This June 11, 2019 announcement (received via email) features an upcoming talk hosted by the local Café Scientifque community,
Our next café will happen on TUESDAY, JUNE 25TH at 7:30PM in the back room at YAGGER’S DOWNTOWN (433 W Pender). Our speaker for the evening will be DR. LARS MARTIN.
FROM ALPHA TO OMEGA – PARTICLES AND HOW WE DETECT THEM
Ever since the discovery of the electron in the late 19th century, physicists have used detectors to measure and identify particles. While today’s detector systems – like ATLAS at the Large Hadron Collider – are complex (and expensive) systems that detect obscure particles, the underlying principles of these detectors are relatively straightforward. The goal of this talk is to give attendees a basic understanding of what these machines actually do.
Lars Martin works as a detector physicist at TRIUMF, most recently supporting the ALPHA-g antimatter gravity experiment at CERN.
Today (May 7, 2019), I’m writing up a Canadian science hodge podge of a post.
From a sheep shearing festival in May to summer camps for kids: Ingenium’s Canadian science museums
Ingenium, for those who don’t know, is the corporate ‘parent’ for the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Confusingly, the ‘parent’ was once called the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation (CSTMC).
I recently featured the da Vinci exhibit (May 2 – September 2, 2019) being held at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in a May 1, 2019 posting (scroll down about 70% of the way). It seems now it’s time for the other two.
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and its sheep (May) and kids’ summer camps
The Sheep Shearing Festival is being held in Ottawa on Victoria Day weekend but only on two days of the weekend, Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, 2019. Here’s more from festival webpage,
Sheep Shearing Festival
When: May 18, 2019 – May 19, 2019 Times: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm Fee: Included with admission Language: Bilingual
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum presents the annual Sheep Shearing Festival. Visitors will be able to learn all about wool by participating in various activities and demonstrations. Visitors of all ages can attend sheep shearing, sheep herding and sheepdog agility demonstrations, as well as meeting an alpaca. They can also learn about carding and knitting, all important steps in the transformation of a raw fleece into wool. They can also see a craftsman doing traditional finger-weaving or spin the quiz wheel and test their knowledge about fibers from various sources. Visitors can enjoy cooking demonstrations that feature goat cheese as well as watch a classic movie. Keep an eye out for Little Bo Peep, who still needs help finding her sheep!
Note: The Festival is held on Saturday and Sunday but not the Monday of the long weekend. Regular May demonstrations will be in effect on Monday.
Activities: Sheep Shearing Demonstration The Art of Leather Sheepdog Agility Demonstration- weather permitting Sheep Herding Demonstration Goat Cheese and Herb Biscuits Family Movie Presentation Shawville 4-H Club Demonstration Felt Making Wool Carding Meet a Lamb and its Family Meet Yanni the Alpaca Children’s Craft Animal or Plant?” Quiz Finger Weaving Afternoon Milking Local Fiber artists and mini market Food Services ($) Wagon Rides ($) –weather permitting
With summer fast approaching, the moment has arrived for us to shear our sheep. Visitors can attend a sheep shearing demonstration, where they will see a professional sheep shearer at work as one of our dynamic guides explains the entire process
The Art of Leather(ongoing activity with a break between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.)
There is more to leather than durable boots and stylish handbags – leather is a fascinating by-product! With expert artisan Lynn McNabb, visitors will be able to see how leather is prepared and how it can be ultimately crafted into beautiful and functional items.
Visitors will be enthralled by this demonstration performed by members of the “Ottawa Valley Border Collie Club”, who will captivate your attention with their Border Collies, who race through a course filled with obstacles of all sorts.
At this demonstration, visitors will see a shepherd and his specially trained dogs in action, as they work as a team to herd a flock of sheep.
Goat Cheese and Herb Biscuits (ongoing)
Did you know that goat’s milk is the most consumed milk in the world? Try a sample of our delicious goat cheese and herb biscuits.
Family Movie Presentation(English showing at 10:00 a.m. and French showing at 1:00 p.m.)
Join us for a classic movie presentation of the beloved film Babe. There will be popcorn for purchase and all proceeds go to the museum’s Youth Fund.
Shawville 4-H Club Demonstration (9:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.)
Watch as the Shawville 4-H Club demonstrates how they train their 4-H farm animals and how they get them ready for showing and how they are evaluated. Meet and greet the animals and their trainers in between the demonstrations. This is a fun educational activity not to be missed!
Felt Making (ongoing activity)
With the help of a guide, visitors can make felt from a piece of sheep’s wool while discovering the history and science of the world’s oldest fabric.
Wool Carding (ongoing activity)
At this station, visitors can learn about carding, an important step in the transformation of wool. They can even try their hand at this activity with a pair of carders!
Meet a Lamb and its Family (ongoing activity)
Meet the sheep family and see who guards the sheep!
Meet Yanni the Alpaca (ongoing activity)
Visitors will meet an alpaca and learn all about this fascinating animal. They will learn about their life cycle, the reason we raise them on farms, as well as the particularities of their fleece.
Children’s Craft (ongoing activity)
Come join the fun with a themed sheep craft to take home.
“Animal or Plant?” Quiz (ongoing activity)
At this station, visitors will spin the wheel and test their knowledge about fibres from various sources. Will they know if the fibre comes from an animal or a plant?
Finger Weaving (ongoing activity)
Visitors will be able to see a craftsman doing some finger-weaving – a traditional craft that is used to make all sorts of products, including the famous arrow sash!
Afternoon Milking (4 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
The milking of the museum’s dairy cows takes place twice daily. Over the course of this demonstration, visitors will be impressed by the technologies used in modern dairying as they see the herdspeople milk the entire herd. A museum guide will be on site to explain the process and to answer questions.
Also… Local Fiber artists and mini market (ongoing activity) Willow Lane Alpacas Apple Road Goat Milk Soaps Janet Tulloch, artist Rebecca Dufton, artist SweetLegs Orleans with Sania
Food Services ($) The Hot Potato Company will be on site to offer food services.
Wagon Rides ($) (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) weather permitting! Enjoy a tour through the fields of the Central Experimental Farm on the Tally-Ho wagon.
Summer camp at the farm
A series of week long summer camps at the Agriculture Museum’s famr are open to children whose parents thought to book ahead. The season starts on Monday, June 24, 2019 and ends Friday, August 23, 2019. Here’s more from the Summer Camps at the Farm webpage,
Bring the country to kids in the city with fascinating summer camps at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Hands-on activities educate children while they care for the museum’s farm animals and gardens, cook foods, make crafts, and play games
Additional Information Camps must be pre-booked. A child is not allowed to be registered for more than one week of camp. However, a second week may be booked if this camp is Sprouting Chefs culinary camp. Ingenium reserves the right to cancel the registrations for any child booked into more than one agricultural camp at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Children must be the required age by August 31, 2019. Counsellor-to-child ratio is a minimum of 1 to 8. One snack will be provided daily and lunch on Friday. Each child receives a camp T-shirt. You may cancel your registration up to two (2) weeks before the start of your camp week. There is a $30 fee for cancellations. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after the two week cut-off.
You may want to register soon as some the camp sessions are already sold out.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum features music and science summer camps
They have a shorter season running from July 2 – August 23, 2019 and, yes, one session is already sold out. Here’s more from the Music & Aviation Day Camp webpage,
The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is pleased to collaborate with Sonart Music School to offer weekly Music and Aviation Summer Day Camps at the Museum, from July 2nd to August 23rd, 2019.
Each day includes music lessons, aerodynamics demonstrations, outdoor activities and the children also perform in a concert at the end of the week!
Campers take off on a full flight of activities artfully balanced between music and aviation. Children become familiar with aeronautical concepts, including the principles of flight, and are introduced to various musical instruments such as drums, guitar, piano, voice, and violin. Your child will be challenged to push his or her limits through fascinating activities and captivating projects.
Go here to register. You can find out more about Sonart Music School here. Good luck with getting into the events and registering for the camp sessions you’d like!
Bee hygiene at the University of British Columbia (UBC)
After the news about a draft report* from the United Nations claiming that up to one million species are at risk due to humans (see April 23, 2019 news item on phys.org for more about the draft report), I thought this UBC research news might sound a more hopeful note.
There are parts of this video, which I found strangely hypnotic,
While poor hygiene may be a deal breaker in human relationships, in bee colonies it can be a matter of life and death.
Which is why, for two weeks in May, a lab at UBC runs a high-tech matchmaking service for bees: swipe right for hygienic bees, swipe left if not.
“Certain worker bees exhibit something called ‘hygienic behaviour,’ where they recognize nest mates that are infected by a pest or pathogen and remove them from the colony,” said Leonard Foster, a biochemist and professor at the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC. “This is one way that bees defend against the varroa mite, which is typically responsible for about 40 per cent of Canadian colonies that are lost every year.”
According to Foster, the varroa mite is currently one of the most important factors in bee health, but only about five per cent of bees exhibit the defensive hygienic behaviour.
“We believe hygienic bees have a certain class of protein involved in detecting odours associated with pest and pathogen infections,” said Foster, who is also director of the PCF. “These odours trigger a grooming impulse, with the odour molecule binding to a protein and sending a signal.”
Beekeepers from across the Lower Mainland ship bees to the lab to be analyzed ahead of the spring swarm period, when bees mate and new honey bee colonies form
The researchers study the bees’ antennae, which contain the protein that can signal hygienic behaviour. Because all worker bees in a hive have a single mother, the scientists can gauge the state of the whole hive by looking at a few of these bees.
Once Foster’s team identifies the most hygienic colonies, beekeepers bring new queen bees and male ‘drones,’ raised from those colonies to hives isolated on Bowen Island, where they will mate and produce a new generation of bees.
“This isn’t genetic modification – we aren’t changing the structure of the bees,” said Foster. “We merely finding the most hygienic ones from the natural populations, and allowing beekeepers to match queen bees with the most appropriate candidates.”
Protein analysis is more accurate than behavioural observations and this type of research allows for more effective and faster selective breeding.
“Our research shows that you can predict the behaviour of specific colonies by understanding their protein structures better,” said Foster. “We don’t need to painstakingly monitor colonies wondering if they are going to be hygienic or not. We hope this will provide beekeepers a tool that will make their lives easier.”
And, because I love bee beards,
*ETA May 7, 2019 at 1440 PDT: There’s even more recent information about disappearing species in a summary released by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): “IPBES: Nature’s dangerous decline ‘unprecedented,’ species extinction rates ‘accelerating’; Current global response insufficient; ‘transformative changes’ needed to restore and protect nature; opposition from vested interests can be overcome for public good; most comprehensive assessment of its kind; 1 million species threatened with extinction.” A May 6, 2019 IPBES news release on EurrekAlert.
Studies of New and Emerging Technologies Editor-in-Chief: Christopher Coenen ISSN: 1871-4757 (print version) ISSN: 1871-4765 (electronic version) Journal no. 11569
Provides a needed forum for informed discussion of ethical and social concerns related to nanotechnology
Counterbalances fragmented, opinionated public discussion
Discussion is informed by the physical, biological and social sciences and the law
Nanoscale technologies are surrounded by both hype and fear. Optimists suggest they are desperately needed to solve problems of terrorism, global warming, clean water, land degradation and public health. Pessimists fear the loss of privacy and autonomy, “grey goo” and weapons of mass destruction, and unforeseen environmental and health risks. Concern over fair distribution of the costs and benefits of nanotechnology is also rising
Introduced in 2007, [emphasis mine] NanoEthics: Ethics for Technologies that Converge at the Nanoscale provides a needed forum for informed discussion of ethical and social concerns related to nanotechnology, and a counterbalance to fragmented popular discussion.
While the central focus of the journal is on ethical issues, discussion extends to the physical, biological and social sciences and the law. NanoEthics provides a philosophically and scientifically rigorous examination of ethical and societal considerations and policy concerns raised by nanotechnology.
Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Social Science Citation Index, Journal Citation Reports/Social Sciences Edition, SCOPUS, INSPEC, Google Scholar, AGRICOLA, Current Contents / Social & Behavioral Sciences, EBSCO Academic Search, EBSCO Book Review Digest Plus (H.W. Wilson) , EBSCO Discovery Service, EBSCO Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCO Humanities International, EBSCO Humanities Source, EBSCO Nanotechnology Collection: India , EBSCO OmniFile Full Text (H.W. Wilson), EBSCO STM Source, EBSCO TOC Premier, ERIH PLUS, Ethicsweb, Expanded Academic, Gale, Gale Academic OneFile, Humanities Abstracts, Humanities Index, Materials Business File-Steels Alerts, Mechanical and Transportation Engineering Abstracts, OCLC WorldCat Discovery Service, ProQuest ABI/INFORM, ProQuest Advanced Technologies & Aerospace Database, ProQuest Business Premium Collection, ProQuest Central, ProQuest Health & Medical Collection, ProQuest Health Research Premium Collection, ProQuest Materials Science & Engineering Database, ProQuest Philosophy Database, ProQuest Science Database, ProQuest SciTech Premium Collection, ProQuest Technology Collection, ProQuest-ExLibris Primo, ProQuest-ExLibris Summon, Solid State and Superconductivity Abstracts, The Philosopher’s Index
Here’s the text from the April 16, 2019 email announcement,
We invite papers for a special issue in the journal “NanoEthics: Studies of New and Emerging Technologies”.
AFTER THE HYPE IS BEFORE THE HYPE – FROM BIO TO NANO TO AI: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT IN NANOSCIENCES AND NANOTECHNOLOGIES?
Since the early 2000’s, Nanosciences and nanotechnologies (NST) have been massively promoted in many parts of the world. Two things were striking about these policies: first, the hype surrounding NST; second, the prominence of public engagement–citizen dialogue, deliberation and participation–in NST discourse and policy. Nanotechnology became a laboratory for the programmatic and practical development of a range of forms of public engagement such as “upstream” and “midstream engagement”, or policy approaches that prominently integrate public engagement such as “anticipatory governance”, “real-time technology assessment”, or “responsible research and innovation”.
From bio to nano: A major reason for this noticeable rise of public engagement in NST are the food scandals and technology controversies in the late 1990’s, in particular the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These controversies came to be seen as the result of elites’ reductionist and arrogant approach to the public. To avoid a similar public backlash against NST authorities and decision-makers in science and politics should open doors for public engagement and humble dialogue. Obviously, the public crisis around GMOs had triggered a learning process.
From nano to AI: Today, the hype surrounding NST has waned and so have concerns that nanotechnology might fall prey to a public backlash. Nothing comparable to the public backlash against GMOs ever happened to Nano. In fact, NST hardly became controversial. Meanwhile, new technology hypes pervade the public discourse. Synthetic biology, genetic editing or Artificial Intelligence (AI) are recent examples. In each case, we observe parallels to the discourses on public engagement in NST. In the case of AI, for example, prominent researchers and think tanks warn against a public backlash if policy makers and funders fail to foster public support through public engagement.
From bio to nano to AI: We suggest that social learning processes intertwined with technology hypes pervade these and other arenas of technology governance. While the GM controversy had a visible (albeit not yet fully understood) effect on the NST field, today, we ask which lessons can be drawn – and have been drawn by science policy actors – from the NST field? Where do we stand today after 20 years of public engagement in nanotechnology and other emerging technologies, and what is there to learn for the “new governance” of most recently hyped technologies such as AI?
POSSIBLE TOPICS INCLUDE:
Societal effects and social learnings of Public Engagement (PE)
– How can we conceptualize the social learning processes which seem to manifest in technology governance over the past twenty years? Have new patterns of interpretation been established regarding the nature of a successful or failed technology governance? If so, how can they be described and distinguished from the “old” patterns of interpretation?
– Does the fact that NST mostly remained uncontroversial mean that the early emphasis on public engagement in the NST field made it more “socially robust”, “democratic” and “reflexive”? Have the right “lessons” been drawn (from the past for the future)?
– Why and how does the trend toward public engagement manifest itself in different national political cultures? How did certain public engagement formats travel across national borders in the NST policy field?
PE between hype and reflexivity
– What happens after the hype? With enthusiastic/dystopian discourse subsiding, do public engagement activities also vane? What happened to the engagement hype and to ambitious policy metaphors such as “upstream engagement”? Have they been forgotten? Will they reappear, or be reinvented, with the next big techno hype?
– For the social sciences nanotechnology has provided an opportunity to step up research and policy intervention. How can the role/agency of the social sciences in public engagement processes be conceptualized? In which way has this role changed in the past 20 years? Which role conflicts or normative dilemmas arise from it?
PE between strategic and transformative uses
– Did public engagement (ever) make a difference in the governance of NST or other emerging technologies? How have public engagement initiatives been integrated (or ignored) in the governance of NST and other emerging technologies?
– Has public engagement had identifiable impacts on policies or institutions related to NST or other fields of technoscientific discourse and policy? Did public engagement have the effect of problematizing, shifting or even reshaping epistemic and political demarcation lines between the public, scientific expertise and policy subsystems? What can we expect for the future?
Several formats are available. We specifically invite original research papers. In addition, contributions can come in the form of shorter discussion notes, communications and responses, letters, art-science interactions, interviews or anecdotes, and book reviews.
Not being familiar with either of the organizers, I also searched for them online.
Franz Seifert has been an independent social scientist since 2000 according to his CV (on academia.edu). At a guess, he’s based in Austria. I found his CV quite interesting, both it and his list of publications is extensive, all of it related to the topic of the special issue.
Camilo Fautz is a member of the scientific staff at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) and a PhD student, if his profile page is up-to-date. He too has a number of papers on ‘relevant to the special issue’ topics listed on his profile page.
Every two years, the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) holds Europe’s largest interdisciplinary meeting and City of Science festivities. The last ESOF/City of Science shindig was held in Toulouse, France in 2018. Organizers are now gearing up for 2020 in Trieste, Italy.
The ESOF meeting will be held from July 5-9, 2020 but there is much, much more as you can see at the proESOF 2020 website,
Mobilizing Central Eastern Europe towards Trieste 2020 In 2020 Trieste will host the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF), a biennial pan-European event created by the EuroScience association and dedicated to scientific research and innovation. ESOF is the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe. It is dedicated to scientific research and innovation and offers a unique framework for interaction and discussion for scientists, innovators, policy makers, entrepreneurs and the general public.
Trieste has been nominated European City of Science 2020.
Trieste boasts a long tradition as a dynamic hub for research, science and innovation, focused on sustainable growth and development, with an impact that extends beyond Italy to the rest of Europe and the developing world. It is internationally renowned for the high concentration of scientific institutions. The city hosts overall more than 30 national and international centres and companies working in research and higher education, 5000 permanent foreign scientists and some 13000 students and researchers.
For the first time in its history, ESOF will be reaching beyond the national borders of its host country. As a Central European city, Trieste is committed to strengthening the links with Central and Eastern European scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and citizens, thus making a crucial step towards a truly open and inclusive Europe.
The ESOF2020 conference will be held in the extraordinary area of the Old Port (Porto Vecchio), which has been for decades the commercial port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now an outstanding architectural and industrial heritage site that the Trieste Municipality is redeveloping and requalifying.
ESOF2020 Trieste generally aims to:
PROMOTE science, technology and innovation as key drivers of a sustainable and responsible development that is people-centered;
STIMULATE discussions concerning science, its applications and impact, including ethical issues;
ESTABLISH a platform where the dialogue between research institutions, academies and governments is fostered.
ESOF2020 Trieste also has more specific goals:
TO STRENGTHEN a scientific and technological network among the Central Eastern European countries, the existing Trieste Science System and the rest of Europe.
TO INTEGRATE AND CONNECT this network within the Mediterranean, North Africa and Central Asia;
TO CREATE a museum dedicated to Science and Technology and its dissemination.
The mission of Trieste as City of Science will continue after ESOF, through the creation of a science center, The North Adriatic Science and Technology Centre, and an independent, multidisciplinary, non-profit Summer Institute aimed at fostering dialogue among scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and citizens, involving stakeholders from Central-Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
The city’s natural spirit of openness and inclusiveness is expressed in the motto that Trieste has chosen for ESOF2020: “Freedom for science, science for freedom”.
FREEDOM FOR SCIENCE refers to the open-ended and unresolved questions that science is facing, with method and curiosity, without restrictions of credo or prejudices.
SCIENCE FOR FREEDOM, on the other hand, refers to the inclusiveness of science and its language, which goes beyond borders and conflicts and brings together people of any colour and gender.
The Festival, with its rich program of popular scientific events for the general public, will be held in Trieste from 27 June to 11 July 2020. In this interview Paola illustrates the main themes of the Science in the City Festival, how to participate and the impact of the event.
What will be the main themes of the Science in the City Festival? The Science in the City Festival is composed of three principles: the topic of the Conference of Scientists in ESOF, taken up thanks to the participation of some of the conference speakers; the legacies related to the excellence of the scientific system of Trieste and the region, for example theoretical physics; and finally, the great themes integral to the history of Trieste and part of Friuli Venezia Giulia, such as psychiatry, civil protection, karstism and caves, and literature. The crossover between science and art, science and poetry, science and society will also allow us to produce events with a strongly innovative character. It will therefore, be a rich and varied mix, and only partly a mirror image of the entire ESOF 2020 program.
What kind of events will be held during the Festival and by whom? The Festival will last two weeks and therefore, will host events of all kinds: from theatre to scientific cafés, laboratories, exhibitions, guided tours, conferences, and discussion games. We invite those who have original ideas to propose them by answering the calls already open on the website www.proesof2020.eu. Anyone can propose an event: research institutes, universities, associations, and companies – but also individual citizens. The Festival is able to offer the infrastructures – that is the locations, the technical and communication services, and the volunteers that can support the implementation of the events – but it cannot finance every single project, which must therefore at least in part stand on its own two feet. However, we are sure that many sponsors are interested in promoting events in the context of ESOF and the Festival.
What impact can those who decide to submit an idea for one of the proposed calls expect? The Festival can offer considerable international visibility for the quality and quantity of participants and speakers taking part in ESOF and the various events of the Science in the City Festival. Research institutions, research and innovation funding agencies and global foundations will be present in the City, as well as many tourists. The international presence will therefore, be a cornerstone of the event. Like all major festivals, this can also be the right place to experiment with new methods of communicating science and involving citizens.
Paola Rodari is a project manager for international projects on science communication and a consultant for the development of new museums and centres for the Sissa Medialab and the Universities of Trieste. For 10 years, she was responsible for the education sector of the Laboratory of Scientific Imagery of Trieste (Italy), of which she was one of the founders. Regarding other projects, Paola has contributed to the development of Infini.to – the Astronomy Museum and Planetarium of Turin (Italy) – and 10Lab, the science centre of the Technology Park of Sardinia. She is on the steering committee of the thematic group Human Interface and Explainers of Ecsite (the European Network of Museums and Scientific Centres) that deals with the professional growth of scientific promoters and facilitators. She is the author of numerous articles and books on science communication.
The debate takes place in New York City on Thursday, January 31, 2019. Ticket prices and more follow in the information from the January 17, 2019 IQ2US (Intelligence Squared) debates announcement received via email,
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates De-Extinction, in NYC and Online January 31 
While bringing extinct species back to life was once a sci-fi fantasy out of ‘Jurassic Park’, recent biological and technological breakthroughs indicate that reviving creatures like the woolly mammoth and the passenger pigeon could someday become a reality. De-extinction’s proponents argue that benefits include correcting mistakes of the past and helping to curb climate change. But others aren’t so sure de-extinction is ethical, or even feasible, they worry that the resources channeled to support de-extinction efforts could compete with current work to save the over 16,000 endangered species on Earth today. On Thursday, January 31, veteran debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. continues their explorations into science and technology with a live debate on the motion “Don’t Bring Extinct Creatures Back to Life.” Environmentalist Stewart Brand, who founded the Whole Earth Catalog, and Harvard professor Dr. George Church, who is working to revive the woolly mammoth, will argue in favor of de-extinction. Debating against them and against de-extinction will be Dr. Ross MacPhee, curator at the American Museum of Natural History, and evolutionary biologist Dr. Lynn J. Rothschild, a senior scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
The debate will be held at NYC’s Kaye Playhouse and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.” On January 31 , online viewers can tune in at IQ2US’s website: https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org
WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Don’t Bring Extinct Creatures Back to Life”
WHEN: Thursday, January 31 / 7:00-8:30 PM EDT
WHERE: The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 115 E. 68th Street, New York, NY
* Dr. Ross MacPhee: Curator, Department of Mammalogy, Division of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History Dr. Ross MacPhee is the former chairman of the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History, where he has been curator since 1988. Known for his paleomammalogical research on island extinctions, he has focused his most recent work on extinctions occurring during the past 50,000 years, or “Near Time.” He is the author of the new book “End of the Megafauna: The Fate of the World’s Hugest, Fiercest, and Strangest Animals” (Norton, 2019). Dr. MacPhee has also collaborated with geneticists and molecular biologists to develop the new tool of “ancient DNA” for studying the ultimate collapse of Pleistocene mammals.
* Dr. Lynn J. Rothschild: Evolutionary Biologist & Astrobiologist Dr. Lynn Rothschild is an evolutionary biologist and astrobiologist who focuses on the origin and evolution of life on Earth, while at the same time pioneering the use of synthetic biology to enable space exploration. She is a senior scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center as well as an adjunct professor of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry at Brown University. Since 2011, Rothschild has been the faculty adviser of the award-winning Stanford-Brown iGEM team, which has pioneered the use of synthetic biology to accomplish NASA’s missions, including the human settlement of Mars.
Arguing Against the Motion
* Stewart Brand: Co-Founder, Revive & Restore & Founder, Whole Earth Catalog Stewart Brand is a futurist, environmentalist, and proponent of de-extinction who promotes the use of science to preserve the planet. He is the co-founder of Revive & Restore, which facilitates extinct species revival, and the Long Now Foundation, of which he is co-chair and president. He was the founder and editor of the award-winning Whole Earth Catalog and is the author of several books, including “Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.” In 2013, Brand organized the TEDxDeExtinction conference in partnership with the National Geographic Society.
* Dr. George Church: Professor of Genetics, Harvard and MIT & Founder, Personal Genome Project Dr. George Church is a geneticist and molecular engineer who is working to revive the extinct woolly mammoth. He is the Robert Winthrop professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and professor of health sciences and technology at Harvard and MIT. Dr. Church developed methods used for the first genome sequence and founded the Personal Genome Project. He has earned dozens of awards and honors, including Time’s “100 Most Influential People,” and is the author of 490 papers, 130 patent publications, and the book “Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves.”
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED U.S. DEBATES (IQ2US) A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 150 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.
The only speaker who’s been previously mentioned on this blog is George Church. In particular, 2018 seems to have been his year although it’s possible 2019 may beat that record for appearances on this blog.
Etc.: use ‘George Church’ as the search term in the blog search engine for more
Coming January 30, 2019: Watch this spot for a link to the live stream: Here you go on January 31, 2019 at 4 pm PT or 7 pm ET: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=“https://www.youtube.com/embed/N-1iqmKlTs8” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
There are two items today, an event in Vancouver (Canada) and an online competition.
From a September 14, 2018 Café Scientifique Vancouver announcement received via email,
Our next café will happen on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25TH at 7:30PM in the
back room at YAGGER'S DOWNTOWN (433 W Pender). Our speaker for the
evening will be DR. SUZANNE VERCAUTEREN the Director of BC Children’s
Hospital BioBank. Her topic will be:
GIVING PATIENTS, THE PUBLIC, AND HEALTH-CARE PROVIDERS A VOICE IN
Dr. Vercauteren is a hematopathologist and associate head of the
department of pathology and laboratory medicine at BC Children’s
Hospital. She obtained her MD and PhD at the University of Utrecht, The
Netherlands and did her residency in hematological pathology at the
University of British Columbia. Since 2013 Suzanne has been the
director of the BC Children’s Hospital BioBank, the first
institutional pediatric biobank in Canada to allow for a standardized
approach of patients and sample collections and ensuring high quality
samples and data and reduce consent burden for patients. “My research
includes ethical issues as well as public engagement and education in
biobanking. I believe that a systematic approach for the collection of
patient specimens and data is allowing groundbreaking research that can
quickly be translated into improved diagnosis and clinical care in many
areas of research.” She has published several papers regarding
pediatric biobanking and consenting [consent] and is a member of the Canadian
Tissue Repository Network Management Committee. She received several
grants to study public perception on (pediatric) biobanking topics.
You can find Dr. Vercauteren’s webpage on the BC Children’s Hospital website here.
One thing I’m curious about is this quote from her event description: “I believe that a systematic approach for the collection of patient specimens and data is allowing groundbreaking research that can quickly be translated into improved diagnosis and clinical care in many areas of research.” Since she started her biobanking initiative in 2011, have there been any breakthroughs? It seems to me that seven years later there might be some promising news and it’s surprisingly unmentioned in the event description.
Science Borealis’ Online Science Communication Competition
Science Borealis and our co-sponsor the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada (SWCC) are excited to present the nominees for the 2018 People’s Choice Awards: Canada’s Favourite Science Online!
This year you are invited to vote for your 3 favourites in 2 categories — Favourite Science Blog and Favourite Science Site. The winners of each category will get snazzy site badges, endless bragging rights, and will be featured in full write-ups on both our blog and SWCC’s site.
Once you’ve voted, join us on social media to cheer for your favourite blogs and sites using the hashtag #CdnSciFav.
The Palaeocast blog is where we let palaeontologists around the world tell their own stories in their own voice. Palaeocast is a free web series exploring the fossil record and the evolution of life on earth.
I’m an evolutionary ecologist and entomologist at the University of New Brunswick. Most of my current research has to do with plant-insect interactions and with the evolution of new biodiversity. But when I’m not doing research, I think about a lot of quasirandom things. I blog about some of them here.
I am a vertebrate paleontologist who specializes in the study of the tracks and traces of Mesozoic animals, specifically Cretaceous-age (145 million years ago to 66 million years ago) dinosaurs and birds!
Agile Scientific – Matt Hall, Evan Bianco, Diego Castañeda, Robert Leckenby, Kara Turner, Tracey Lothian
A bioscience and technology blog with a string focus on geophysics and geosciences, Agile also organizes hackathons, teaches coding for geoscientists and engineers, and promotes open discussion about pressing topics in science and industry.
CMN was established to collaboratively address the diverse challenges facing mountain regions by harnessing existing capacities and seeking new research relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers and communities. Our aim is for CMN to become a national and global leader in inclusive, co-designed, interdisciplinary mountain-research that recognizes the interconnectedness in mountain systems between the environment, economy, and society, and encourages an integrated approach for long-term sustainability that serves the needs of mountain communities. CMN and its administrative centre is hosted at the University of Alberta.
Obesity Panacea educates people about the science (or lack thereof) behind popular weight loss products, and has grown to include discussions of the latest news and research regarding obesity, nutrition and physical activity.
This is a blog about spiders (and probably occasionally some other stuff, too)! The idea is that each post will feature accumulations of cool bits of information (‘bytes’) about spiders: spiderbytes. By the way, spiders (usually) do NOT bite, and one of my dreams (for this blog, and in life) is to shift perceptions about spiders from fearsome, aggressive, disgusting etc., to amazing, beautiful, sophisticated, charming, fascinating, elegant, resourceful, mysterious, and many more adjectives that could be used to describe these awesome arthropods!
I am an Assistant Professor in Plant Ecology/Genetics at Vancouver Island University. I teach units including Plant Ecology, Conservation Biology, Terrestrial Ecosystems and Computing for Biologists. I currently work and collaborate on projects ranging from genomics of eucalypts and mountain pine beetle, to speciation mechanisms in Stellaria, to dietary metagenomics in Vancouver Island Marmot.
Here are the 2018 contenders for the Favourite Science Site category:
At a guess, every single blogger is a member of SWCC and, oddly, all of them are scientists. It will be a great day, as far as I’m concerned, when regular people, assuming there are some out there, writing about science are in contention for these awards..
The Science and Technology Innovation Program welcomes applicants for academic calendar internships. STIP focuses on understanding bottom-up, public innovation; top-down, policy innovation; and, on supporting responsible and equitable practices at the point where new technology and existing political, social, and cultural processes converge. We recommend exploring our blog and website first to determine if your research interests align with current STIP programming.
We offer two types of internships: research (open to law and graduate students only) and a social media and blogging internship (open to undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students). Non-degree seeking students are ineligible. All internships must be served in Washington, D.C. and cannot be done remotely.
For graduate students, law students, or those accepted to a graduate-level program, we offer a research internship. This is normally project-based (see below for special solicitations), with current projects falling into roughly categories:
Some flexibility may be available, as STIP also overlaps with other Wilson Center Programs. We encourage anyone with cross-disciplinary interests to apply, specifying the names of two programs they wish to work with.
Assignments may include:
Conducting independent research on science and technology innovation issues relevant to STIP initiatives
Co-authoring a journal article or Wilson Center policy brief
Developing grant proposals
Writing articles and blog posts for the STIP website, in conjunction with specific projects as described above.
Undergraduate/Social Media Internship
Open to undergraduates, recent graduates and graduate students, our social media and blogging internship is open year-round. We do not limit by specific majors, but instead look for students who are interested in engaging with issues around STEM from a multitude of perspectives, including the applications to science, policy, and the public.
Researching issues around biotechnology, nanotechnology, genomics, citizen science, and serious/educational video games
Assisting the preparation of publications and/or outreach materials
Performing administrative assignments in support of STIP activities
Special Project Intern: Citizen Health Innovators Project
We are seeking a research intern with a specialty in topics including precision medicine, biomedical research and innovation, and/or science policy, ethics and regulation on biomedical research to work with our Citizen Science and Health Project. Applicants with backgrounds in technology development or science and technology studies (STS) will also be considered. Experience conducting cross and trans-disciplinary research is an asset.
The project associated with this internship will relate to analyzing key challenges and promises arising in the domain of citizen and patient-driven biomedical research and innovation, including interesting trends in precision medicine. The intern may:
Co-author analyses on challenges and promises in citizen and patient-driven biomedical research and innovation
Conduct research and/or capacity building to support the mission of the Citizen Health Innovators Project, for example by advancing work in mapping citizen and patient-driven innovation and matching these trends with tech skills and regulatory expertise
There will be opportunities to write and gain expertise – this is part of the internship goals.
Support operations may include:
Conducting independent research on science and technology innovation issues relevant to STIP initiatives, as requested by supervisor.
Co-authoring a journal article or Wilson Center policy brief on topics pertaining to innovations in genomics and health.
Developing grant proposals.
Writing articles and blog posts for the STIP website, in conjunction with specific projects as described above.
Desired skills include:
Familiarity with precision medicine, biomedical research and innovation, and/or science policy, ethics and regulation on biomedical research
Familiarity with national regulation and guidelines on precision medicine in USA
Ability to write for multiple audiences (academic publications, white papers, social media, etc.)
Ability to work independently with minimal day-to-day guidance.
This internship is unpaid.
Special Project Intern: Earth Challenge 2020
Citizen science involves members of the public in scientific research to meet real world goals. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN), The U.S. Department of State, and The Wilson Center are launching Earth Challenge 2020 as the world’s biggest ever coordinated citizen science campaign. EC2020 will collaborate with existing citizen science projects as well as build capacity for new ones as part of a larger effort to grow citizen science worldwide. We will become a nexus for collecting billions of observations in areas including air quality, water quality, biodiversity, and human health to strengthen the links between science, the environment, and public citizens.
We are seeking a research intern with a specialty in topics including citizen science, crowdsourcing, making, hacking, sensor development, and other relevant topics.
This intern will scope and implement a semester-long project related to Earth Challenge 2020 deliverables. In addition to this the intern may:
Conduct ad hoc research on a range of topics in science and technology innovation to learn while supporting department priorities.
Write or edit articles and blog posts on topics of interest or local events.
Support meetings, conferences, and other events, gaining valuable event management experience.
Provide general logistical support.
This is a paid position available for 15-20 hours a week. Applicants from all backgrounds will be considered, though experience conducting cross and trans-disciplinary research is an asset. Ability to work independently is critical.
Interested applicants should submit a resume, cover letter describing their interest in Earth Challenge 2020 and outlining relevant skills, and two writing samples. One writing sample should be formal (e.g., a class paper); the other, informal (e.g., a blog post or similar).
Application Process and Materials
Unless otherwise stated, internships are unpaid.
International students are eligible, but they must hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa and appropriate work authorization. All international students must obtain written permission from their Designated School Official or Responsible Visa Officer at their university stating that they are in valid immigration status and eligible to do an internship at the Center.
The Wilson Center is an equal opportunity employer and follows equal opportunity employment guidelines in the selection of its interns.
For all internships there is a singular process to applying: to apply please email Elizabeth.Newbury@wilsoncenter.org with the following information. Please specify in the subject line the intended time period for your internship with [SEMESTER] [YEAR] Internship e.g. “SPRING 2018 Internship”. If there is a specific topic area or project, please note that in the subject line of the email, e.g. ‘FALL 2018 Internship for Digital Futures Project.’
Due to the sheer volume of applications we receive, only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. To ensure your consideration, please submit only a completed application.
A completed application will have the following materials.
Cover letter explaining your interest in STIP
1-2 page writing sample ideally demonstrating your work in science and technology research.
Good luck! And, one more thing, application deadlines,
Fall Internship: August 1
Spring Internship: November 15
Summer Internship: March 15
IMAGE: The tiny liverwort plants that are the subject of the Microplants project Courtesy: The Field Museum
I think the eyelash-sized plants are the ones that look like crab claws (?) and if I understand this child’s drawing correctly, it confirms that ‘crab claws’ are liverwort plants being studied at The Field Museum (Chicago, Illinois, US).
Caption A drawing by a four-year-old citizen scientist showing the paper’s lead author describing a new species of liverwort. Courtesy: The Field Museum
If you know better, please correct me in the ‘comments’. In the meantime, a March 9, 2018 news item on ScienceDaily describes the latest in liverwort plant research,
A botanist, a retired businesswoman, and a high school student walk into a bar. Or, maybe not a bar, what with the high school student. A museum. They and their team have a common problem–too many plant photos to analyze–and they find a solution: creating an online tool that lets regular, non-scientist people help do that analysis.
Liverworts, the plants in question–so called because their rounded primitive leaves are kind of liver-shaped–tend to fly under the radar. “When I tell people I study liverworts, my opening line is that it’s not catching,” says Matt von Konrat, the Field Museum’s collections manager of plants and lead author of a paper detailing the project in an issue of Applications in Plant Sciences dedicated to the digitization of botanical natural history collections. You’ve likely seen liverworts before, but you probably didn’t realize it. These ancient plants evolved millions of years before the dinosaurs, and they’re everywhere from deserts to the Arctic. But liverworts are tiny–about the size of an eyelash–and inconspicuous, growing like their cousins, mosses, on rocks and trees. Since they’re so small, they respond to climate change and global warming more quickly than bigger plants and animals, making them valuable to scientists. “They’re like a canary in a coal mine,” says von Konrat.
But using liverworts to better understand climate change requires a better understanding of liverworts. The intricacies of one liverwort species or another are often only visible through a microscope, and analyzing the details of hundreds of thousands of images of microscopic leaves isn’t exactly a plum job. “It’s tedious for one individual to go through these photos for hours on end,” says von Konrat. “But if you get a hundred people to do it for five minutes each, it’s a lot easier.”
The people von Konrat organized to share the load are citizen scientists–volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds who contribute to scientific research. “Citizen science is an opportunity for an individual, group, or community to participate in and contribute to an active research program,” explains von Konrat. “It’s public contribution to science.”
The team adapted the online platform Zooniverse, used in astronomy citizen science projects, to enable citizen science volunteers to analyze photos of liverworts, measuring their primitive leaflike structures. This work helps scientists better determine the differences between different species, which might respond differently to climate change or have other scientifically important distinctions.
“The Microplants project is two-pronged: to help find differences between these species, and see if measurements can actually be done by lay people,” says co-author Kalman Strauss, a high school student and citizen scientist who has been volunteering with von Konrat at the Field Museum since 2014.
The project relied heavily upon citizen scientists like Strauss; another of the paper’s authors Joann Martinec, a retired businesswoman and another Field volunteer.
“I’ve always been interested in nature–in my family growing up, as soon as you could walk and talk, you’d be outside identifying species,” says Martinec. “But I didn’t know much about mosses and liverworts until meeting Matt at a Members’ Night at the museum. I wanted to do something new.” Martinec went on to play a major role in training new citizen scientists on the Microplants project.
Over the course of the project, over 11,000 users assisted in analyzing liverwort photos, participating remotely online and via an in-person digital kiosk in one of the Field Museum’s exhibitions. The platform, which corresponds to Next Generation Science Standards, was also used in classrooms ranging from kindergartens to college biology classes. The resulting analyses of the liverworts, says von Konrat, are accurate enough for use in research that can inform environmental policy. Beyond the contributions to science, von Konrat says, the project is notable for its efforts in public engagement with science.
“This project goes beyond the data,” says von Konrat. “It’s about breaking down barriers and showing that everyone can contribute to science. One key audience is students and younger generations–exposing them to museum collections and science, help them get excited about science.”
Strauss, von Konrat’s sixteen-year-old co-author, is a good example of that. “Although early land plants might not be as romantic as, say, dinosaurs, they’re just as interesting and just as complex–the fact that they’re so often overlooked, especially liverworts, is part of what makes them so cool,” says Strauss. “They’re overlooked all the time. You’ve probably walked on bryophytes a thousand times without noticing them. But looking at them closely opens up a whole new world of beauty and complexity.”
Von Konrat cites a drawing sent to him by a four-year-old girl who participated in the Microplants project–she drew heart-shaped liverwort leaves, along with von Konrat declaring via speech bubble, “Her [sic] is a new species.” “That’s my source of inspiration,” says the non-drawing version of von Konrat. “That’s why we do it–it’s for the next generation.”
Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,
Using citizen science to bridge taxonomic discovery with education and outreach by Matt von Konrat, Thomas Campbell, Ben Carter, Matthew Greif, Mike Bryson, Juan Larraín, Laura Trouille, Steve Cohen, Eve Gaus, Ayesha Qazi, Eric Ribbens, Tatyana Livshultz, Taylor J. Walker, Tomomi Suwa, Taylor Peterson, Yarency Rodriguez, Caitlin Vaughn, Christina Yang, Selma Aburahmeh, Brian Carstensen, Peter de Lange, Charlie Delavoi, Kalman Strauss, Justyna Drag, Blanka Aguero, Chris Snyder, Joann Martinec, Arfon Smith. Applications in Plant Sciences, 2018; e01023 DOI: 10.1002/aps3.1023 First published 9 March 2018
Indris located on Madagascar. Credit: Cornell University
What a face! And, it introduces you to the latest from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS), from a February 26, 2018 news item on phys.org,
Musicians have long drawn inspiration from nature, but a new online game is taking that connection one step further. “Beastbox” takes sound clips from real wild animals, transforms them into loops, and allows users to mix and match them into an endless variety of beats, breaks and drops. Along the way, players learn about the animals and the ecosystems they belong to.
The free game is the result of a collaboration among the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Cornell Hip Hop Collection and Ben Mirin, a sound artist and beatboxer whose career as a “wildlife DJ” inspired the project.
“‘BeastBox’ is a surprise mashup brought to you by scientists, musicians, designers, animators and coders,” says Mya Thompson, leader of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Academy project. “It’s dedicated to the idea that we could all use a few minutes to appreciate our musical planet. When I first met Ben Mirin, I knew we could take his wildlife DJ concept to a new level – and ‘BeastBox’ is what came out.”
By bringing animals from the same ecosystem together on the virtual stage, players can unlock “Beastmode” and control the moves of animal characters as they dance to Mirin’s music. Each bonus track is created exclusively from sounds recorded in six ecosystems including the Madagascar rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and the Sonoran desert. Fun for all ages, “BeastBox” celebrates the musicality and biodiversity of our planet and encourages fans of music to become fans of wildlife.
“BeastBox” highlights two of Cornell’s world-renowned collections: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection. The Macaulay Library is the world’s premier scientific archive of natural history audio, video and photographs. Many of the sounds players encounter in the game are archived in the library. Players who complete at least one ecosystem puzzle win the opportunity to download 20 wild animal sounds from the Macaulay Library collection.
Founded in 2007, Cornell’s Hip Hop Collection is the largest research archive on hip-hop culture in the world and is part of Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. “BeastBox” players are encouraged to browse the archive to better understand the cultural roots of beatboxing and hip-hop.
Here’s an April 11, 2015 TEDxNYU (New York University) talk by Ben Mirin (published on YouTube June 5, 2017),
I have news about two April 2018 events in the US.
It’s been a while since I’ve featured a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars event. I’d forgotten about this one but, since it was postponed due to weather issues, I’ve gotten another chance (from a March 28, 2018 Woodrow Wilson Center announcement received via email),
For over thirty years, women have remained noticeably underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Women make up more than half of college-educated workers but only 25% of college-educated STEM workers – in some fields, such as computer science, women make up only 18.1% of earned bachelor’s degrees. Missing half of the talent pool impacts our potential competitiveness and innovation in a technology-driven economy. But the real problems may begin once women enter a STEM career.
Once in a STEM career, women continue to face obstacles that prevent them from advancing in their career at the same rate as their male colleagues. From hiring practices to workplace culture, multiple factors create barriers that prevent women from achieving fulfilling and successful careers. The capacity of women in STEM to excel in their chosen careers impacts the pipeline for emerging women leaders in these fields, and if these barriers persist, the number of women in the pipeline will not be able to grow.
In order to open up pathways to leadership for more women in STEM, we must ask the question: What are those barriers? And more importantly, what can we do about them?
In honor of Women’s History Month, please join the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program, Women in Public Service Project and Serious Game Initiative for a conversation with women leaders in STEM on the barriers and opportunities for women in STEM, and the actions that can be taken to achieve true gender parity in these fields.
Elizabeth Newbury is the Director and Program Associate for the Serious Games Initiative for the Wilson Center, leading Wilson’s use of games in engaging the public around policy research. She has a PhD and Masters degree from the Department of Communication at Cornell University, where her research interests revolved around understanding multiple dimensions of gaming audiences and the surrounding culture of those who play video games. Her dissertation was a multi-method, cross-discplinary interrogation of the public consumption of games and the use of gaming in day-to-day practices, specifically in the context of esports. She has presented her research before both academic audiences and public audiences, ranging from the International Communication Association and the Association of Internet Researchers to the Serious Play Conference.
As lead of the Serious Games Initiative, she leverages games as a tool for the public communication of science and policy research. Current projects include the Fiscal Ship, a game about the federal budget developed and maintained in collaboration with the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy with the Brookings Institute. Collaborating across the Wilson Institution, her current works in progress include games pertaining to cybsercurity to the history of nuclear proliferation to polar initiatives. Under her leadership, SGI is pursuing how public policy and science can come together in an interactive platform to increase public dialogue and engagement around timely and critical issues of today.
Onto the second event,
New York City
Every once in a while I get an unexpected email and this one was a delightful surprise as it combines an art installation, intellectual property law, and a legal performance piece (from a March 30, 2018 galeplstonpc.com announcement),
I Speak for the Trees:
A Mock Trial
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 | 6:00 PM
Location: Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, Cardozo School of Law
2018 A Blade of Grass Fellow Aviva Rahmani is creating Blued Trees Symphony, an ecological artwork made with the intention of using copyright law (VARA) to defend land in New York, Virginia, and West Virginia that is subject to eminent domain because of proposed natural gas pipelines.
The Cardozo School of Law Environmental Law Society; Art Law Society; and Intellectual Property Student Association welcome us to the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room for a mock trial that will explore whether the status of the artwork under VARA trumps eminent domain takings by corporations. Experienced VARA litigator Gale Elston (Cardozo alumna) will represent the artist.
This program is free and open to the public, but space is limited! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re unable to join us in person, stay tuned to our Facebook page for a live stream of the event!
Ecological artist Aviva Rahmani is the inaugural ABOG Fellow for Contemplative Practice, in partnership with the Hemera Foundation. This targeted fellowship supports artists who work with the intersection of social practice and contemplative practice. Rahmani’s The Blued Trees and The Blued Trees Symphony projects have been installed and copyrighted in the path of natural gas pipelines across miles of North America. The work has gained international attention and support, including Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and A Blade of Grass. Rahmani holds a PhD from Plymouth University, UK in environmental sciences, technology and studio art and has produced over twenty one-hour raw Gulf to Gulf sessions on climate change viewed from eighty-five countries. “Trigger Points/ Tipping Points,” a precursor to Gulf to Gulf,premiered at the 2007 Venice Biennale.
Gale P. Elston is an art attorney who has represented artists, art institutes, and non-profits for over twenty-five years as an advocate for artists’ rights. Three of her cases are featured in the Art Law Handbook, including a VARA based case establishing new law for the rights of artists. She has litigated many VARA cases in the Federal Southern District Court of New York. Her cases have obtained monetary awards for artists whose work has been damaged, modified or harmed. She has served on the board of numerous art related non-profits, including WhiteBox, (Re)Create Artist In Residency Program, and Faith Ringgold’s Any Child Can Fly Foundation, and as a Trustee for the Marin Headlands Artist in Residency Program. She has served to promote numerous artists’ rights pro bono, and represented notable artists including Carolee Schneeman, Phillip Pavia, Faith Ringgold, Ida Applebroog, and Hans Van de Bovenkamp, among others.
We’re grateful that this program is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the support of the American Chai Trust; and, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
I’m particularly interested in this approach to pipeline protests as my home province (British Columbia, Canada) i s currently in a fight with two other provinces (Alberta and Saskatchewan), as well as, our federal government where the usual tactics (protests, jail the time and interprovincial trade wars [see: March 29, 2018 Financial Post article by Geoffrey Morgan], etc.) are being used. Maybe it’s time to apply a little more imagination to the protests in British Columbia.
*’property’ added to title of blog posting on April 5, 2018 3:30 pm PDT.