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Fall 2017 Distinctive Voices Schedule of Events

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Cultural Diversiisty in an Age of Fear

We live in an era where the values of an open society are being challenged by rising xenophobia. It is timely then to remind ourselves of the multiple gifts we have received from other cultures, from morphine to the alphabet, from our cultivars to our mathematics. Culture is the human way of adapting to local ecologies, social and political forces, and each one offers thousands of years of collective experiment. We still have very much to learn from these well-honed solutions both practically and scientifically. Critically, we need the foil of cultural diversity to help us understand the fundamentals of human nature – to distinguish native propensities from cultural formation. There is an urgency to this endeavor – the 7000 odd cultures of the world are being rapidly eroded by the forces of globalization, ethnic cleansing and state centralization or collapse.

» Stephen Levinson, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The Narrow Edge

Each year tiny sandpipers -- red knots -- undertake a near miraculous 19,000 mile journey from one end of the earth to the other and back. In this firsthand account, Deborah Cramer accompanies them on their extraordinary odyssey along the length of two continents, tracking birds from remote Tierra del Fuego to the icy Arctic. On the full moon of spring's highest tides, she seeks out horseshoe crabs -- ancient, primordial animals whose eggs are essential to migrating shorebirds, and whose blue blood, unbeknownst to most people, safeguards human health. The Narrow Edge offers unique insight into how the lives of humans, red knots and horseshoe crabs are intertwined. It is an inspiring portrait of loss and resilience, of the tenacity of birds, and the courage of the many people who bird by bird and beach by beach, keep red knots flying.

» Deborah Cramer, Visiting Scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Mammals, Milk, and Microbes —
The Role of Milk in the Establishment and Function of the Gut Microbiome

» David Andrew Mills, University of California, Davis

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Data Not Dogma —
Overcoming Confirmation Bias to Advance Conservation and a Sustainable Planet

» Peter Kareiva, Univeristy of California, Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Trauma Care System

» James Robinson, Assistant Chief, Denver Health Paramedic Division

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Learning in Professional Networks —
Effect of Social Capital on Knowledge Artefact Creation

» Michael Richey, The Boeing Company


Wednesday, December 20, 2017
The Psychopath Inside

» James Fallon, University of California, Irvine



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