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Summer 2013 Series
Jonsson Center - Woods Hole, MA
More events are being added as speakers are confirmed for the summer season.
Wednesday, June 19 7:00 p.m.
Solutions for a Nitrogen-soaked World
We hear a lot about carbon dioxide emissions as the main perpetrator of human-induced climate change, there is another element that is often overlooked when it comes to a wide range of environmental and human health issues: nitrogen. Humans have more than doubled the amount of usable “reactive” nitrogen in the earth’s land-based ecosystems each year through the use of fertilizers and the combustion of fossil fuels. As a consequence, we are, on average, better nourished than at any time in human history. Unfortunately, using so much nitrogen has also caused many unintended consequences that have become serious problems including another potent climate-changing gas, nitrous oxide, which is also now the most important human-produced compound that destroys stratospheric ozone.
Eric A. Davidson, President and Senior Scientist, The Woods Hole Research Center
Thursday, July 11 7:00 p.m.
People Behaving Badly, Robots Behaving Better? Embedding Ethics in Autonomous Combat Robots
Weaponized robotic systems are being introduced into the battlefield at an ever increasing pace. The consequences of this technological progress need to be examined carefully. In this talk, I outline the philosophical basis, motivation, theory, and design recommendations for the implementation of an ethical control and reasoning system potentially suitable for constraining lethal actions in an autonomous robotic system so that they fall within the bounds prescribed by the Laws of War and Rules of Engagement. It is a further contention, remaining to be proven, that an autonomous robot capable of lethal force can ultimately be more humane in the battlefield than human soldiers.
Ronald C. Arkin, Regents' Professor & Director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology
Wednesday, July 31 7:00 p.m.
Age of Networks
Networks - Internet, mobile phone, online social media, global economy, gene regulatory networks and distribution of limited resources for world health. Learn about models and techiques used to describe networks, processes to study networks, algorithms and methods developed to indirectly infer network structure from measured data which cut across many disciplinary boundaries.
Jennifer Chayes, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director, Microsoft Research
Saturday, August 3 2:30 p.m.
History of the National Academy of Sciences symposium
This special event will include a panel of experts and discussions led by historians who are writing a book featuring science milestones and National Academy contributions during the first 150 years of service to the nation.
Tuesday, August 27 7:00 p.m.
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Institute for Regenerative Engineering, The University of Connecticut