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Bard Citizen Science Program Hosts Public Lectures on Reducing the Global Burden of Infectious Disease



Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
845-758-7008
huang@bard.edu
12-23-2010
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College will host five public lectures by guest speakers this January as part of its inaugural Citizen Science Program. The speakers will address this year’s Citizen Science theme: How do we reduce the global burden of infectious disease? The lecture series begins with Chris Mooney, a science and political journalist, speaking on Saturday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m. On Monday, January 10 at 3:30 p.m., Bonnie Bassler, professor of molecular biology at Princeton University and president of the American Society for Microbiology, will deliver the talk, “How Bacteria Talk To Each Other.” On Sunday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m., David Botstein, director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University, will discuss “The Fruits of the Genome Sequences for Society.” All three lectures will take place in the Sosnoff Theater of the Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts.

On Thursday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m., Chad Heilig will give a lecture, “Find TB to Stop TB: How Science Can Improve Global Policy to Curtail the TB/HIV Syndemic,” in the Multipurpose Room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. On Wednesday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m., Carl Zimmer will talk to students about the art and craft of science writing, explaining how he writes about new research in a wide range of formats, from articles for the country’s leading newspaper to books, podcasts, and blogs. This workshop will be held in the Lásló Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium (Room 103) of the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation. All events are free and open to the public. Reservations are only necessary for Carl Zimmer’s January 19 workshop. Please R.S.V.P. to (845) 752-2337 or jcerulli@bard.edu.

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Bonnie Bassler is a professor of molecular biology at Princeton University and the president of the American Society for Microbiology. She is also a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms for bacteria use for intercellular communication, a process called quorum sensing. Her research opens up the possibility for new strategies for combating important world health problems.

David Botstein has been the director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton since 2003. He has made fundamental contributions to the field of modern genetics, including the discovery of many yeast and bacterial genes. In 1980, he and three colleagues proposed a method for mapping genes that laid the groundwork for the Human Genome Project.  He has been awarded many prestigious awards in the Genetics and Microbiology fields including the 2010 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical research.

Chad Heilig earned his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He began working at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1997, where he has worked in the areas of reproductive health, science administration, and tuberculosis (TB). He currently serves as the lead methodologist for the CDC- supported, international Tuberculosis Trials Consortium. Chad has also worked on the ethics and methodology of clinical trials as a visiting faculty member at Dalhousie University and the University of Western Ontario.

Chris Mooney is a science and political journalist and the author of three books. He is also the cowriter of The Intersection blog for Discover blogs and the host of the Point of Inquiry podcast. He contributes to science-related articles in USA Today.

Carl Zimmer is a lecturer at Yale, and writes frequently for the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, and Discover, where he is a contributing editor and writes the blog, The Loom. His journalism has earned him awards from the National Academies of Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also the author of nine books including Parasite Rex, Soul Made Flesh, and Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea.

HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT: www.bard.edu/news/press/

ABOUT THE CITIZEN SCIENCE PROGRAM
The Citizen Science Program, an intensive introduction to the sciences for all first-year undergraduate students, further enhances Bard’s first-year curriculum and provides students with critical scientific facility as well as technical skills that can be applied across disciplines. Stemming from Bard’s ongoing efforts to revitalize science education within the context of the liberal arts, the innovative program is designed to take science learning beyond the laboratory and give students the tools, attitudes, and motivation to use science and mathematics concepts in their daily lives. The Citizen Science Program, required of all students in their first year at Bard, will be held over a three-week intersession period each January. The program examines topics that are not typically explored in the course work of a traditional science major. The theme of the program in its inaugural year is: How do we reduce the global burden of infectious disease? Bard hosts policy makers, scientists, and media and industry representatives, among others from Bard and beyond, to speak on relevant topics.

Since 1999, Bard has substantially expanded its Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing by bringing in gifted science faculty; adding new programs in computer science and cognitive science, as well as improving its biology and mathematics offerings; revamping its distribution requirements to include at least one laboratory course in physical or life sciences and one in mathematics, computing, statistics, or logic; forging a relationship with The Rockefeller University, a graduate institute in New York City dedicated primarily to research in biomedical sciences; and opening the state-of-the-art, 70,000-square-foot Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation.       

LECTURE SCHEDULE
2011 Citizen Science Program: How Do We Reduce the Global Burden of Infectious Disease?
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
All events free and open to the public

Saturday, January 8 at 7:00 p.m.
TBA
Guest Speaker: Chris Mooney
Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts

Monday, January 10 at 3:30 p.m.

How Bacteria Talk To Each Other
Guest Speaker: Bonnie Bassler
Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts
Bacteria, primitive single-celled organisms, communicate with chemical languages that allow them to synchronize their behavior and thereby act as enormous multicellular organisms. This process is called quorum sensing and it enables bacteria to successfully infect and cause disease in plants, animals, and humans.  Investigations of the molecular mechanisms underlying quorum sensing are leading to the development of novel strategies to interfere with quorum sensing. These strategies form the basis of new therapies to be used as antibiotics.

Thursday, January 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Find TB to Stop TB: How Science Can Improve Global Policy to Curtail the TB/HIV Syndemic
Guest Speaker: Chad Heilig
Multipurpose Room, Bertelsmann Campus Center
Rigorous research by an interdisciplinary team at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that a simple screening rule using patient-reported symptoms can very effectively show which persons with HIV don’t have tuberculosis (TB), which need further clinical evaluation. This approach does not require special equipment or training, so it can be applied at all levels of health systems. Based on this result and further collaborative analysis with CDC, the World Health Organization recently revised guidelines for finding cases of TB among persons living with HIV in resource-constrained settings—an important step toward saving lives and reducing the global burden of TB.

Sunday, January 16 at 2:00 p.m.
The Fruits of the Genome Sequences for Society
Guest Speaker: David Botstein
Sosnoff Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts

Wednesday, January 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Workshop on the art and craft of science writing
Guest Speaker: Carl Zimmer
Lásló Z. Bitó ’60 Auditorium (Room 103), Reem-Kayden Center for Science and Computation
Reservation necessary for this workshop, please call (845) 752-2337 or jcerulli@bard.edu.
                    

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This event was last updated on 12-23-2010