Leading Microbiologist Gautam Dantas and New Yorker Writer Michael Specter to Present Lectures in January as Part of Bard College Citizen Science Program
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Bard College Citizen Science Program presents two lectures this month. Both lectures take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Richard B. Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. They are free and open to the public; no reservations are necessary. For more information contact Julie Cerulli at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to citizenscience.bard.edu/events/.
On Wednesday, January 14, Gautam Dantas, assistant professor at the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, will present “Networks of Exchanging Antibiotic Resistomes in Human and Environmental Microbiota.” His talk will discuss research to assess the true depth of antibiotic resistance characteristics in the bacterial species collected from healthy human subjects, as well as soil samples. The Dantas Lab at Washington University works at the interface of microbial genomics, ecology, synthetic biology, and systems biology, to understand, harness, and engineer the biochemical processing potential of microbial communities.
On Thursday, January 15, Michael Specter, staff writer at the New Yorker and visiting professor in the Environmental and Urban Studies Program at Bard, presents “Relying on Reality: Separating Fact from Fiction in Daily Life.” Why do so many people hold views on a wide range of scientific issues—from climate change and vaccination to GMOs and evolution—that are at odds with all available facts? Specter writes about science, technology, and global public health. Since joining the New Yorker, he has published articles about genetically engineered foods, avian influenza, malaria,the world’s diminishing freshwater resources, synthetic biology, the attempt to create edible meat in a lab, the use of geoengineering to mitigate climate change, the power of the human microbiome, and the meaning of the term “carbon footprint.”
The Citizen Science Program at Bard College is an innovative program for all first-year students at Bard College. Through three weeks of intensive study during January intersession, students will develop a core understanding of both the conduct and the content of science. This foundation will prepare them as citizens to grapple with the ever increasing number of national and global issues influenced by science. The 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. This year, Citizen Science will focus on infectious diseases—what they are, how they’re transmitted, where they are most prevalent and why, and what we can do to reduce the global burden of disease.
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