Upcoming Events: Silicon Valley

Mon 12/12

Image - David Grinspoon

David Grinspoon: Shaping Our Planet's Future

Date: Mon, December 12, 2016
Time: 7:00 PM
Human impact on planet Earth

David Grinspoon, Ph.D., Astrobiologist; Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute; Author, Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future; Twitter
Alison van Diggelen, Host, “Fresh Dialogues”; BBC Contributor—Moderator

For the first time in Earth’s history, our planet is experiencing rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is the most visible, and our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures.

As we stand at this pivotal juncture, Dr. Grinspoon calls upon all of us to be planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of the Earth’s biosphere.

With our future at stake, Dr. Grinspoon shares his 10,000-year perspective by not only asking what kind of future we want to avoid, but what do we ultimately seek to build?

Wed 1/11

Image - Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel: The New Science of Living Younger

Date: Wed, January 11, 2017
Time: 7:00 PM
The factors that contribute to aging and illness

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, President, Salk Institute; 2009 Nobel Prize Winner; Co-author, The Telomere Effect – A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer
Dr. Elissa Epel, Founder and Director, Center on Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment, University of California San Francisco; Co-author, The Telomere Effect – A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer
Angie Coiro, Syndicated Talk Show Host, “In Deep with Angie Coiro”—Moderator

Have you ever wondered why some 60-year-olds look and feel like 40-year-olds and why some 40-year-olds look and feel like 60-year-olds?

Though many factors contribute to aging and illness, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn — a Nobel laureate — and health psychologist Dr. Elissa Epel reveal the critical role that biological markers called telomerase and telomeres play in our health. Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Epel discuss how to increase not only your lifespan but your health-span (the number of years that you remain active and healthy). They say that to live healthier and younger, we need to understand how sleep, exercise, stress, and diet can affect our telomeres.

Tue 1/24

Image - Walter Alvarez

Walter Alvarez: A Most Improbable Journey

Date: 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.

Thu 2/16

Image - Alison Gopnik

Alison Gopnik: The New Science of Child Development

Date: 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.

Wed 3/8

Image - Priya Natarajan

Priya Natarajan: Mapping the Heavens—A Delightful Tour of the Cosmos

Date: 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.