1491 creates a picture of the Americas before the Europeans landed by synthesizing scientific discoveries from anthropology, archaeology and paleolinguistics. Mann arrives at startling conclusions about the civilizations thriving before Columbus: a far more urban, populated and technologically advanced region than generally assumed.Read more »
George Hammond, Author, Rational Idealism and Conversations with Socrates
Monday Night Philosophy explores the competing explanations of life, narrows them down to four prime contenders, analyzes each version’s strengths and weaknesses, and concludes by revisiting Pascal’s wager and moving his bet from black to red.
MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m.Read more »
George Sand, famous for her many lovers, wrote more than 60 novels during her career. Written in 1842, Consuelo portrays the triumph of moral purity over manifold temptations. This Romantic novel of the musical life of a gypsy singer is noted for its rich depiction of Venice. The characters in Sand’s novels are enthusiastic and outspoken, with a bold manifesto of women's independence and a legitimate claim to emotional and sexual fulfillment. The title character is modeled on a well-known soprano of that age, Pauline Viardot. Read more »
Will Rogers, President and CEO, The Trust for Public Land
Monday Night Philosophy looks at America's increasing need for more and better urban parks. As urban areas become ever more densely populated, and urban populations ever more sedentary, both the health and economic benefits that vibrant park systems provide to local economies have too often been overlooked. Read more »
Candida Moss, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of Notre Dame; Author, The Myth of Persecution
Professor Moss posits that the early Church inflated and outright fabricated stories of Christian persecution as a means of growing their numbers. She also explains that the Church has, for centuries, carefully honed this perception of martyrdom to silence dissent and galvanize new generations of culture warriors. Read more »
Donald Berwick, M.D., Former President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The second annual Lundberg Institute Lecture welcomes Dr. Berwick, who studies the management of health-care systems with emphasis on using scientific methods and evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness research to improve the tradeoff among quality, safety and costs. In the ongoing difficult transition to the Obama health plan, Dr. Read more »
Seth Rosenfeld, Author, Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power
Monday Night Philosophy explores some until-now secret details about the history of Berkeley in the 1960s : How the FBI disrupted and infiltrated student groups, the faculty and the UC administration; how that influenced California state politics; and how Governor Reagan worked with the FBI to develop one leg of his national political power base.
In 1495, Leonardo da Vinci began painting one of history’s most influential and beloved works of art. Leonardo was then at a low point, having failed to complete anything that demonstrated his astonishing promise. The commission to paint The Last Supper provided only small compensation, and Leonardo’s odds of completing such a large fresco, without previous experience in the difficult medium, were not promising. Read more »