Upcoming Events

Tue 10/28

Image - Stanley B. Prusiner: Madness and Memory

Stanley B. Prusiner: Madness and Memory

Date: Tue, October 28, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Nobel laureate's odyssey to cure the toughest diseases of the brain.

Stanley B. Prusiner, MD, Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases; Professor, Department of Neurology, UCSF; Winner, Nobel Prize for Medicine

In his book, Prusiner tells the remarkable story of his discovery of prions – infectious proteins that replicate and cause disease but surprisingly contain no genetic material – and reveals how superb and meticulous science is actually practiced with talented teams of researchers who persevere. He recounts the frustrations and rewards of years of research and offers fascinating portraits of his peers as they raced to discover the causes of fatal brain diseases. Prusiner's hypothesis, once considered heresy, now stands as accepted science and the basis for developing diagnoses and eventual cures. He closes with a meditation on the legacy of his discovery: What will it take to cure Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's and other devastating diseases of the brain?

Wed 10/29

Image - Eric Metaxas: Do you Believe in Miracles?

Eric Metaxas: Do you Believe in Miracles?

Date: Wed, October 29, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Why do some people dismiss miracles out of hand?

Eric Metaxas, Lecturer, King’s College; Author, Bonhoeffer and Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life

What are miracles and why do we believe in them? Is it for comfort, to explain the inexplicable, or do we simply long for a connection with something larger than ourselves? And why do some people dismiss them out of hand, as if they can never happen?

What Heaven Is for Real did for near-death experiences, Miracles does for the miraculous. It provides food for thought that there’s something real to be reckoned with, whatever one has thought of this topic before. It provides a wide range of compelling stories of the miraculous and will engage the reader in the serious discussion that this fascinating and rich subject deserves. Miracles is in some ways a more personal, anecdotal and updated version of C. S. Lewis’s 1947 book on the subject. Metaxas’s Miracles is an exploration and an exhortation to view miracles as not only possible but as far more widespread than most of us have ever imagined.

Thu 10/30

Image - Cognitive Dimensions of Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Cognitive Dimensions of Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Date: Thu, October 30, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM

Richard T. Houston, Ed.D., Founder, People Assets and Health Alliance Partners

Learn how a significant portion of cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer's disease can be delayed or avoided completely when adults pursue active lifestyle habits throughout their adult years. Survey responses from 1,600 Bay Area residents reveal important differences in the cognitive experience of fitness buffs vs. people who are rarely active. Psychological research provides insights into specific methodologies that create opportunities for shaping new active lifestyle behaviors and improving outcomes for physical and behavioral health.

Fri 10/31

Go to French Friday with Dorie Greenspan

French Friday with Dorie Greenspan

Date: Fri, October 31, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Bringing together a mix of contemporary and traditional French recipes.

Dorie Greenspan, Author, Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere and Around My French Table; James Beard Award Winner
In Conversation with Joel Riddell, Executive Producer and Host, “Dining Around,” KKSF Talk 910

With her groundbreaking bestseller Around My French Table, Greenspan changed the way people view French food. Come hear her, in conversation with Riddell, talk about her career in the culinary world, co-authoring cookbooks with Pierre Herme and Julia Child; her fan club, French Fridays with Dorie; and her newest cookbook. Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere brings together a mix of contemporary and traditional recipes drawing on seasonal ingredients, market visits and travels throughout France.

Tue 11/4

Image - Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (MLF)

Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (MLF)

Date: Tue, November 04, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM
Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers.

Richard Brookhiser, Historian

Abraham Lincoln turned to Washington, Paine and Jefferson for knowledge, guidance, inspiration and purpose. He brought their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. In Founders' Son, celebrated historian Richard Brookhiser presents Lincoln's life as a struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers. From Lincoln’s humble origins in Kentucky to his assassination in D.C., Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend and visionary.

Wed 11/5

Go to Humanities West Book Discussion - A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

Humanities West Book Discussion - A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich

Date: Wed, November 05, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
A lucid account of the abuse of history.

Join us to discuss Harvard classics professor Christopher Krebs' lucid account of the abuse of history. Germania, written in 98 C.E. by the Roman official Tacitus, was lost for centuries but resurfaced around 1500. It launched a primitivist myth of ancient Germans as freedom-loving warriors, uncultured but honorable, in contrast with decadent Romans. In fact, Tacitus probably never visited Germany. He wrote for a Roman audience that shared his romantic view of northern barbarians. But enthusiastic German readers from Luther to Himmler ignored Tacitus's disparaging comments and misread passages to confirm their prejudices. Krebs warns against this irresistible human yearning to find written proof of one's ideology. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Thu 11/6

Go to Zen's Chinese Heritage

Zen's Chinese Heritage

Date: Thu, November 06, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A deep exploration of the spiritual and political origins of Chinese Chan.

Andy Ferguson, Chinese Language and Literature Expert; Author, Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings

Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhism occupies a unique position in Chinese society. The religion’s history is deeply intertwined with Chinese philosophy and politics. How has this ancient teaching survived China’s explosion of consumerism? Are existing Chinese Chan temples true repositories of an authentic tradition, or are they empty storefronts for a philosophy forgotten or misunderstood?

Andy Ferguson is the author of Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Masters and their Teachings, a large compendium of the ancient teachings of more than a 150 ancient Chan masters from China’s “Golden Age” of Chan. His other book, Tracking Bodhidharma, is a deep exploration of the spiritual and political origins of Chinese Chan. In that text, Ferguson demonstrates that the religion’s philosophical origins are as surprising as its history of political influence, an influence with a bizarre relationship with some of the 20th century’s most tragic events.

Fri 11/7

Image - The Crusades of Cesar Chavez

The Crusades of Cesar Chavez

Date: Fri, November 07, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Miriam Pawel, Author, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez

On November 9, 1984, at the invitation of then-President Shirley Temple Black, Cesar Chavez gave a memorable lecture at the Club. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Miriam Pawel will describe the details of the complex life of Chavez, one of the great iconic leaders of the 20th century, one of the most celebrated Latinos in U.S. history and one of the most effective labor organizers California has ever seen. Now that Chavez is once again the focus of public attention, a balanced view of his contributions and his difficulties is all the more valuable.

Mon 11/17

Image - Up the Ladder: Women Pursuing Careers in Science and Technology

Up the Ladder: Women Pursuing Careers in Science and Technology

Date: Mon, November 17, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
A personal discussion about working in male-dominated fields.

Hilary K. Seligman, M.D., MAS, Associate Professor in Residence, Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCSF
Diane Wara, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF
Eva Cole, Student, Holy Names High School, Oakland; Alumna, Girls Who Code
Sara Seims, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Population and Reproductive Health Program, Packard Foundation – Moderator

How and why do women decide to pursue careers in science and technology? What is the reaction of their family, friends, teachers and others? This panel of three women at three different points in their careers – early, middle and advanced – will discuss the experiences that have supported and challenged their career pursuits. Come learn from their stories and hear ideas about how to attract more women to areas of science where they are still greatly under-represented, such as engineering and mathematics.

Wed 11/19

Image - Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Difficulty of Speaking the Tr

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Difficulty of Speaking the Truth

Date: Wed, November 19, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM

Harriet Elinor Smith, Editor

Mark Twain wanted to write a completely candid autobiography, without "shirkings of the truth,” so he decided to speak from the grave 100 years after his death. The Mark Twain Papers Project at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley has fulfilled that desire. Editor Smith will discuss Twain's numerous observations about the difficulty of speaking the truth, and the strategies he adopted to remove his inhibitions, illustrating her talk with passages he suppressed during his lifetime. Come hear Mark Twain's "whole, frank mind" highlighted by his characteristic blend of humor and ire.

Mon 11/24

Image - Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, November 24, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session.

Tue 11/25

Image - Mark Schapiro: Carbon Shock – A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front L

Mark Schapiro: Carbon Shock – A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy

Date: Tue, November 25, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Climate change is profoundly shifting the economic ground.

Mark Schapiro, Author; Former Senior Correspondent, Center for Investigative Reporting; Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Schapiro will take us a journey to the financial frontlines of climate change, where the same chaotic forces reshaping our weather are disrupting our economy. From the agricultural fields of California to the Amazon rainforest, from the export powerhouses of China to the bizarre world of carbon traders, Schapiro tells the story of how profoundly climate change is shifting the economic ground beneath our feet. His tales have a global range to the places where climate change is altering the economic status quo. He explores how some new powers are rising and others are falling as the world struggles to contend with the fundamental economic fact of our time: the rising price of carbon.

Thu 12/4

Image - John A. Amster: Patents in the Boardroom – The Truth Behind the Headline

John A. Amster: Patents in the Boardroom – The Truth Behind the Headlines

Date: Thu, December 04, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM

John A. AmsterCEO and Co-founder, RPX Corporation

Patents have been big news in recent years. Large electronics rivals have made headlines by waging high-stakes legal battles over infringement of smartphone patents. Bankrupt companies have auctioned off their patent portfolios for hundreds of millions – or even billions – of dollars. The most significant development affecting patents, however, has been the rise of non-practicing entities (NPEs), also known as “patent trolls.” NPEs acquire patents and litigate them to extract license payments or legal settlements from an allegedly infringing company. Operating companies spent nearly $11 billion dealing with NPE litigation in 2012 alone.

RPX CEO and Co-founder Amster will describe how patents have been transformed from legal protection of a novel invention into a major source of operating risk. Today, owners of patents are monetizing their value through costly and inefficient legal processes. The discussion will focus on a different perspective: how patents can and should be transacted using market mechanisms instead, and in the process, save operating companies billions of dollars every year.

Tue 12/9

Image - An Evening with Jared Diamond

An Evening with Jared Diamond

Date: Tue, December 09, 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Join a discussion with one of the world's most celebrated polymaths.

Jared Diamond, Professor, UCLA; Author, Guns, Germs and Steel, Collapse and The World Until Yesterday

Jared Diamond is a scientist known for drawing from a variety of fields, from anthropology to evolutionary biology. He has published several popular science books, including Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs and Steel and, most recently, The World Until Yesterday. Diamond’s conclusions are critical and provocative, exploring concepts like how humans evolved to be so different from animals, despite sharing over 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, and why Eurasian peoples conquered Native Americans and Africans instead of vice versa. Diamond yet again challenges the way our brains think in The World Until Yesterday as he chronicles tribal peoples and what they can teach us about the shortcomings of modern society. Join us for a night of intellectual stimulation with one of the world’s most celebrated polymaths.

Mon 12/15

Go to Middle East Discussion Group

Middle East Discussion Group

Date: Mon, December 15, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the face of the Middle East. Each month, the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic frequently suggested by recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a brief planning session.

Tue 12/16

Image - The Rise and Fall of a Jewish American Princess

The Rise and Fall of a Jewish American Princess

Date: Tue, December 16, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
Barbara Rose Brooker, Author; Columnist; Performer; Teacher

Barbara Rose Brooker, Author; Columnist; Performer; Teacher

This talented author will speak from her latest book in which a woman rises above all obstacles to live a life on her own terms as a successful artist. The book focuses on deception and redemption. It is a novel about Dianne Roseman, a woman programmed to be a “Jewish American Princess” and define herself by a successful marriage. The reader is invited into the brutal art world through Roseman’s disastrous affair with a famous dealer of contemporary art and her persevering effort to become a known artist. The novel explores women of all cultures who are inhibited by old generations and fight to thrive.

Mon 1/26

Image - Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Date: Mon, January 26, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Join the filmmakers to discuss their new murder mystery movie.

Dayna Goldfine, Emmy-award winning filmmaker; Co-creator, Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden
Dan Geller, Emmy-award winning filmmaker; Co-creator, Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

“The most irresistible film of 2014,” is what the San Francisco Chronicle calls Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden. The documentary presents a cache of home movies made by settlers who go off to live on a remote Galapagos Island in search of Eden. Their search for paradise turns dark when one of their own is killed. Come hear how Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller became interested in producing this engaging, Hitchcock-meets-Darwin mystery.

Wed 2/4

Go to Humanities West Book Discussion: Two Lives of Charlemagne, by Einhard and the Monk of St. Gall (MLF)

Humanities West Book Discussion: Two Lives of Charlemagne, by Einhard and the Monk of St. Gall (MLF)

Date: Wed, February 04, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
The Holy Roman emperor and “father of Europe.”

Join us to discuss the life of Charlemagne, the Holy Roman emperor and “father of Europe.” One biography we’ll look at is by Einhard, who joined the royal court in 791 to serve as an epic poet, mathematician and architect. His work is believed to be the most accurate portrayal of Charlemagne and the finest biography of its time. This edition also contains the highly anecdotal "life" of Charlemagne, penned by the Monk of Saint Gall, whose accuracy is scorned but whose witty tales keep popping up in modern biographies. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Wed 3/4

Go to Humanities West Book Discussion - The Song of Roland

Humanities West Book Discussion - The Song of Roland

Date: Wed, March 04, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
A Classical epic that glorifies the heroism of Charlemagne.

Join us to discuss The Song of Roland, the anonymous classical epic that glorifies the heroism of Charlemagne in the 778 battle between the Franks and the Moors. Lynn Harris will lead the discussion.

Mon 3/16

Image - The Amazons

The Amazons

Date: Mon, March 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Were these ancient warrior women fact or fiction?

Adrienne Mayor, Research Scholar, Classics and History and Philosophy of Science, Stanford University

Amazons – fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world – were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles dueled Amazon queens, and Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great and Pompey each tangled with them. But who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback? Were Amazons real? Mayor's is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, including new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons. Mayor argues that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons and reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories.