Upcoming Events: Silicon Valley
Walter Alvarez: A Most Improbable JourneyDate: Tue, January 24, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Big history and you
Walter Alvarez, Professor, Earth and Planetary Science Department, University of California, Berkeley; Author, A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves
Lisa Krieger, Science and Research Reporter, San Jose Mercury News—Moderator
One in a million doesn’t even come close.
Not when we’re talking about the odds that you would happen to be alive today, on this particular planet, hurtling through space. Almost 14 billion years of cosmic history, more than 4 billion years of Earth history, and a couple million years of human history, has led to you.
This panoramic viewpoint has captured the imagination of historians and scientists alike, and together they’ve created a new field—big history—that studies the entire known past of our universe to give context to our very existence.
Famed geologist Alvarez is best known for the impact theory explaining dinosaur extinction. His unique expertise and infectious curiosity gives us a new appreciation for the incredible occurrences—from the Big Bang and beyond—that have led to our improbable place in the universe.
Gopi Kallayil: Brain, Body and ConsciousnessDate: Thu, February 02, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist for Brand Marketing, Google; Author, The Internet to the Inner-Net: Five Ways to Reset Your Connection and Live a Conscious Life
The Internet has become humanity’s invisible central nervous system connecting us with a click of a button. Yet the most important technology is still within us: our brain, body and mindfulness.
Drawing on his own experiences as a high-tech industry executive and a devotee of meditative practices, Kallayil explains the importance of conscious living and encourages yoga, mindful eating and even napping in the workplace.
From “logging In” (mindful ways of connecting and engaging) to “clearing out your in-box” (shedding what doesn’t serve you to make space for what does), Kallayil lays out practices and perspectives that can help you become more creative and adaptable, and live with more purpose, fulfillment and joy.
Alison Gopnik: The New Science of Child DevelopmentDate: Thu, February 16, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Shattering myths of "good parenting"
Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley; Author, The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us about the Relationship Between Parents and Children
In conversation with Dr. Julie Lythcott-Haims, Former Dean of Freshman, Stanford University; Author, How to Raise An Adult
Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call “parenting” is a surprisingly new invention. In the past 30 years, “parenting” has transformed into an obsessive, controlling, goal-oriented effort to create a particular kind of child. But children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other.
Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge research, Gopnik shatters key myths of “good parenting,” and suggests a new approach—where variability and flexibility in childhood lets them innovate, create and survive in an unpredictable world.
The Science of CoffeeDate: Wed, February 22, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
What goes into the cup
William Ristenpart, Joe and Essie Smith Endowed Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of California-Davis
Can UC Davis do for the coffee industry what it’s done for the wine industry?
Ristenpart is head of the Coffee Center, the first multidisciplinary university research center in the world devoted to post-harvest studies of coffee and designed to generate unparalleled teaching, research and collaborative opportunities for students, scientists and engineers.
The project has its roots in the Engineering Department, where Ristenpart co-developed the “Design of Coffee” course that became hugely popular with both science and java junkies and boasts the highest enrollment of any elective course on campus.
Come learn about the core engineering and science principles involved in roasting and brewing the perfect cup of coffee and participate in an informal coffee “cupping” sponsored by Peet’s Coffee.
SV Reads 2017: Adam Benforado and Shaka SenghorDate: Thu, February 23, 2017
Time: 7:30 PM
Silicon Valley Reads 2017
Adam Benforado, Associate Professor of Law, Drexel University; Author, Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice
Shaka Senghor, Director of Strategy and Innovation, #Cut50; Author, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison
Sal Pizzaro, Columnist, San Jose Mercury News—Moderator
How can we reduce bias in our legal system? Benforado and Senghor examine this critical issue from both a legal perspective and from someone who has been incarcerated.
Benforado says, “The failure of our legal system has been a defining issue in the U.S. over the last year…. To make progress in our fight against abuse, unequal treatment and wrongful convictions, we must come together as a community to consider the psychological biases that share the behavior of judges, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, police officers—and all of the rest of us.”
Senghor shares his own personal experiences as someone who has gone through the system and is now one of the leading voices on criminal justice reform.
Priya Natarajan: Mapping the Heavens—A Delightful Tour of the CosmosDate: Wed, March 08, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Understanding the universe
Priya Natarajan, Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Yale University; Author, Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos
The formation and growth of black holes, the accelerating expansion of the universe, the echo of the big bang, the discovery of exoplanets, and the possibility of other universes—these are some of the puzzling cosmological topics of the early 21st century. Natarajan is an astrophysicist who literally creates maps of this invisible matter in the universe.
She explores these discoveries that have reshaped our understanding of the universe over the past century, and takes us on a tour that will help make sense of our wondrous, mysterious cosmos.
Carrie Nugent: Asteroid HuntersDate: Tue, March 21, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
Carrie Nugent, Staff Scientist, IPAC/Caltech; Host, Spacepod; Author, Asteroid Hunters
What are asteroids, and where do they come from? And more important, what would happen if one hit Earth? Dr. Nugent is an asteroid hunter working to help map our cosmic neighborhood. She is part of NASA’s NEOWISE mission team, using a space-based infrared telescope to discover, track and characterize asteroids.
With detection being the key to preventing an asteroid impact, learn more about the scientists who are working to prevent the unthinkable from happening.