UPCOMING SKEPTALKS

Adrienne Mayor

WHAT: Gods and Robots: Imagining Artificial Life in Antiquity
Who first imagined robots and Artificial Intelligence? Long before medieval automatons, even before self-moving machines were invented in antiquity, the concepts of replicating life were explored in Greek myths about Talos, Jason, Medea, Daedalus, Prometheus, Hephaestus, and Pandora. Drawing on her book, “Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology,” Mayor discusses the timeless quest for artificial life, to show how automatons, self-moving devices, and Artificial Intelligence were imagined in antiquity, and how the ancients grappled with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, “life through craft”

WHO: Adrienne Mayor a research scholar in the Classics Department and History and Philosophy of Science Program at Stanford University, is the author of:

WHEN: Thursday 8 December 7:30PM Pacific (0330 UTC Friday)

WHERE: Online. Click HERE

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Joe Graves, Ph.D

WHAT: Racism, Not Race: Answers to Questions Even a Skeptic Might Ask
Racism created race.  The socially defined racial groups we currently experience did not result from an objective examination of human biological variation.  This talk recounts the study of biological variation and its connection to race concepts within the Western world from its roots in Christian special creationism to modern evolutionary ideas.  It will end with a discussion of why anti-racism in science is now more than ever necessary to improve the modern scientific enterprise.

WHO: Dr. Joseph Graves, Jr. received his Ph.D. in Environmental, Evolutionary and Systematic Biology from Wayne State University in 1988. In 1994 he was elected a Fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2012, he was chosen as one of the “Sensational Sixty” commemorating 60 years of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award.  In 2017, he was listed as an “Outstanding Graduates” in Biology at Oberlin College; and was an “Innovator of the Year” in US Black Engineer Magazine.

His research in the evolutionary genomics of adaptation shapes our understanding of biological aging and bacterial responses to nanomaterials. He is presently Associate Director/co-PI of the Precision Microbiome Engineering (PreMiEr) Engineering Research Center of Excellence (Gen-4 ERC) funded by the National Science Foundation (2022—2027). His book on nanomaterials is entitled: Principles and Applications of Antimicrobial Nanomaterials, (Amsterdam NE: Elsevier),  2021. 

His books on the biology of race are entitled: The Emperor’s New Clothes: Biological Theories of Race at the Millennium, Rutgers University Press, 2005 and The Race Myth: Why We Pretend Race Exists in America, Dutton Press, 2005; with Alan Goodman, Racism, Not Race: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Columbia University Press, 2021. Racism, Not Race was named by Kirkus Reviews as “One of the Best Non-Fiction 2021” and to its “Best Books About Being Black in America 2021”.  Finally, his biopic work entitled, A Voice in the Wilderness: A Pioneering Biologist Explains How Evolution Can Help Us Solve Our Biggest Problems, (New York: Basic Books), 2022.

He leads programs addressing underrepresentation of minorities in science. He had aided underserved youth in Greensboro via the YMCA chess program.  He has also served on the Racial Reconciliation and Justice Commission, and COVID Vaccination Task Fore of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. He also served as the science advisor to the Chicago, New Brunswick, and Methodist of Ohio Theological Seminaries through the AAAS Dialogues of Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program.

WHEN: Thursday 12 January 7:30PM Pacific (0330 UTC Friday)

WHERE: Online. Details to come.

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Previous SkepTalks:

10 Nov2022 Science Education in an Age of Misinformation – Jonathan Osborne
13 Oct2022 Science vs… History? – Wendy Zuckerman & Sebastion Major
  8 Sep2022 How to Effectively Push Back Against Misinformation – Jonathan Jarry
11 Aug2022 What Does Evidence Do – Jenny Rice
  9 Jun2022 How to Talk to a Science Denier – Lee McIntyre
12 May2022 Superstitions, Aliens, and Conspiracies: The Frontlines of Astronomy Outreach – Mike Simmons
14 Apr2022 Confidence Men: How 2 Prisoners Made History’s Most Remarkable Escape – Margalit Fox
10 Mar2022 The Reality of Reality TV – Yau-Man Chan
10 Feb2022 Who’s Making All Those Scam Calls – Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
13 Jan2022 Weirdness!: What Fake Science & the Paranormal Tell Us about the Nature of Science – Taner Edis
  9 Dec2021 Dangers of the “Lost Civilization” Trope – A.J. White
11 Nov2021 Machineries of Doubt: Climate, Cigarettes & Confusion – John Mashey
  9 Sep2021 The Great Australian Psychic Prediction Project – Richard Saunders
12 Aug2021 What To Do About Misinformation (in Four Dimensions) – John Cook
  8 July2021 Tilting at Strawmen & Other Tricks of Climate Denial Enablers – Mark Boslough
10 Jun2021 The Truth Behind False Memories – Jill Yamashita
13 May2021 Vaccine hesitancy in the era of COVID – Tara C. Smith
  8 Apr2021 Why storytelling is vital to science communication – Sara ElShafie
11 Mar2021 Haunted Humanity: The Fringe Is Not Fringe, and That’s a Big Deal – Daniel Loxton
11 Feb2021 From Junk to Genes: The birth of new miRNA genes in the human genome – Nathan Lents
14 Jan2021 The Continuing Relevance of America’s Eugenic Legacy – Paul Lombardo
10 Dec2020 Deepfakes, GANs and Visual Misinformation – Nick Dufour
12 Nov2020 The Debate about Dark Matter:  Is the Matter Settled? – Don Lincoln
  8 Oct2020 Facilitated Communication: Holding on to (False) Hope – Janyce Boynton
10 Sep2020 Mad Myths: The Case for Using Persuasion to Promote Critical Thinking – Jay Diamond
13 Feb2020 Big Data: What it is, how it’s used, where it’s headed – Mike Olson
12 Dec2019 Are you sure that sippy-cup is safe? – Layla Katiraee
  7 Nov2019 Why Do People Reject Good Science? – Eugenie Scott
10 Oct2019 Shit Students Say: Chem trails, hollow earths, and other strange ideas – Steven Newton
12 Sep2019 Successful Skepticism: Creating Lasting Community – Tucker Phelps
  9 May2019 The Bitter M&Ms of Climate Change: Misconceptions and Misinformation – Brad Hoge
11 Apr2019 The Year in Anti-Science-Education Legislation – Glenn Branch
14 Mar2019 Australia’s Psychic Detectives and Psychic “Predictions” – Richard Saunders
14 Feb2019 What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists? – Eugenie Scott
10 Jan2019 Common Misconceptions About CRISPR Genome Editing – Kevin Doxzen
13 Dec2018 BAS BAH Fest
  8 Nov2018 A Skeptic’s Guide to Planet Hunting – Josh Lofy
11 Oct2018 Beyond a Candle in the Dark – Mick West
13 Sep2018 When a Biology Meets a Biology – David Almandsmith
10 May2018 Common Misconceptions in Anthropology – Julie Hui
12 Apr2018 Skepardy! — Bill Patterson
  8 Mar2018 A Quirky Colloquium Quashing Quantum Quackery — Miriam Diamond
  8 Feb2018 The Human Drive to Explain — Tania Lombrozo
14 Jan2018 Neuroscience and the Great Questions — Ransom Stephens
14 Dec2017 Top Ten Myths of Homelessness — Carrie Sager
  9 Nov2017 Myths of Mass Extinctions — Kevin Padian
12 Oct2017 Hurricanes and Heat Waves: Is This Climate Change? — Brad Hoge
11 May2017 Beyond the Choir – Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia — Susan Gerbic
13 Apr2017 An Invisible Plague: the Growing Threat of Tuberculosis — Lauren Popov
  9 Feb2017 Are Saturated Fats Bad for You? Separating Fat from Fiction — Kent McDonald
12 Jan2017 Harry Houdini vs. Psychics & Mediums — Mark Tarses
29 Dec2016 Too Good to be True? – Richard Saunders
10 Nov2016 Myths of Astronomy — Thomas Targett
10 Sep2015 Angle Trisection: A problem many tried to solve — Paul Stepahin
  9 Apr2015 Herding Cats and Teaching Science — Dan Pemberton
12 Feb2015 Quantum Pseudoscience and the Nature of Mind — Russel Willcox
  8 Jan2015 The Manson Family, Cults, and the Psychology of Commitment – Dr. Patrick O’Reilly
10 Oct2012 Writing About Vaccines When Evidence Doesn’t Matter — Liza Gross
12 Sep2012 Gay Conversion Therapy: You Make Me Sick — Sheldon Helms
  8 Aug2012 Documentary & Skype — “In God We Teach”
11 Apr2012 A Skeptical View of Climate Change Skeptics — Mark McCaffrey
14 Nov2011 Climate Change: From the Biotic to the Exotic — Minda Berbeco
12 Oct2011 A Unicorn in Your Tank: Magic Tablets That Won’t Improve Gas Mileage — Yau-Man Chan
14 Sep2011 Catastrophes! — Don Prothero