Upcoming Events: Science & Technology
Science and Practice of Mindfulness Meditation in Sports, Work and LifeDate: Tue, September 15, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With an opportunity to try it!
JoAnn Dahlkoetter, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist; Coach for Five Olympic Gold Medal Athletes; Author, Your Performing Edge
Philippe Goldin, Ph.D., Psychology, Neuroscience; Assistant Professor, UC-Davis; Researcher, Stanford; Developer, Google's Mindfulness Trainings
Meditation is embraced by world-class athletes, Fortune 500 corporations and by public figures such as Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood and Rupert Murdoch. This ancient practice is often used to improve mindfulness, spirituality and to reduce stress, but is it something worth including in your day to day or just another spiritual/religious paradigm? Our panelists will discuss the underlying science of meditation and answer your questions about improving your happiness as well as your physical, mental and emotional performance. At the end, we’ll all have an opportunity to try it.
The Revolution in Small SatellitesDate: Thu, September 24, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Space opens up to new entrants...
Mike Safyan, Director of Launch and Regulatory Affairs, Planet Labs
A revolution is happening in the space industry. What used to be the domain of nation states and a handful of big corporations is now accessible to students and startups. Planet Labs, a local San Francisco startup, is launching fleets of small satellites to image the entire Earth every day. Mike Safyan, one of Planet's founding team members, will tell the story of how Planet Labs went from garage to orbit to create an unprecedented view of the Earth's changes. As space opens up to new entrants, more people than ever before will have access to radical new tools and data streams to help solve global challenges, such as deforestation, urban sprawl and food security.
Safyan is the director of launch and regulatory affairs at Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based firm that designs, builds and operates the world’s largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites. He has been involved with the launch and operations of over 100 satellites to date.
The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our WorldDate: Wed, October 07, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With Professor Pedro Domingos
Pedro Domingos, Professor, University of Washington; Co-founder, International Machine Learning Society
Machine learning is the automation of discovery – the scientific method on steroids – that enables intelligent robots and computers to program themselves. No field of science today is more important yet more shrouded in mystery. Pedro Domingos gives us a peek inside the learning machines that power giants like Google all the way down to the smartphone in your pocket. These programs are already helping us fight the war on cancer and predict the movements of the stock market, and they are making great headway with instant language translation and discovering new laws of nature.
Leading us through machine learning’s five major schools of thought (neuroscience, evolution, psychology, physics, and statistics) Domingos assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner – the Master Algorithm – and discusses what it means for you and for the future of business, science and society.
Understanding Digital Video and the Future of Social MediaDate: Wed, October 28, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Jon Leland, Founding Director of Creative Services, USA Network; Author, Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know
Social media, mobile marketing and cloud-based computing are the most widely understood mega-trends that are revolutionizing online communications. In this eye-opening presentation, media innovator and pioneer Jon Leland goes a step further to illuminate how these new forms of multimedia—and digital video in particular—are creating revolutionary new channels that are democratizing media consumption and creation. Consumers are more empowered, but so are businesses and organizations as well as content creators. Anyone can now reach customers, audiences and constituencies in entirely new ways.
Surprisingly, in Leland's view, the real power is fueled by humanistic values, such as authentic engagement. Leland will explain the long-term implications of these fresh new digital video and social media ecosystems, including the veritable explosion in video-based pay-per-click advertising (via Facebook and YouTube), new content sponsorship trends (via Kickstarter and Patreon) and the latest music offering from Apple.
The Orbital PerspectiveDate: Fri, November 13, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With author Ron Garan
Ron Garan, Former NASA Astronaut; Author, The Orbital Perspective
Garan, a retired NASA astronaut who logged 178 days in space and 71 million miles in orbit, will discuss his perspective of his experience as an astronaut and his time spent on the International Space Station. He was a long-term resident of the ISS, where he lived and worked with U.S. and Russian crewmates. He also served aboard the space shuttle Discovery. He left NASA in 2013, but not before becoming the first person ever to give a TED Talk from space.
Today Garan applies three-dimensional thinking, or “the orbital perspective,” to long-term global problem solving – working, primarily, to create a more sustainable, peaceful planet, and combat world hunger, thirst and poverty.
As founder of Manna Energy Foundation, a nonprofit social-enterprise incubator, Garan helps address the developing world’s need for fresh water, renewable energy and access to communications. He started Fragile Oasis, a one-of-a-kind humanitarian initiative connecting Earth dwellers with astronauts in space.
What Are Our Brains For? Cognitive Enhancement, Artificial Intelligence and Human NatureDate: Tue, November 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With professor John Harris
John Harris D.Phil., Lord Alliance Professor of Bioethics and Director, Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation, and Director, Wellcome Strategic Programme in the Human Body, its Scope, Limits and Future, University of Manchester
Astronomer Martin Rees has observed that there might be scientific facts that will never be discovered by beings with brains that have evolved in the way that human brains have so far developed, and scientific theories we are incapable of postulating. Related ethical limits might arise from our organic embodied nature and from the essential differences between human and artificial intelligence. More significant still, as Steven Hawking and Elon Musk have suggested, AI could pose problems that our brains are not adapted to anticipate. Join us as Harris examines the ethical and conceptual limits to human beings and human nature.
Pope Francis: Climate Change and the PoorDate: Tue, December 01, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
The moral dimensions of climate change
Kenneth Weare, Ph.D, Adjunct Professor of Social Ethics, University of San Francisco; Board Member, San Francisco Archdiocesan Board of Education; Former Director, School of Pastoral Leadership, Archdiocese of San Francisco; Board Member, Catholic Charities CYO Board of Directors; Pastor, St. Rita Catholic Church
Weare will discuss Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, which offers a moral argument on climate change that also includes a profound concern for the poor as a teaching on both global warming and global poverty. He describes Pope Francis’ focus on the moral dimensions of climate change in addition to the contributions from scientific researchers and environmental experts worldwide over the years.
Weare’s lecture will highlight the key elements of his moral analysis and evaluation, including creation theology, integral ecology and the socio-political and economic realities constituent to the challenge of climate change.