This week CU Boulder is hosting the 64th Annual Conference on World Affairs that includes environment and science panels, such as a discussion on the role of practitioners at the science-society interface and a documentary that explores the question,“How do we become a sustainable civilization?”
Updates on the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, the innermost planet of our solar system, as well as local governments and approaches to achieving sustainability will also be addressed this week.
“64th Annual Conference on World Affairs.” April 9 – 13.
What? The Conference on World Affairs brings 100 speakers and performers from across and the country and around the globe to present 200 cross-disciplinary panels, plenary sessions and performances. Founded in 1948 as a forum on international affairs, the event has expanded to include science, environment, as well as the arts, media, diplomacy, technology, spirituality, politics, business, medicine, human rights and more.
Where? CU-Boulder campus
Time? See schedule for list of events and times
Cost? All events are free and open to the public
“Wag the Dog: Ethics, Accuracy and Impact of the Science on Extremes in Political Debates,” hosted by the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR). This is a concurrent event with the 64th Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado. April 9.
What? In the 1997 movie “Wag the Dog” a political operative and movie producer stage a war to cover up a presidential sex scandal. One of the characters exclaims, “What difference does it make if it’s true? If it’s a story and it breaks, they’re gonna run with it.” At the interface of science and the broader society of which it’s part, traditional roles are blurred, especially with the rise of new media. Scientists may act like journalists and journalists make judgments about science. Are there norms or guidelines for practitioners at the science-society interface? This seminar won’t necessarily provide answers, but it will cover a range of examples from different contexts to stimulate discussion and debate.
The speaker Roger Pielke Jr. is serving on the National Research Council Committee on Responsible Research. This committee is tasked with updating guidelines for scientists last proposed in 1992. Pielke is a professor in the Environmental Studies Program at CU Boulder and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES).
Where? CIRES auditorium, CU-Boulder. Map
Time? 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
“Growthbusters film screening and discussion with producer Dave Gardner,” hosted by CU-Boulder’s Environmental Center. This is a concurrent event with the 64th Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado. April 9.
What? This feature-length documentary examines the culture barriers preventing the human race from acting upon the knowledge that current levels of population and consumption are unsustainable. A discussion with film producer Dave Gardner and with Dr. Al Bartlett will follow the viewing.
Dr. Al Bartlett is Professor Emeritus in Nuclear Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder and has been a member of the faculty of the University of Colorado since 1950. He’s presented his celebrated lecture, Arithmetic, Population and Energy over 1,600 times.
Where? CU-Boulder, Humanities Room 250. Map
Time? 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Watch the trailer
“Geology of Mercury from MESSENGER,” hosted by JILA, a joint institute of CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).” April 9.
What? Louise Prockter, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., will lead the colloquium. Prockter heads up a small team dedicated to ensuring the images acquired at Mercury — from the dual imaging system onboard the MESSENGER spacecraft — will enable fundamental science questions to be addressed.
NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft went into orbit around the innermost planet of our solar system in March 2011. The spacecraft Mariner 10, launched in 1973, also visited Mercury, but MESSENGER is the first and only spacecraft to orbit the planet.
Where? JILA auditorium. Map
Time? 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
“Sustainability for Local Governments,” hosted by CU Boulder’s Sustainable Practices Program. April 13.
What? How do local governments get on a sustainable track? This course covers a brief scientific overview of climate change, how to develop a baseline assessment for a municipality, and indicators municipalities can use to track progress. The case study reviews include: Aspen, Albuquerque, Boulder, Chicago, Fort Collins and Portland.
Where? CU Boulder
Time? 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cost? General participants – $355. CU Boulder students – $177.50. CU Boulder Faculty/Staff – $284.00