Nearly everyone is familiar with Darwin’s famous theory of natural selection detailed in his 1859 masterpiece, “On the Origin of Species.” Perhaps not so commonly known is his theory on the universality of race, presented in the 1872 publication of “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.”
As founding director of the Living Earth Collaborative, Losos seeks to marshal the might of three world-class organizations – the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Saint Louis Zoo and Washington University, where he is the William H. Danforth Distinguished University Professor in Biology – into a collaboration that transcends geographic and political boundaries to conserve biodiversity and sustain life on Earth.
McKinnon’s long career as a planetary scientist has been marked by a series of exciting discoveries and new explorations. But perhaps the most thrilling feat he has witnessed to date occurred July 14, 2015 when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew through the Pluto system, capturing extraordinary images and other data that illuminated the complex geological world of the farthest planet in the classical solar system.
Adam Steltzner, in charge of the Entry, Decent, and Landing of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, outlined the winding journey of his life in his Assembly Series lecture on March 26, 2015: “How Curiosity Changed My Life.” The lecture title was a deliberate play on words meant to emphasize the power of intellectual curiosity and how it can transform a life.
The proliferation and popularity of podcasts — especially among millennials — have created many new media stars, but few are shining as brightly as Barbaro, the host of The Daily, the New York Times’ entry into the podisphere with millions of devoted listeners. It was the most-downloaded new show on Apple Podcasts last year, with five million listeners a month at last count, and will more than one million tuning in each day.
Three WashU experts explore how drone technology is changing our world in a discussion that promises to bring intriguing insights. “Technology, Ethics, and Laws” featuring Humberto Gonzalez, Neil Richards, and Meredith Malone, at 5:30 p.m. March 31 in Steinberg Auditorium. At 5 p.m. please join us for a reception and viewing of the exhibition on which the discussion will be based: “To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare,” in the Kemper Art Museum.
British archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson and his research team had unprecedented access to Stonehenge and its surroundings, and his research findings are replacing centuries of speculation with facts. He will share them at an Assembly Series program at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in Steinberg Hall Auditorium.
“The anthropological concept of culture is extremely important and often misunderstood because many of the things that are assumed to be biologically determined, like criminality or homosexuality or IQ, are really behaviorally and societally defined.” This quote from Robert W. Sussman, PhD, professor of physical anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, forms the basis for his Phi Beta Kappa/Sigma Xi Lecture. “The Importance of the Concept of Culture to Science and Society,” part of the university’s Assembly Series, will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in Steinberg Hall Auditorium.
In his October 27, 2014 lecture,”Talking About Race in 19th-century American Science: Louis Agassiz and His Contemporaries,“ Christoph Irmscher discussed the brilliant and controversial Swiss immigrant who became the most famous scientist of his time. Irmscher gave the annual Thomas Hall History of Science Lecture in Rebstock Hall Room 215.
David McBride, director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, spoke on the future of aerospace engineering, including the next generation of NASA X-planes, the Artemis program (returning astronauts to the moon’s surface by 2024) and the role of government in the age of private space and aircraft flight.
As a result of a Peace Corps stint in Botswana, empathy with the plight of farmers took hold early in Jack Kloppenburg’s life, as well as an appreciation of locally-produced food, and led to a lifelong study of plant breeding and seed production and to a strong commitment to promoting local, sustainable food systems.