature and human art. Philip Ball will discuss what has changed, and what has not, from the legends of Daedalus and Prometheus through to the stem-cell and assisted reproductive technologies of today.

    Talk open to all and will be accessible to students, researchers, the wider university public and the New Haven Community.

    This event is co-sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities and The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism

  • September 12, 2018 - 6:00pm

    Following on the success of our Franke Ideas Salons last year, we are delighted to invite any Yale faculty members to the first convening of this unique series this semester. The Franke Ideas Salon is an informal meeting and idea-space intended to facilitate inter-disciplinary interaction and intellectual exchange.  The event, as per usual, will consist of two faculty members from two distinct disciplines addressing a  theme from the vantage point of their respective fields with a brief presentation, followed by discussion and Q&A.  Dinner and drinks will be served, and our gathering hopes to have ~20-30 guests. 

    Our Salon speakers for September 12th are:  Tracey Meares (Law School) and Laura Wexler (American Studies, WGSS), and the theme of their conversation is Identification & Identity: technologies of witnessing.

    Here is a bit of reading if you’d like to do some beforehand:  https://www.cnn.com/2011/09/20/opinion/wexler-witness-memory-davis/

    and

    https://yalealumnimagazine.com/articles/4648-our-image-of-lincoln

    Please respond by September 10, 2018 to frankeprogram@yale.edu, so we may gather a count for catering purposes.

  • May 3, 2018 - 10:15am
  • April 9, 2018 - 4:00pm

    Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, is the author of Longitude (Walker 1995 and 2005, Penguin 1996), Galileo’s Daughter (Walker 1999 and 2011, Penguin 2000), The Planets (Viking 2005, Penguin 2006), and A More Perfect Heaven (Walker / Bloomsbury, 2011 and 2012). She has also co-authored six books, including Is Anyone Out There? with astronomer Frank Drake.

    A long-time science contributor to Harvard Magazine,Audubon, Discover, Life,Omni, and The New Yorker, she continues to write for several on-lineand print publications.

    Ms. Sobel received the 2001 Individual Public Service Award from the National Science Board “for fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the general public.” Also in 2001, the Boston Museum of Science gave her its prestigious Bradford Washburn Award for her “outstanding contribution toward public understanding of science, appreciation of its fascination, and the vital role it plays in all our lives.” In October 2004, in London, Ms. Sobel accepted the Harrison Medal from the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, in recognition of her contribution to increasing awareness of the science of horology by the general public, through her writing and lecturing. In 2008 the Astronomical Society of the Pacific presented her with its Klumpke-Roberts Award for “increasing the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.” Her 2014 Cultural Award from the Eduard Rhein Foundation in Germany commends her “for using her profound scientific knowledge and literary talent to combine facts with fiction by merging scientific adventures and human stories in order to give the history of science a human face.”

    From January through March 2006, Ms. Sobel served as the Robert Vare Non-fiction Writer in Residence at the University of Chicago, where she taught a seminar in science writing while pursuing research for her stage play about sixteenth-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, called “And the Sun Stood Still.” Her play was commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club through the Alfred P. Sloan Initiative, and was also supported by a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

    In May 2011, as the Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Doenges Visiting Artist/Scholar, Ms. Sobel taught a course called “Writing Creatively about Science” at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. In fall 2013 she began a two-year appointment as the Joan Leiman Jacobson Visiting Nonfiction Writer at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Invited to stay on for a third academic year, Ms. Sobel is happy to continue her association with the Smithies through May 2016.

    Longitude went through twenty-nine hardcover printings before being re-issued in October 2005 in a special tenth-anniversary edition with a foreword by astronaut Neil Armstrong. Soon after its original publication in 1995, the book was translated into two dozen foreign languages and became a national and international bestseller, much to Ms. Sobel’s surprise. It won several literary prizes, including the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and “Book of the Year” in England. Together with William J. H. Andrewes, who introduced her to the subject of longitude, Ms. Sobel co-authored The Illustrated Longitude (Walker 1998 and 2003).

    She based her book Galileo’s Daughter on 124 surviving letters to Galileo from his eldest child. Ms. Sobel translated the letters from the original Italian and used them to elucidate Galileo’s life work. Galileo’s Daughter won the 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for science and technology, a 2000 Christopher Award, and was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in biography. The paperback edition enjoyed five consecutive weeks as the #1 New York Times nonfiction bestseller.

    A sequel, Letters to Father, containing the full text of Galileo’s daughter’s correspondence in both English and Italian, was published by Walker in 2001. An English-only edition, a Penguin “Classic,” followed in 2003.

    The PBS science program “NOVA” produced a television documentary called “Lost At Sea — The Search for Longitude,” which was based on Ms. Sobel’s book. Granada Films of England created a dramatic version of the story, “Longitude,” starring Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon, which aired on A&E as a four-hour made-for-TV movie. A two-hour “NOVA” documentary based on Galileo’s Daughter, called “Galileo’s Battle for the Heavens,” first aired on public television in October 2002, and won an Emmy in the category of historical programming.

    Lecture engagements have taken Ms. Sobel to speak at The Smithsonian Institution, The Explorers’ Club, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The New York Public Library, The Hayden Planetarium, the U. S. Naval Observatory, The Royal Geographical Society (London), and the American Academy in Rome. She has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio programs, including “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air,” “Science Friday,” and “The Diane Rheem Show.” Her television appearances include C-SPAN’s “Booknotes” and “TODAY” on NBC.

    A 1964 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Ms. Sobel attended Antioch College and the City College of New York before receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1969. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, in England, and Middlebury College, Vermont, both awarded in 2002. In December 2015, she is to receive an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Bern, Switzerland.

    A play based on Galileo’s Daughter, written by Timberlake Wertenbaker and directed by Sir Peter Hall, premiered in Bath, England, in July 2004. In October 2005, a play by Sir Arnold Wesker, based on Longitude, directed by Fiona Laird, enjoyed a successful limited engagement at the Greenwich Theatre near London.

    Ms. Sobel’s own play, “And the Sun Stood Still,” was performed by the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Colorado, in March and April 2014, with grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts. A radio play version has been recorded and distributed by L.A. Theatre Works.

    The editor of the collection Best American Science Writing 2004, published by Ecco Press, Ms. Sobel has served as a judge for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, the PEN / E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and the Lewis Thomas Prize awarded by Rockefeller University to scientists who distinguish themselves as authors.

  • March 29, 2018 - 7:30pm

    Join us for the 5th talk of the Yale Quantum Institute series of nontechnical talks aiming to bring a new regard to quantum physics and STEM by having experts cast new light on often-overlooked aspects of scientific work. After mathematics and crochet, for this event, we will investigate the intersectionality between space exploration and board games with Dante Lauretta!

    Dante Lauretta is a Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry at the University of Arizona and the leader of NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex, a mission to visit asteroid Bennu, land on it and return a sample back to Earth. Dante also designs and creates board games combining two of his passions in life - solar system exploration and strategy gaming. His first game, XTRONAUT captures the real-world thrill and challenges of planetary exploration and give players a chance to develop space missions and explore the solar system. The game is based on real planetary missions and rocket science and contains elements of politics and strategy that are inspired by the real-life situations that space missions face.

    The talk will be followed by a game night where you will be able to play Dante’s games and other space themed games!

    This event is open to all and will be accessible to students, researchers, the wider university public, and the New Haven Community.

    This event is co-sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities and Ludi et Veritas.

    Further information is available on the Yale Quantum Institute Website, or contact Florian Carle by email.

    Please note that tickets, which are free, are available at Eventbrite

    RSVP on Facebook

  • March 28, 2018 - 6:00pm

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is excited to announce the launch of the Franke Ideas Salon, an initiative for Yale University faculty that we hope will greatly enhance intellectual engagement across disciplines. ​ The Franke Ideas Salon is a new monthly informal meeting intended to facilitate inter-disciplinary interaction and intellectual exchange.  The event will consist of two faculty members from two distinct disciplines addressing a single theme from their unique vantage points with a brief presentation, followed by discussion and Q&A.  Dinner will be served and our gathering hopes to have 20 – 30 guests at each event.

    The speakers for the second meeting of the Salon will be announced soon.

    EVENT DETAILS

    TIME:  6 – 8 p.m., March 28, 2018

    PLACE:  MORSE HOC HOUSE

    RSVP:  frankeprogram@yale.edu

  • March 15, 2018 - 7:00pm

    The Science and Humanities Reading Group is having its first meeting of the spring semester this week. The meeting will take place March 15, at 7 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street), Room 208. As always, food and refreshments will be provided.

    At our meeting, we will hear from Andrew Miranker, Professor in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. In the fall, Professor Miranker taught the class “Pigments and Pipettes: Art and Biomolecular Recognition”, at Yale’s West Campus. The class, which was featured on the Yale West Campus website, taught students about how the biological sciences can be applied in the field of art conservation. Professor Miranker will tell us about his experiences in bringing such an interdisciplinary class to life.

    If you are interested in teaching interdisciplinary subject matter, don’t miss this meeting! Spend one evening of spring break having a thought-provoking discussion about interdisciplinary teaching at the intersection between the sciences and the arts.

  • February 15, 2018 - 6:00pm

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is excited to announce the launch of the Franke Ideas Salon, an initiative for Yale University faculty that we hope will greatly enhance intellectual engagement across disciplines. ​ The Franke Ideas Salon is a new monthly informal meeting intended to facilitate inter-disciplinary interaction and intellectual exchange.  The event will consist of two faculty members from two distinct disciplines addressing a single theme from their unique vantage points with a brief presentation, followed by discussion and Q&A.  Dinner will be served and our gathering hopes to have 20 – 30 guests at each event.

    The Inaugural Salon speakers are:  Richard Prum (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) and Jonathan Kramnick (English) and the theme of their conversation is Beauty & Aesthetics.

    EVENT DETAILS

    TIME:  6 – 8 p.m., Feb. 15, 2018

    PLACE:  MORSE HOC HOUSE

    RSVP:  frankeprogram@yale.edu

    Please respond by Tuesday, February 6 so that we may have a full count in hand for our caterer.

  • February 7, 2018 - 9:00am to March 9, 2018 - 5:00pm

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is pleased to award The Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke.  Fellowships will be awarded to rising seniors to support senior essay, research, or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities.  Awards are intended to support research during the summer between junior and senior year, or during the following academic year.

    The deadline is March 9th at 5 p.m.  Please note that this deadline is firm and exceptions will not be granted.  For further information, or to apply, visit the Yale Fellowships and Funding page and search for “Franke.”

  • December 5, 2017 - 7:30pm

    A sphere has a constant positive curvature, a banana has positive and negative curvature. A surface with constant negative curvature, called a hyperbolic plane, has been traditionally difficult to visualize. While attending a geometry workshop in 1997 at Cornell, Daina Taimina saw the fragile paper models of hyperbolic planes used by mathematicians to visual theses complex shapes. She decided to try to make more durable models, and did so by crocheting them. Daina’s curvy creations, made of yarn, are a great example of art influencing mathematics and vice-versa.

  • November 16, 2017 - 7:00pm

    The next reading group meeting will take place November 16, at 7 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street), Room 208.  If you have not attended our prior meetings, but want to know more about the group, then this is your chance!

    At the meeting, we will take a look at two historical perspectives on the intersection of natural sciences and the humanities. We will focus on a selection from Gerhard Vasco’s (1978) Diderot and Goethe: A Study in Science and Humanism. We will discuss whether the views of these two thinkers can provide a reasonable grounding for interdisciplinary research in today’s world.

    The Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2 of this inspiring study have been uploaded to the reading group Google Drive (if you need access to the Google Drive, do not hesitate to email Ethan Perets). In our discussion, we will focus on Chapter 1, “Prelude to Science” (pgs 9-25). Those of you who are interested can refer to Chapter 2 for additional context.

    As always, food and refreshments will be provided.

  • November 6, 2017 - 5:00pm

    Monday, November 6

    The Shulman Lectures in Science and the Humanities

    Reports from Nonhuman Worlds

    Claire Colebrook, Pennsylvania State University

    “Fragility, Globalism, and the End of the World”

    5 pm, Room 208

  • October 26, 2017 - 7:00pm

    The first meeting of the academic year will take place October 26, at 7 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street), Room 208. Meetings take place once a month throughout the academic year.

    The first meeting will feature a talk by Dr. Damon Crockett, postdoctoral associate in the Digital Humanities Lab here at Yale.  His talk is titled “Human-in-the-Loop Image Analysis with Computational Notebooks.”  As always, the meeting will feature food and refreshments for your enjoyment.

    The reading group brings together graduate students in STEM and the humanities having interests (personal or professional) in art, history, and the natural sciences.  One can find more information about the group here.

  • October 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

     

    Alyson Shotz lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.  She will be included in the exhibition Art & Space at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and was recently included in the exhibitions The More Things Change, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Contemplating the Void and The Shapes of Space, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Light and Landscape, Storm King Art Center, and Living Color, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC.  She has had solo exhibitions at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH, the, and Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, among others.  Shotz was an Arts Institute Research Fellow at Stanford University in 2014- 2015, she received a Pollock Krasner Award in 2010, the Saint Gaudens Memorial Fellowship in 2007, and was the 2005-2006 Happy and Bob Doran Artist in Residence at Yale University Art Gallery.  Her work is included in numerous public collections, such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, among others.

    Alyson’s extraordinary oeuvre may be viewed at https://www.alysonshotz.com/.

  • October 2, 2017 - 5:00pm

    Monday, October 2

    The Shulman Lectures in Science and the Humanities

    Reports from Nonhuman Worlds

    Manuel DeLanda, Princeton University

    “The Philosophy of Chemistry”

    5 pm, Room 208

  • September 28, 2017 - 7:30pm

    Adele Myers and Emily Coates are both dancers and choreographers who recently produced artistic projects closely related to physics. While Adele used her imagination, instincts and knowledge about people and objects in relation to time, space, and gravity, which led her to Einstein’s Happiest Thought, Emily had an opposite creation process. Inspired by her ongoing collaboration with particle physicist Sarah Demers, in her latest piece Incarnations she uses physics as both a source of movement and a “found object,” which she intertwines with dance history. During this evening, we will consider how the creative process influenced the final result, thanks to video excerpts of both performances and discussions with Adele and Emily.

    Registration link here:  http://quantuminstitute.yale.edu/einsteins-happiest-dance.

  • July 10, 2017 - 9:45am

    Dear colleagues,

    It is my pleasure to announce that Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor of Astronomy and Physics, has agreed to serve as the new director of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities for a period of three years. Professor Richard Prum, who has served as the inaugural director of the program since 2012, will step down on June 30th having built an innovative and thriving program that bridges schools, academic divisions, and local disciplines within the university.

    Prof. Natarajan is a theoretical astrophysicist who is recognized for her seminal contributions to the study of dark matter and the formation of black holes. One of her key interests is in the mapping of dark matter. In addition to her undergraduate degrees in Physics and Mathematics from MIT and a PhD in Astrophysics from Cambridge, she has done graduate work in the History and Philosophy of Science at the MIT Science and Technology Studies Program. The recipient of many awards and honors for her work including a fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships, she is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and the incoming Chair of the Division of Astrophysics at the APS. She previously served as Chair of the Women Faculty Forum at Yale. As a prominent public intellectual, she is a strong proponent of inter-disciplinarity and is also deeply invested in the dissemination of science. Her research work and writing about science have both been widely published and written about. She is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and her first book, Mapping the Heavens: Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos was published last year by Yale Press.

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, housed in the Whitney Humanities Center, was endowed through the generosity of Richard and Barbara Franke in 2012. The Frankes’ vision was to foster substantive intellectual conversation between scholars who shared questions and interests but whose methods came from the distinct traditions of scientific and humanistic inquiry.

    Rick Prum has made that vision a reality during his term as the inaugural director. Under his direction, the program has sponsored a wide variety of events that have made an important contribution to intellectual community at Yale. These ranged from traditional formats–such as lectures by world-renowned scholars and authors and jointly-taught seminars–to plays, gallery exhibitions, and musical performances. Together these significantly enhanced the diversity of intellectual connections across the university. From a discussion of the philosophy of time to a performance of a long forgotten 19th century symphony about the Passenger Pigeon, the program succeeded in bringing diverse audiences together across disciplines.

    As we thank Prof. Prum for the exuberance, imagination, and roving intelligence he brought to the program, we are also grateful for the unflagging support of Gary Tomlinson, Director of the Whitney Humanities Center, and the staff of the Franke Program and the Whitney. Throughout, the program has been spurred on by the ever-curious Rich and Barbara Franke, who have made it all possible.

    We look forward to the fresh leadership that Prof. Natarajan will bring to the Franke Program and to seeing the program grow and thrive in new ways in the coming years.

    Yours,

    Amy Hungerford

    Bird White Housum Professor of English and Professor of American Studies

    Dean of Humanities

  • May 8, 2017 - 5:00pm

    Do the Peacock’s brilliant tail and the lovely song of the Wood Thrush encode information about mate quality? Or are these ornaments merely beautiful?  In The Evolution of Beauty, Director of The Franke Program Richard Prum explores how sexual beauty evolves in the living world through mate choice, including insights into the evolution of human sexuality.

  • May 2, 2017 - 7:00pm

    The Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities Reading Group will meet tonight at 7 p.m. in WHC 208.

    As always, food and refreshments will be served.

    Tonight’s meeting will feature a presentation and discussion from Dr. Chitra Ramalingam, Lecturer in the Department of History and Research Associate at the Yale Center for British Art.  Dr. Ramalingam will deliver a talk titled “The Laboratory as Camera:  Experiment and the Photographic Archive of Victorian Physics.”

  • May 1, 2017 - 4:00pm

    The Slavic Graduate Colloquium Literature, the Arts, and the Environment Colloquium and The Yale Sustainable Food Program present Jane Costlow, Clark A. Griffith Professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College

    Turning the Soil: Cultivating our Gardens in Times of Trouble (Ruminations on Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago)

    At the center of Pasternak’s novel of upheaval and revolution, the poet and his family become gardeners.  Their labors, however, are only an interlude in an otherwise violent and destructive era.  In this talk I want to consider the novel as a narrative of violence and the fragile but essential shelter that is suggested by “the garden.”  Pasternak’s novel echoes, perhaps, the famous conclusion to Voltaire’s Candide, with its enigmatic injunction that in a world of violence, injustice and corruption we must “cultivate our gardens.”  What might all this mean for us, and for people laboring to hold together fertile spaces of continuity and beauty?

    Sponsored by: The Traphagen Alumni Speakers Series, Yale College Office of Student Affairs; The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities; The Yale Sustainable Food Program; The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund; The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; The Dean’s Fund; and Literature, the Arts, and the Environment Colloquium.
     

  • April 26, 2017 - 5:00pm

    The annual Shulman Lecture Series provides up to four visiting lectures a year to be organized in conjunction with an undergraduate seminar course taught on a topic bridging science and the humanities. 

    The Shulman Lectures are presented under the auspices of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generosity of Richard and Barbara Franke. The series is named after Robert Shulman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and senior research scientist in diagnostic radiology, in recognition of his roles as a Founding Fellow of the Whitney and as an unwavering supporter of the integration of science and the humanities.

    The Spring 2017 Shulman Lecture Series “Other Minds” is organized in conjunction with a Yale College seminar taught by Henry Cowles (History) and Laurie Santos (Psychology).

    All lectures will take place at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center.  They are free and open to the public.  No reservations required.

    http://whc.yale.edu/program/shulman-lectures-science-and-humanities

  • April 21, 2017 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

    https://www.editingnature.org/watch-here

    DNA is the basic building block of life. It is shared by all living things, providing commonality between us and nature. With the advent of CRISPR technology, we now have the capability to alter that very sequence of life, efficiently and
    inexpensively, through a process called gene editing. Using gene editing we could create new solutions for environmental sustainability and public health, but without careful consideration and foresight, gene editing could also irreversibly destroy ecosystems and drastically transform the natural world as we know it.

    Pioneering a new model based on inclusivity and transparency, the Editing Nature Summit will foster dialogue that spans disciplines and viewpoints to honor the complexity of this important issue. Join us for a series of public talks given by thought leaders from ecology, genetics, public policy, ethics, journalism, engineering and architecture that aim to broaden our perspectives and spur conversation.

  • April 20, 2017 - 4:30pm

    https://www.editingnature.org/watch-here

    DNA is the basic building block of life. It is shared by all living things, providing commonality between us and nature. With the advent of CRISPR technology, we now have the capability to alter that very sequence of life, efficiently and
    inexpensively, through a process called gene editing. Using gene editing we could create new solutions for environmental sustainability and public health, but without careful consideration and foresight, gene editing could also irreversibly destroy ecosystems and drastically transform the natural world as we know it.

    Pioneering a new model based on inclusivity and transparency, the Editing Nature Summit will foster dialogue that spans disciplines and viewpoints to honor the complexity of this important issue. Join us for a series of public talks given by thought leaders from ecology, genetics, public policy, ethics, journalism, engineering and architecture that aim to broaden our perspectives and spur conversation.

  • April 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

    Scientific progress can be helped by pluralism, similarly as social progress has been aided by political pluralism.  Contrary to the widespread notion that scientists should maintain a consensus on fundamentals because science is the search for the one truth about the one universe, Dr. Chang will argue that the ideal of science should be to learn about nature in all the various ways in which we can.  Since it is practically impossible to pursue too many avenues of inquiry at once, we need to cultivate a small number of well-chosen systems of practice within each field of study;  this advice is clearly contrary to sanctioning a demand to devote undue attention to highly implausible alternatives (e.g., creationism, climate-change denial).  There are two kinds of benefits to this pluralist approach.  The benefits of toleration arise from each system of practice developing in its own way and delivering its distinctive results.  The benefits of interaction arise from productive engagement between different systems.  Our guest will also point out that science has in fact progressed in a much more pluralist fashion than commonly imagined.  Particularly significant in that regard is what he calls “conservationist pluralism:”  when a successful system of practice has been established, it can and should be kept for what it continues to do well, even after another system that does other things better comes along.  A prime example is the fact that we still teach every student of physics Newtonian mechanics, a topic that remains very cogent in many areas (e.g., “rocket science”) in which more advanced theories such as quantum mechanics or general relativity cannot in fact be used.

    Please note: This event may be [recorded/livestreamed/photographed] for educational, archival or promotional purposes including use in print, on the Internet and in other forms of media. All attendees and participants (or parents/guardians of minors attending the event) agree to the possibility of your voice or likeness captured by these means and used for such purposes, without compensation to you, by virtue of your attending the event or otherwise participating in the event, and hereby waive any related right of privacy or publicity.

  • April 11, 2017 - 7:00pm

    The next meeting of the reading group Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities will take place Tuesday, April 11, at 7pm, Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street), Room 208.  As always, food and refreshments will be served.

    The meeting will feature a presentation and discussion from Dr. Claire Bowern, Associate Professor in Yale Linguistics Department.  Dr. Bowern will speak about her paper, “Phylogenetic approach to the evolution of color term systems.” This paper is already uploaded to the Google Drive.  If there are any questions or concerns before our next meeting, please contact ethan.perets@yale.edu.

  • April 10, 2017 - 4:00pm

    The visionary German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769 -1859) was daringly adventurous but also created the way we understand nature today.  He was the most famous scientist of his age and even predicted human-induced climate change.  In her award–winning and bestselling book, Andrea Wulf traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art, and the theory of evolution.

    For a short film about The Invention of Nature, please see here:

  • April 10, 2017 - 4:00pm

    The Slavic Graduate Colloquium and The Yale Sustainable Food Program present Darra Goldstein, Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian at Williams College and Founding Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture

    This talk explores Russian national identity and cuisine from the 18th century into the present.  Ever since Peter the Great opened his country to the West, the Russians have struggled with ambivalence toward outside influences.  This unease has extended beyond political wariness into cuisine, with Western foodways alternately embraced and rejected over the years.  Today, following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Western food is again politically fraught.  The economic sanctions imposed by Europe, Australia, and the U.S. have led Russia to ban imports of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, and dairy products, causing widespread food shortages.  Russians are famously accustomed to deprivation, but these latest shortages have led not to resignation but to a gradual revival of artisanal production that is transforming Russia’s gastronomic landscape.  We can see a new form of nationalism being played out in the culinary sphere.

    Sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities;  The Yale Sustainable Food Program;  The Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund;  The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures;  The Dean’s Fund;  and The Slavic Graduate Colloquium.
     

  • April 5, 2017 - 5:00pm

    The annual Shulman Lecture Series provides up to four visiting lectures a year to be organized in conjunction with an undergraduate seminar course taught on a topic bridging science and the humanities. 

    The Shulman Lectures are presented under the auspices of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generosity of Richard and Barbara Franke. The series is named after Robert Shulman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and senior research scientist in diagnostic radiology, in recognition of his roles as a Founding Fellow of the Whitney and as an unwavering supporter of the integration of science and the humanities.

    The Spring 2017 Shulman Lecture Series “Other Minds” is organized in conjunction with a Yale College seminar taught by Henry Cowles (History) and Laurie Santos (Psychology).

    All lectures will take place at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center.  They are free and open to the public.  No reservations required.

    http://whc.yale.edu/program/shulman-lectures-science-and-humanities

  • April 4, 2017 - 3:00pm

    How do we visualize the complex and intangible forces which surround us? It turns out to be surprisingly difficult without employing a range of similes, resemblances, and metaphors.  Unlike science, art offers ways of looking at problems that are wobbly and uncertain, neatly sidestepping the need for rigorous quantification or stabilization. Ordinary things can stand in for the rare, the speculative or the impossible to glimpse, events can be collapsed and condensed into layered images. Our guest offers a brief overview of my practice to date, outlining the ways in which the history of science, human knowledge and our changing understanding of the universe unfold in my work through the mediums of paper, ink, and the odd bit of yarn.

  • March 31, 2017 - 3:00pm
  • March 30, 2017 - 6:30pm
  • March 3, 2017 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

    Mapping for Social Justices:  Approaches with New Media and the Digital Humanities

  • February 24, 2017 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Professor Samuel K. Roberts, Jr. of Columbia University will deliver this talk as the keynote address of the conference “Critical Histories and Activist Futures:  Science, Medicine and Racial Violence.”

  • February 23, 2017 - 5:00pm
  • February 22, 2017 - 5:00pm

    The annual Shulman Lecture Series provides up to four visiting lectures a year to be organized in conjunction with an undergraduate seminar course taught on a topic bridging science and the humanities. 

    The Shulman Lectures are presented under the auspices of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generosity of Richard and Barbara Franke. The series is named after Robert Shulman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and senior research scientist in diagnostic radiology, in recognition of his roles as a Founding Fellow of the Whitney and as an unwavering supporter of the integration of science and the humanities.

    The Spring 2017 Shulman Lecture Series “Other Minds” is organized in conjunction with a Yale College seminar taught by Henry Cowles (History) and Laurie Santos (Psychology).

    All lectures will take place at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center.  They are free and open to the public.  No reservations required.

    http://whc.yale.edu/program/shulman-lectures-science-and-humanities

  • February 15, 2017 - 5:00pm

    The annual Shulman Lecture Series provides up to four visiting lectures a year to be organized in conjunction with an undergraduate seminar course taught on a topic bridging science and the humanities. 

    The Shulman Lectures are presented under the auspices of the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, which is made possible by the generosity of Richard and Barbara Franke. The series is named after Robert Shulman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and senior research scientist in diagnostic radiology, in recognition of his roles as a Founding Fellow of the Whitney and as an unwavering supporter of the integration of science and the humanities.

    The Spring 2017 Shulman Lecture Series “Other Minds” is organized in conjunction with a Yale College seminar taught by Henry Cowles (History) and Laurie Santos (Psychology).

    All lectures will take place at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center.  They are free and open to the public.  No reservations required.

    http://whc.yale.edu/program/shulman-lectures-science-and-humanities

  • February 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

    The first meeting of the spring semester will take place Tuesday, February 14, at 7 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street), Room 208.  Refreshments and pizza will be served.

    At this meeting, the group will discuss a chapter from Timon Screech’s 2002 publication The Lens Within the Heart: the Western Scientific Gaze and Popular Imagery in Later Edo Japan, focusing in particular on the author’s discussion of the scientific microscope in eighteenth-century Japan (pages 194-211). The text is now accessible through the Google Drive (if you do not have access, please let Ethan Perets know).

    Upcoming meetings:

    March 14, 7 p.m., talk from Dr. Caroline Fowler, Postdoctoral Associate in the History of Art

    April 11, 7 p.m., discussion TBA

    May 2, 7 p.m., talk from Dr. Chitra Ramalingam, Lecturer in History of Science

     

  • February 13, 2017 - 4:00pm

    Drawing on her life as an indigenous plant scientist, a teacher, a writer and a mother, Professor Kimmerer will lecture on topics found in her award-winning book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, in which she shows how plants—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.  In traditional ecological knowledge, plants are regarded not only as persons, but as among our oldest teachers.  If plants are our teachers, what are they teaching us and how can we be better students?  In a rich braid of ecological science, indigenous philosophy and literary reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she explores and celebrates the material and cultural gifts of plants and our responsibilities for reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.

    She holds a B.S. in botany from SUNY ESF, an M.S. and Ph.D. in botany from the University of Wisconsin, and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology.  As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land.  She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

  • February 9, 2017 - 4:30pm

    *Note that this event will be held as anticipated, regardless of Thursday’s impending snowstorm.*

    Connections between physics and technological invention and aspects of human life that seem far from science are both unexpected and unexpectedly common.  And rather than flowing one way - from physics to gadgets - the connections form an intricate web, linking all aspects of human culture, in a way that frustrates our convenient compartmentalizations and coarse interventions aimed at promoting technology transfer.  Our distinguished guest will discuss this theme not abstractly but with examples, ranging from music to the color of gold, and explain how quantum physics helps him do quantum physics (sic).

  • January 16, 2017 - 8:00am to March 3, 2017 - 1:00pm

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is now accepting applications for our Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities.

    These competitive grants, made possible through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke, are awarded to rising Yale College seniors to support senior essay, research, or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities.  Fellowships are intended to fund research during the summer between junior and senior year, or during the following academic year.

    Successful applicants will receive up to $2,000 and will be expected to produce a presentation of their work.  Fellows will also participate in two dinners with their advisors and the donors of the Program.

    Please search the student grants database for “Franke” to learn more.  We shall be hosting an information session for the fellowship sometime in February;  details to follow.
     

  • January 14, 2017 - 10:00am to March 3, 2017 - 1:00pm

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is now accepting applications for our Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities.

    These competitive grants, made possible through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke, are awarded to rising Yale College seniors to support senior essay, research, or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities.  Fellowships are intended to fund research during the summer between junior and senior year, or during the following academic year.

    Successful applicants will receive up to $2,000 and will be expected to produce a presentation of their work.  Fellows will also participate in two dinners with their advisors and the donors of the Program.  Refer to the attached documents for help in preparing requested materials.

    Please search the student grants database for “Franke” to learn more.  We shall be hosting an information session for the fellowship sometime in February;  details to follow.

  • December 7, 2016 - 7:00pm

    We are pleased to announce that the third meeting of the reading group Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities will take place Wednesday, December 7, at 7 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall Street), Room 208.

    For the next meeting, the group will discuss the text “Fertilization Narratives in the Art of Gustav Klimt, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo: Repression, Domination, and Eros among Cells.”  One of the group members has kindly uploaded a copy of the text to the Google Drive folder (if you don’t have access to the Google Drive account, please contact ethan.perets@yale.edu.

  • November 30, 2016 - 4:00pm

    The history of the restoration of native species is inextricable from the history of nativism, but in ways that are not immediately apparent. To see how nativism shaped ecological restoration in the United States, it is necessary to consider not only why people came to care about native species, but how they proposed to protect them. During the interwar years wildflower preservation societies attempted to exert control over “new immigrants,” while wildlife preservation societies established the nation’s first wildlife reservations on Indian reservations that the federal government was systematically dismantling in order to erode tribal sovereignty. Today, these societies’ successors, The Nature Conservancy and National Wildlife Refuge System, manage 119 million acres and 150 million acres respectively, and we should consider to what extent contemporary ecological intervention remains implicated by this history of disempowerment and dispossession.

    Bio:  Laura J. Martin is a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Department of the History of Science. In 2015 she received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, specializing in evolutionary ecology and environmental history. She has been awarded national fellowships in history and in ecology. Her research explores how humans intentionally and unintentionally shape the distribution and diversity of other species. Her current project, “Saving Species: Ecological Restoration from the Dust Bowl to De-extinction,” examines the history of ecological restoration as an idea, practice, and scientific discipline.

    http://environment.harvard.edu/about/fellows/laura-j-martin

  • November 2, 2016 - 7:00pm

    Second Meeting of Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities:  An Interdisciplinary Reading Group for Graduate Students
    November 2, 7 p.m.
    Whitney Humanities Center, Room 208
    53 Wall Street

    The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is pleased to announce that the second meeting of this new graduate student reading group will take place on Wednesday, November 2 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. in room 208 of the Whitney Humanities Center.  Sponsored by our program, the group is dedicated to discussion of interdisciplinary research topics at the interface of art and the natural sciences.

    This meeting will feature a presentation from Dr. Keely Orgeman, Alice and Allan Kaplan Assistant Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale University Art Gallery.  Dr. Orgeman will lead a discussion on American artist Thomas Wilfred, a leading figure in optics and light projections in the 20th century, whose work will be the subject of an exhibition opening at the Yale University Art Gallery in February 2017.  Dr. Orgeman will discuss opportunities for reading group members to be involved with a project related to the show that bridges interests in STEM and the humanities.

    Whether you want to explore a career between the arts and sciences, have an interest in pursuing collaborative research projects, or just want to find out more about the latest arts research using scientific approaches, all interested graduate students are encouraged to attend.  The meetings will also be an opportunity to meet and interact with fellow graduate students in departments outside your own, and with overlapping interests in interdisciplinary research.  Pizza and refreshments will be served at this and subsequent meetings.

    For more details on the Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities graduate student reading group, please visit the reading group’s webpage.

    Likewise, if you are interested in receiving emails from the group, you may sign up for the mailing list here.
     

  • October 25, 2016 - 4:00pm

    If labs and museums have a common origin in the rationality of European Enlightement, I argue that they have been redefined after the Second World War with a contradictory injunction : their collections have to circulate globally, because they concern the public at large, but they have to be secured, because their value increases on the market. The classical need to store collections has been transformed into an injunction to stockpile goods for a coming catastrophe, with different relations to the future. I will illustrate this claim through cases from my research with Influenza experts in Hong Kong and with curators at the musée du quai Branly in Paris. Borrowing the notion of preparedness from the debates in global health, I will show that it sheds light in contemporary debates on the virtual museum and restitution.

    Frédéric Keck is a researcher at the Laboratory of Social Anthropology and Director of the Research Department of the Quai Branly Museum . After studying philosophy at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley , he has been researching the history of anthropology and contemporary biopolitical questions. He published Claude Lévi-Strauss, une introduction (Pocket-La découverte, 2005), Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, entre philosophie et anthropologie (CNRS Editions, 2008) Un monde grippé ( Flammarion, 2010). He has co-edited (with N . Vialles ) Des hommes malades des animaux, L’ Herne, 2012 and (with A. Lakoff) Sentinel devices„ Limn, 2013.

  • October 14, 2016 - 10:30am

    That Way Madness Lies…

    7 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2016
    Loria Center 250, 190 York Street

    The Franke Program in Science and Humanities is pleased to bring to your attention a documentary screening on campus sponsored by Mind Matters at Yale.  This remarkable film covers the story of a man’s descent into paranoid schizophrenia and the challenges that it poses for both his family and for his ability to function as a member of society at large.

  • October 5, 2016 - 7:00pm

    Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities:  An Interdisciplinary Reading Group for Graduate Students is having its first meeting of the 2016-2017 academic year.

    The inaugural meeting of the graduate student reading group in Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities will take place Wednesday, October 5, from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the Whitney Humanities Center.  Sponsored by The Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, the reading group will be dedicated to discussion of interdisciplinary research topics at the interface of art and the natural sciences.  Whether you want to explore a career between the arts and sciences, have an interest in pursuing collaborative research projects, or just want to find out more about the latest arts research using scientific approaches, all interested graduate students are encouraged to attend.  The meetings will also be an opportunity to meet and interact with fellow graduate students in departments outside your own, and with overlapping interests in interdisciplinary research.

    For more details, please visit our description of the program here.  Pizza and refreshments will be served.

    If you are interested in receiving emails from the Cultural Heritage in Science and the Humanities graduate student reading group, please sign up for our mailing list at http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/scihumreadinggroup.
     

  • October 4, 2016 - 5:00pm

    Lecture by:
    Prof. Mihaela Pavlicev
    Department of Theoretical Biology
    University of Vienna

    and

    Prof. Gunter P. Wagner
    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and
    Systems Biology Institute
    Yale University

    With Commentary by:

    Prof. Elisabeth Lloyd
    Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
    Indiana University
     

    The origin and meaning of female orgasm has occupied biologists and philosophers since the beginning of the study of life. The main problem is that female orgasm has no manifest roles in human reproduction but is never the less a complex physiological trait. We propose that female orgasm is derived from a neuro-endocrine reflex that was necessary for ovulation but in primates lost its reproductive role. We will also discuss the implications of our model for the understanding of so-called “orgasmic dysfunction.”

     

  • September 14, 2016 - 5:45pm

    The Franke Program is pleased to announce the formation of a new reading group dedicated to exploring the subject of cultural heritage in science and humanities.  Dates for group meetings will be posted here, but in the meantime, you may learn more about this group here.

  • September 12, 2016 - 6:00pm

    The Franke Program is pleased to welcome this year’s cohort of Franke Undergraduate Fellows.  More details about their exciting projects will soon be published on this website.

  • May 12, 2016 - 3:00pm

    Maria Batlle is a social entrepreneur, film maker, sculptor, and painter from the Dominican Republic.  In 2013, she created The Muse Seek Project to make a significant impact in the education system for the deaf through music.  Every year, Ms. Batlle explores the benefits of music in education together with Yo Yo Ma, The Silk Road Ensemble, teaching artists, and educators from all over the world at Harvard University.

    She directed an original documentary film about her latest initiative,“Whale Muse Seek,” which opened up the world of live whale music to deaf children, an endeavor without precedent.  It was described as a “brilliant initiative for deaf children” by Forbes magazine, as a “revolution in education” by the Dominican Minister of Culture, and presented as a “successful case of accessible tourism in the Dominican Republic” by the Dominican Ministry of Tourism.

    In October 2015, the newspapers El Diario de NY and La Opinión de Los Angeles, acclaimed her work in this way:  “A hurricane called Maria is revolutionizing education for the deaf in the D.R. and soon the world.”

  • May 4, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

    The Franke Program in Science in the Humanities is proud to celebrate the publication of two new books on maps and mapping by Yale faculty members on Wednesday, May 4th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Room 108 of the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street. No responses are necessary;  just come and enjoy the event.

      Priyamvada Natarajan is Professor of Astronomy & Physics at Yale and former Chair of the Yale Women’s Faculty Forum.  Her research focuses on cosmology, gravitational lensing, and the formation and growth history of black holes over cosmic time.  In Mapping the Heavens, published this week by Yale University Press, Natarajan traces the dynamic intellectual history of our conception of the universe.  She explores the role of maps and mapping in the many revolutionary and radical scientific transformations of our view of the cosmos and our place within it.  She uses maps literally and metaphorically to trace our ever-evolving understanding of the universe.

     William Rankin is Assistant Professor of History of Science and Medicine in the History Department at Yale University.  Rankin’s research focuses on the relationship between science and space, from the planetary scale down to the scale of individual buildings.  His forthcoming book, After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in June, 2016.  The book is a history of the mapping sciences in the twentieth century that traces the shift from the god’s-eye view of the paper map to the embedded experience of GPS.

  • April 25, 2016 - 3:30pm

    Can we contain some of the deadliest, most long-lasting substances ever produced?  Left over from the Cold War are a hundred million gallons of radioactive sludge, covering vast radioactive lands.  Governments around the world, desperate to protect future generations, have begun imagining society 10,000 years from now in order to create monuments that will speak across the time.  Part observational essay filmed in weapons plants, Fukushima and deep underground—and part graphic novel—Containment weaves between an uneasy present and an imaginative, troubled far future, exploring the idea that over millennia, nothing stays put.

    Film screening will be followed by a discussion with the directors of this documentary.  For more information about this remarkable film, please visit the official site.

  • April 14, 2016 - 4:00pm

    The 2010 earthquake in Haiti resulted in a tremendous loss of life, and had a devastating impact on the nation’s infrastructure, including its cultural heritage. The Smithsonian led an unprecedented collaborative effort with Haitian, American and international organizations to establish an emergency cultural recovery center, saving some 35,000 paintings, sculptures, murals, and artifacts, and training some 150 Haitians in collection management and conservation. Following this, the Smithsonian led projects in Mali, Egypt, Nepal, Iraq and Syria to save heritage endangered by natural disaster and human conflict. Kurin describes these projects—of contemporary “monuments men and women” in light of varied and sometimes competing governmental, professional and private priorities, interests and objectives, and highlights research, legislative and operational needs to address threatened heritage. The lecture coincides with Smithsonian participation in the Global Colloquium of University Presidents in New Haven and follows his participation with Yale President Peter Salovey in sessions about saving cultural heritage at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

  • April 11, 2016 - 5:00pm

    Monday, April 11th (Rescheduled Time):  Liz Lerman, Choreographer, Performer, Writer, and Educator:  “Creative Research:  Crossing Borders, Disciplines, and Domains”

  • April 11, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

    This panel discussion, featuring Drs. Matthew Ellman, William Sledge, and Lisa Sanders, will review the challenges and opportunities for improving the human experience of medical care.  Conversation with our specialists will aim to address different life stages and ways of interaction with the medical system.

  • March 16, 2016 - 4:00pm to April 1, 2016 - 1:00pm

    We are pleased to announce that the competition for The Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities is now open!  Made possible through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke, these fellowships of up to $2,000 are awarded to rising seniors to support senior essay research or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities.  Please search the student grants database for “Franke” to learn more.

  • March 10, 2016 - 5:00pm

    Young-Kee Kim of the University of Chicago will present “An Atom as an Onion”

  • March 10, 2016 - 3:30pm

    KINGS PARK: Stories from an American Mental Institution captures the rapidly vanishing history of our public mental health care system and the legacy of deinstitutionalization, asking “how do our past decisions concerning the treatment of people with mental health conditions influence and shape policy and practice today and into the future?”

    On June 21, 1967, at the age of 17, award-winning filmmaker Lucy Winer was committed to the female violent ward of Kings Park State Hospital following a series of failed suicide attempts. Over 30 years later, Lucy returns to Kings Park for the first time since her discharge. Her journey back sparks a decade-long effort to face her past and learn the story of the now abandoned institution that once held her captive. Her meetings with other former “patients,” their families, and the hospital staff, reveal the painful legacy of our state hospital system and the crisis left by its demise.

  • March 8, 2016 - 6:00pm

    We are pleased to announce that The Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities is now open!

    Tonight at 6 p.m., we shall host an information session about the grants in Room B04 of the Whitney Humanities Center.  Come and learn about our program and how to apply for our grant.

    Made possible through the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Richard (‘53) and Barbara Franke, the fellowships are awarded to rising seniors to support senior essay research or art project proposals that explore new and productive intellectual connections between science and the humanities.  Please search the student grants database for “Franke” to learn more.

  • February 28, 2016 - 3:00pm to April 17, 2016 - 6:00pm

  • June 8, 2015 - 2:00pm

    Site Projects Inc, the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, Yale Physics Dept and Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects present:

  • April 21, 2015 - 4:00pm

    David Albert, Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University (left) and Tim Maudlin, Professor of Philosophy at NYU (right) will present recent work and engage in a conversation regarding the possibility of mechanical explanations of the direction of time. 

  • April 18, 2015 - 7:00pm

    The Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics with support from the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities present a rock opera by Corky Laing and the Perfect Child: “Playing God.”

    This event is free and open to the public. 

  • February 25, 2015 - 5:00pm

    On Wednesday, 25 February, Randolph Distinguished Professor of Hispanic Studies at Vassar College Lisa Paravisini-Gebert will visit Yale to present from her new project “Extinctions: Vanishing Fauna and the Caribbean’s Environmental Imagination.” 

    This event is generously co-sponsored by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities, the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, the Program in Environmental Studies and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies’ Student Interest Group in Latin America.

  • February 12, 2015 - 4:15pm

    Graphing the Brain’s Dark Energy: Network Models and Neural Mechanisms

    A lecture by Carl Craver, Professor of Philosophy and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. 

    Abstract: In a recent paper on network analysis, Philipe Hunneman conjectures that topological explanations represent a style of explanation distinct from mechanistic explanation. I discuss these claims in the context of recent work using resting state functional correlations to infer cortical structure. Graph theory and network analysis are central research tools in the Human Connectome Project (Sporns 2011). I argue (in agreement with Hunneman) that that network models (often coupled with facts about localization) can be used to describe features of the organization of complex mechanisms that other representational systems are ill-equipped to describe. I catalogue some of the most promising uses of network theory in contemporary connectomics. I argue, however, that network theory can be used to construct accurate, complete, and well-verified mathematical descriptions of both brain activity and brain structure that explain nothing at all. The explanatory force of the model comes not from the fact that it is a network model but from the fact that network analysis reveals something useful about the organization of a mechanism. Network models that fail in this regard would not be explanatorily interesting. Philosophical emphasis on the explanatory value of network models distracts attention from more interesting questions raised by network theory concerning the organization of complex systems and the methods by which that organization might efficiently be discovered. 

     
     
  • February 11, 2015 - 5:00pm

    Episodic Memory, Time, and Agency: Some Constraints from Neuropsychology

    A lecture by Carl Craver, Professor of Philosophy and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. 

    Abstract: People with episodic amnesia are frequently said to be stuck in time, trapped in a permanent present tense, and altogether lacking a subjective sense of temporality. These claims are grounded in the well-characterized inability of persons with episodic amnesia to perform much above floor on standard questionnaire tests assaying their ability to remember past personal episodes and to imagine vividly what one might do in the future. I review recent empirical work demonstrating several distinct varieties of temporal knowledge and sensitivity in people with acquired or developmental cases of episodic amnesia. These studies raise doubts about whether the sense of time, mental time travel, and (indeed) episodic memory constitute well-formed psychological kinds. At very least, they caution against a pernicious kind of semantic creep common in (psychological) science. 

  • November 11, 2014 - 4:00pm

    Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer for The New Yorker and has written widely on the science of our environmental crises. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe (2006). Her Franke Program lecture will be based on her latest book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, published this year.

    This is event is co-sponsored by the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale.

  • November 5, 2014 - 5:00pm

    Richard Preston has written nine books, including The Hot ZoneThe Demon in the Freezer, and The Wild Trees.  His books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and most of them have first appeared as articles in The New Yorker.  Preston has won numerous awards, including the American Institute of Physics Award and the National Magazine Award. He’s also the only person not a medical doctor ever to receive the Centers for Disease Control’s Champion of Prevention Award for public health. An asteroid is named “Preston” after him. (Asteroid Preston is a ball of rock three miles in diameter, traveling on a wild orbit near Mars.)

    http://richardpreston.net/about-richard-preston

  • November 3, 2014 - 5:00pm

    Reorganizing Ourselves

    A conversation with Deborah Hay, Alva Noë and Michèle Steinwald
    .
    A conversation on perception and consciousness in three parts that combines Deborah Hay’s performative lecture “A Continuity of Discontinuity,” Alva Noë’s “See me if you can!” and concludes with a participatory salon-style discussion with Hay, Noë and audience members, facilitated by Michèle Steinwald.

    This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Perceptions Unfold: Looking at Deborah Hay’s Dance. This conversation is made possible in part by the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards program, and the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.  Additional sponsorship for the Yale presentation of this exhibition and for the accompanying seminar has been provided by an anonymous donor.

    For more information on Deborah Hay’s work and her current installation at the Yale School of Art, Perception Unfolds: Looking at Deborah Hay’s Dance, visit her website at http://www.deborahhay.com/

    Monday, November 3, 2014
    5.00 - 8.00 pm

    Yale School of Art
    36 Edgewood Avenue
    Room 204

    For more information: (203) 432 2600
    Open to the public and free of charge

  • October 11, 2014 - 10:30am

    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11TH

    Extinction: Biology, Culture, and Our Futures
    a daylong symposium
    10:30 AM, Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium

    and
    The Columbiad, or Migration of American Wild Passenger Pigeons
    by Anthony Philip Heinrich, North American Premiere, performed by the Yale Symphony Orchestra
    7:30 PM, Woolsey Hall

    Symposium Speakers Include:

    Resit Akçakaya, Professor of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University
    Neely Bruce, Professor of Music and American Studies, Wesleyan University
    David Harrison, Professor of Linguistics, Swarthmore College
    Ursula Heise, Professor of English, UCLA
    Ben Novak, Lead Researcher of “The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback,” The Long Now Foundation
    Lukas Rieppel, Assistant Professor of History, Brown
    David Sepkoski, Research Scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

    Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the extinction of American Passenger Pigeons, the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities is pleased to announce two events on Saturday, October 11.  Extinction: Biology, Culture, and Our Futures is a symposium on the scientific, cultural, and humanistic implications of human mediated extinction. The event brings together biologists, historians of science, linguists, and literary scholars for lectures and discussions on extinction. The symposium will report on the contemporary extinction crisis, and reflect on the broader implications of extinction for the planet’s biota, human cultures, and our understanding of ourselves.

    Following the symposium, we are pleased to sponsor the North American premiere of The Columbiad, or Migration of American Wild Passenger Pigeons performed by the Yale Symphony Orchestra. This symphony was composed by Anthony Philip Heinrich in 1857 and was inspired by the spectacular migration of the wild Passenger Pigeons in the United States before their demise. Heinrich immigrated  to the United in the early 19th century and ultimately settled in Kentucky where he became acquainted  with John James Audubon and the American wilderness. Heinrich was a classically trained musician, and became the first symphonic composer in America. He composed a number of grand programmatic works for symphony about the American landscape. The Columbiad was composed in 1857, and was performed only once in Prague to great acclaim in the same year. The YSO performance will be both the New World Premiere and the first performance in over 150 years.
     

    Full Schedule of Events
     

    10:30                          Coffee and Tea, Room 108, Whitney Humanities Center (WHC), 53 Wall Street

    10:45                           Welcome to Yale and Introducing the Conference, Auditorium, WHC, 53 Wall Street
                                                          Richard Prum, Director of the Franke Program and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    11:00                           David Sepkoski, Catastrophic Thinking: Extinction & the Value of Diversity
                                        Lukas Rieppel, Bringing Dinosaurs Back to Life at the American
                                                                         Museum of Natural History   

                                                            Moderator: Henry Cowles, Assistant Professor, History of Medicine, Yale

    12:15                             Lunch 

    1:30                              Resit Akçakaya, Predicting and Preventing Extinctions in an Era of Climate Change
                                         Ben Novak, How To Bring Passenger Pigeons All the Way Back
                                                             ModeratorWalter Jetz, Associate Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale

    2:45                               Coffee & Tea, Room 108 WHC

    3:00                               David Harrison, Extinction and Survival of Languages
                                          Ursula Heise, How We Learned To Start Worrying and Love Extinction Stories
                                                             Moderator: Karen Hébert, Assistant Professor
                                                                             Anthropology and School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale

    4:15                              Neely Bruce, Introducing Heinrich’s The Columbiad, with piano

    5:00                              Richard Prum, Concluding Remarks                              

    7:30                              The Yale Symphony Orchestra Performs The Columbiad, Woolsey Hall
                                                   The concert is free and unticketed.

  • September 9, 2014 - 4:00pm

    Join us for the first meeting of the new reading group, Reading Science: Portrayals of Science and Medicine in Popular Fiction and Nonfiction on September 9 from 4:00-6:30 PM in Room 116 at the Whitney Humanities Center. 

    The first meeting of this group will feature a discussion of Michael Crichton’s novel Timeline. Invited guest and discussant is Professor Joanna Radin, History of Science and Medicine, at Yale.

    For more information, contact the organizer, Charlotte Abney at charlotte.abney@yale.edu

    This reading group is sponsored in part by the Franke Program in Science and the Humanities.

     

  • May 1, 2014 - 4:00pm

    Jenny Reardon is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Talk abstract: While assembling the 3 billion nucleotide sequence of the human genome into machine-readable form might have been a tremendous technical feat, it left unanswered the fundamental question: what does the sequence mean?  In the decade after the Human Genome Project, this turn to the question of meaning—the question of the uses, significance and values of the human genome sequence—marks what I call the postgenomic condition.  This talk explores how in the wake of few biomedical breakthroughs, human genomics continued to generate hope through promises to generate a more just world.  It focuses on the emergence of this strategy in efforts to recruit African Americans into human genomic research at the turn of the millennium. Based in fieldwork at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and historically black universities and colleges, this talk explores the opportunities, but also the problems for ethics, justice, and knowledge these efforts posed.  It ends with reflections on what this turn to justice in human genomics reveals about the contemporary conditions of knowledge and politics.

  • April 21, 2014 - 4:00pm

    Familiar summaries of evolution by natural selection hold that one requirement for evolutionary change of this kind is heredity. Parents must resemble their offspring; like must beget like. In many organisms, however, that is not how things seem to work. Many life cycles feature long and complex chains in which like begets unlike, before they return to their starting point. These phenomena show how strongly our familiar descriptions of evolution have been guided by a vertebrate-centric view of life. After describing the problem I’ll offer a solution, in which the familiar notion of reproduction is generalized. Simple and familiar forms of reproduction are one among many modes of cyclical production, a mode distinguished by a particular placement of features including the sexual fusion of lineages, multiplication, and “bottlenecks” or narrowings of structure. Genetic “replication,” rather than being treated as fundamental, should be handled within the same framework.

  • April 1, 2014 - 4:00pm

    Like other foundational concept in biology, as for instance genes and species etc., homology has a long history of frustrating the efforts of biologists and philosophers to define it. On its most general level, homology means correspondence of body parts across species, i.e. the continuity of character identity over evolutionary time. The difficulties arise, in part, from the fact that characters that are manifest the same in various animals can develop from different genes and along different developmental pathways. This fact is leading to the question whether it is at all meaningful to speak of the same character in different animals/species. In this talk I will defend my recent proposal, that character identity can be linked to our mechanistic understanding of development. The basis for my thesis is the realization that character identity and character states are caused by different developmental genetic mechanisms. My hypothesis states that character identity is tied to developmental mechanisms that enable differential expression of “realizer” genes. These character identity gene networks do not dictate whether a body part is in fact different from other parts or in what way it is different from the rest of the body. Homology is not only conceptually abstract, but also mechanistically abstract, in the sense that it stands for the potential to be different rather than for a particular way to be different. This conception of character identity, if validated, has consequences for the metaphysics of evolutionary biology that will be discussed in this talk as well. 

  • March 3, 2014 - 3:30pm
     
     
     
    Monday March 3, 2014
    3:30 pm Tea, 3rd floor, Sloane Physics Lab
    4:00 pm Lecture, Sloane Physics Lab #57, 217 Prospect St
     
    Physics and dance both engage with bodies in motion within the
    context of time, energy, and space. We will share some of the
    underlying theory and outcomes of our interdisciplinary collaboration,
    which includes the course that we co-teach at Yale, The
    Physics of Dance, and a coursebook that we are developing. We
    will conclude our presentation with a screening of the
    science-art video we created with the support of the Arts
    Council of Greater New Haven titled “Three Views of the Higgs
    and Dance.”
     
    We are pleased to co-sponsor this event with thee Department of Physics, Dance Studies/Theater
    Studies.
  • February 24, 2014 - 4:00pm

    In the 1984 preface to Cells into Organs: The Forces that Shape the Embryo, Yale embryologist John Trinkaus (‘Trink’) argued that, “‘molecular’ does not necessarily mean ‘analytical’ nor, by contrast, does ‘cellular’ or ‘histological’ necessarily imply ‘descriptive.’” Trink was reacting to the rising dominance of molecular genetic methods in the study of development, aptly encapsulated by his former PhD student, Albert Harris: “To the molecular types, a cause is a molecule or a gene. To explain a phenomenon is to identify genes and characterize proteins… A molecule is an explanation: a force is a description; to argue otherwise brings pity, at best.” Although a genetic explanatory paradigm is predominant in biology for good empirical reasons, increasing attention has been paid to how physical processes can explain development. This involves an appeal to generic features that are not unique to biological entities (e.g., shear forces due to fluid flow). Finding ways to integrate or combine generic and genetic explanatory strategies is difficult because apportioning causal responsibility among different types of causes requires a common currency. John Stuart Mill recognized this long ago in his discussion of the composition of causes and “the intermixture of effects,” but his solution relied on ascertaining the effect of each cause in isolation. After reviewing extant philosophical models for integration, I use two ideas—temporal sequence juxtaposition and actual difference making—to formulate a new approach that exploits an idealization in Mill’s methods: the mediating process between cause and effect is treated as irrelevant. My analysis helps to illuminate the resurgence of generic approaches and accounts for why this kind of integration may not always be palatable to developmental biologists because it can narrow the scope of generalizations secured for each mode of causation separately. Additionally, my analysis illustrates the value of philosophy for collaboratively achieving explanatory goals in ongoing empirical inquiry.

  • February 5, 2014 - 4:00pm

    Most of us, at one or more points in our lives, undergo a personal crisis that makes us question our previous coping efforts and values.  Some people succeed in working through such a crisis and making selective changes in themselves, while other people don’t succeed.  Nations also face national crises, which may or may not be successfully solved by selective changes.  Are the factors that predict successful resolution of individual crises also relevant to national crises?  What additional factors operate in national crises?

  • January 28, 2014 - 4:30pm

    Here is how Professor Haskell describes the talk he’ll give at Yale on January 28th: “I describe the outcome of an unreplicatedunquantified experiment in scientific and literary exploration. I watched one square meter of old growth forest in south-eastern Tennessee for a year, then used my observations to structure the narrative of a book about ecology, evolution, and humanity’s relationships with other parts of the “natural” world. In addition to giving short readings from the book, I discuss some of the challenges and insights that I encountered in my attempt to integrate scientific, literary, and contemplative approaches. In particular, I discuss problems of literary craft (for example, how to write about other species when transparent representation is not possible) and present ideas about how contemplative practice might help biology and ethics to be in fruitful conversation.”

  • October 31, 2013 - 4:00pm
  • October 29, 2013 - 4:00pm

  • October 8, 2013 - 4:00pm

    Co-sponsored with the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

  • October 3, 2013 - 1:00pm

  • October 2, 2013 - 1:00pm

  • May 1, 2013 - 4:00pm

    4 pm, Lecture Hall, Peabody Museum
    Lecture by John Cooley, University of Connecticut
    “Marvelous Magicicada
    The World of Our Most Enigmatic Insect”

    5:15 pm, Great Hall, Peabody Museum
    Bug Music, Concert by David Rothenberg, New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • April 22, 2013 - 4:00pm
  • March 30, 2013 - 11:30am

  • March 29, 2013 - 4:00pm
  • March 1, 2013 - 8:00pm to March 2, 2013 - 8:00pm
  • December 14, 2012 - 9:30am
  • December 12, 2012 - 4:30pm
  • November 2, 2012 - 2:00pm

  • November 1, 2012 - 5:00pm

  • January 18, 2012 - 2:30pm