Beyond The Two Cultures: a lecture on data and unity

SMU Daily Campus

Originally Posted: November 19, 2015

Tucked away in one of the many lecture rooms inside Heroy Hall, full of professors but lacking in students, was a lecture presented by acclaimed scientist Roger Malina. The lecture was hosted by the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute on Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m. and centered on the connection between art and science.

Malina, a physicist, astronomer and executive editor of the Leonardo publications at MIT Press, focuses on finding connections between the natural sciences and the arts, design, and humanities. He also has dual appointments as a professor of arts and technology and as a professor of physics at UT Dallas.

The lecture began with this question: Why are human beings so badly designed to understand nature and the universe? In other words, how can we work together to understand each other and the world we live in?

Such questions set the tone for the rest of the presentation, which focused on merging the world of the arts with the world of science. READ MORE

Historian David McCullough receives Medal of Freedom from SMU’s Tower Center

SMU News

Originally Posted: November 19, 2015

David McCullough, the prolific writer frequently referred to as “America’s greatest historian,” received the Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Historian David McCullough (center) with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the Medal of Freedom presentation ceremony.

McCullough spoke at a Q&A-style public forum moderated by SMU Tower Scholar Sara Jendrusch in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. After the event, McCullough received the Medal of Freedom award at a private dinner that included a discussion moderated by former Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom is presented every two years to an individual or individuals who have contributed to the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.

McCullough has twice won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award. He has received the United States’ highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his “lifelong efforts to document the people, places and events that have shaped America.” READ MORE

Event: Nov. 12, Noah’s Ark – Figuring Climate Change

SMU News

Originally Posted: Nov. 10, 2015

Professor Jeffrey Jerome Cohen of George Washington University, who specializes in medieval studies, ecotheory, posthumanism and the history of monsters, will speak on “Noah’s Ark — Figuring Climate Change” at SMU on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be at 6 p.m. in Dallas Hall’s McCord Auditorium. It is part of the Gilbert Lecture Series.

Most medieval illustrations of Noah depict him serenely floating in his ark, surrounded by his family and a harmonious menagerie. What would happen if we stopped using the Flood as our unspoken cognitive frame for global warming – or at least if we stopped playing the role of Noah, if we abandoned the hope of salvaging a small community in an ark built against more complicated, more collective, more livable futures? What if we thought with more sympathy about what is lost when we assume the world must drown? This talk traces some alternative traditions about Noah and his ark, medieval and modern, attempting to use them to rethink the future during a time of climate change.

Cohen’s work ranges over medieval literature, cultural studies, digital humanities, posthumanist theory, and the environmental humanities. In addition to his traditional scholarship, Prof. Cohen manages a strong online presence on Twitter and on his group blog In the Middle, which features academic work in progress as well as reflections on higher education. He is also a key member of The BABEL Working Group, a co-disciplinary, global collective for scholars, researchers, and artists inside and outside the academy who are interested in the relationship between “medieval” and “modern.” READ MORE

Event: Nov. 18. Beyond Two Cultures: A Crisis in Data Representation?

Event date: November 18th

Event time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: Heroy Hall 153

Roger Malina, founder of the UT Dallas ArtSciLab, which explores the gap between data generation and representation, will present his work with neuroscientists, astronomers, and geoscientists. He will also talk about the new born “digital hybrids” whose existence give lie to the “two cultures” division articulated by C. P. Snow. This lecture is sponsored by the DCII Fellow Seminar, “Beyond Two Cultures: Reconciling the Sciences and Humanities”

Contact for more information:

Harvard professor explains why science is safe to trust

Daily Campus

Originally Posted: October 20, 2015

Society should trust science because it’s a long, time-tested process of accumulated expertise, Harvard University Professor of the History of Science Naomi Oreskes, Ph.D said Thursday night.

Speaking at the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute’s annual Allman Family Lecture, Oreskes explained that some of society’s misconceptions of science exist because most people cannot judge whether or not a scientific finding is true. Most people assume the risk of accepting science is smaller than the risk of rejecting it. Parents vaccinate their children because the risk of precautionary vaccinating is smaller than the risk of not vaccinating and suffering potentially harmful consequences. But society is more skeptical of scientific findings than it was before.

“The larger issue is how to reduce the number of those who deny,” said Caroline Brettell, the institute’s director. “How do we build up the trust?” READ MORE

Meet Dedman College Faculty during Family Weekend

2:00PM 3:00PM

Dedman College, the heart of SMU houses the vital disciplines the underlie great accomplishment. Denman College offers 85 exciting majors and minors in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Their award winning faculty will be available to discuss their teaching and research interests. READ MORE

Family Weekend 2015: Haunted on the Hilltop

SMU family members from across the country are invited to join their students in celebrating a longtime Hilltop tradition Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Family Weekend is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.

Registration for several events closed Oct. 18. However, Boulevard BBQ tickets will be on sale at the event from noon to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 on the Clements Hall south lawn. Football tickets for the 3 p.m. game against Tulsa Oct. 31 may be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website. Learn more in these FAQs on the SMU Student Foundation website and in the schedule below.

For the third year, Student Foundation is partnering with Genesis Women’s Shelter, a Dallas organization devoted to ending domestic violence against women and children. Families and students are encouraged to bring household items to donate. Collection boxes will be available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and at other locations. READ MORE

Event: Scientific Research and Public Responses: A Faculty Panel Discussion

Date: November 5th

Time: 5:00 p.m. Reception, 5:30 p.m. Panel

Location: McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall

science 3Why have we moved from, “I don’t fully understand the science, but I trust the scientists.” to, “I don’t fully understand the science and I don’t trust the scientists to be honest about it.”? Join us for a panel discussion with Louis Jacobs, David Meltzer, Randall Scalise, and John Wise, moderated by Lee Cullum of KERA News. Contact for more information