lectureBwog has noticed that over the next week or so there will be a smorgasbord of learning opportunities for those who are not going home to spend their magnificent four days of fall break.  Whether you are interested in theater, bioethics or academic freedom, there’s something going on that’s right up your alley.

Human Genetic Complexity: What We Know–Legal, Historical, and Evolutionary Perspectives

October 29th at 8 pm

417 IAB

This talk features philosophy professor Phillip Kitcher, biology professor Robert Pollack and NYU law professor and Nation columnist Patricia Williams (who is no stranger to this campus).  While the discussion  supposedly will center around themes from the Core, expect philosophy more contemporary than CC and science more general than Frontiers.

Democracy, Terrorism, and Religious Freedom: Can we look beyond religious differences for the sake of democracy?

Wednesday, October 29 at 8:00 pm

Miller Theatre

Part of the Veritas forum, here Columbia professor Alfred Stepan and president of the Institute for Global Engagement, Chris Seiple will be discussing Pakistan as an Islamic republic and it’s centrality in the war on terror.  Probably the most secular and pragmatic of Veritas’s schedule this year.

Social Research Conference, Free Inquiry at Risk: Universities in Dangerous Times

Wednesday-Friday, October 29-31

New School

While this is officially sponsored by our downtown neighbor, Columbia professors past (Arjun Appardurai, Anthony Marx) and present (Akeel Bilgrami, Ira Katznelson, Alfred Stepan) will be speaking about the threats posed to academic freedom here and around the world.  Should be interesting in the context of the New School’s history and the leanings of most of the speakers.

Breakthroughs and Transformations:  Historical Perspectives on the 2008 Presidential Elections

Thursday, October 30 at 7pm

702 Hamilton Hall

The heavyweights of the History Department (Brinkley, Kessler-Harris, Connelly and Lightfoot) are coming out discuss what’s on everyone’s minds right now. 

Mind, Memory and the Actor

Thursday, November 6 at 6:00pm

Miller Theatre

A discussion between Michael Boyd (Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company) and Dr. Oliver Sacks (Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Columbia University) centered at the crossroads of art and science.  Sacks, whose most recent book has focused on the auditory perception of music, will certainly bring an interesting perspective to Boyd’s practical experience as a professional director for almost 30 years.