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CUSP Distinguished Speaker Series 2016-17


The CUSP Distinguished Speaker Series follows an intellectual theme that is the foundation of our year-long inquiry. This year's talks explore the theme of “Navigation.” We will consider navigation from the perspective of the natural and environmental sciences, engineering, literature, philosophy, art, history, politics, and journalism.

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Navigation in its most straightforward sense describes the process of guidance from place to place. One thinks of navigation in terms of nautical and aeronautical activities, or of zoological migration. Human exploration has involved the development of technical tools— from maps to sextants to compasses to Global Positioning Systems— that guide travelers from place to place and facilitate our understanding of our planet.  Insects, birds, mammals and other animals utilize various environmental cues to navigate between key biotic and abiotic resources, at both fine and coarse spatial and temporal scales.  Psychologists link these two through the study of mechanisms underlying the innate capacities for navigation that we humans share with other species, and the study of how these affect our brains, our memory, and our sense of self.

Geographical journeys are also intellectual, emotional, and spiritual ones. While literature, rich in descriptions of inner discovery tied to the external, draws the connection between navigation and the development of profound aspirations, philosophers consider navigation in terms of understanding alternative ways of structuring reality.  Computer scientists grapple with the technological tools, data challenges, and ethics of navigating and accessing online information.  Historians, sociologists, economists, and political scientists study how navigation has affected and affects the development and functioning of human societies and systems. 

Upcoming Talks

  • The season has ended.  

Past Talks

  • Robert O’Meally'This Music Demanded Action': The Challenge of the Core
    Monday, August 29, 2016; 12:00-2:00 p.m.; 3rd Floor Lecture Hall, Journalism School
  • George Michelsen Foy, Finding North: How Navigation Makes us Human
    Thursday, September 22, 2016; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; Rennert Hall, The Kraft Center
  • Gareth Williams, Navigating Life: the Odyssey
    Wednesday, October 5, 2016; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; 3rd Floor Lecture Hall, Journalism School
  • Ivan Šimonović, UN Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect
    Monday, October 10, 2016; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; 3rd Floor Lecture Hall, Journalism School
  • David HelfandNavigating the Misinformation Age
    Thursday, October 20, 2016; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; Rennert Hall, The Kraft Center
  • Matt VellaSmart Cars, and the Increasingly Compelling Case to Why Humans Shouldn't be Allowed to Drive
    Thursday, October 27, 2016; 6:00-8:00 p.m.; Rennert Hall, The Kraft Center
  • Kaitlyn Parkins, “Cool Jobs” Nocturnal Navigators: Understanding Migration Patterns of New York City's Birds and Bats
    Tuesday, November 1, 2016; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; 401 Lerner Hall
  • Jeff Kluger and Alan SternCosmic Navigation
    Monday, November 14, 2016; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; 3rd Floor Lecture Hall, Journalism School
  • Greg MilnerTime To Go
    Tuesday, January 31, 2017; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; Davis Auditorium
  • Avery AlphaForeign Fighter Flows and How We Stop Them
    Tuesday, February 7, 2017;  6:00–8:00 p.m.; Rennert Hall, The Kraft Center
  • Steve BellovinSoftware and the Problem of Complexity
    Tuesday, February 14, 2017; 6:00-8:00 p.m.; Davis Auditorium
  • Allison Cuneo, “Cool Jobs” Under the Shadow of ISIS: Digging Archaeology and Documenting Cultural Property Crimes in Northern Iraq
    Monday, March 6, 2017; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; 401 Lerner Hall
  • Lincoln Paine,“A Map and a Sense of Time: A Guide to Navigating the Global Past
    Tuesday, March 21, 2017; 6:00–8:00 p.m.; Davis Auditorium
  • Navigation, Education, and Democracy in Plato's Republic
    Tuesday, April 11, 2017; 6:00–8:00 p.m., Davis Auditorium

The CUSP Distinguished Speaker Series has come to an end this semester.

Check back in September.

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