UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – October 26, 2020

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

26 October 2020

Hi Everyone,

In the past seven days the president attacked Anthony Fauci as “a disaster” and called other health-science experts “these idiots.”

Scientists and science have been in the cross-hairs before, but at least in my lifetime rarely so vitriolically while a body count is rising so relentlessly.

Science is the S in STEM, and I’m glad that STEM is embedded in “epistemology,” the branch of philosophy that asks what is knowable and not knowable, what is proof and disproof.

It reminds me of my philosophy professor’s little nudge:  before there was “cogito ergo sum” there was “dubito ergo sum” — I doubt, therefore I am — or as Descartes wrote, “We cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt.”

But beyond ideas of doubt and belief and credibility and reliability,  many of the people we get to work with in our outreach are also developing their own world-views of how each person as an individual and of how each community as a culture come to know, or to doubt, or come to know they don’t know.  And yet we must act.

Several of the science outreach events this week remind me that covid and global warming are now on our front burners, but it’s a large stove with a range of burners.  It’s helpful to have cooks who work with intelligence and diligence, drawing on experience and innovation, with a focus on the pan in hand but with an eye towards the entire dinner and towards all those who are at the dining table.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen


Note: please visit https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/ for the updater archive.

Notable This Week

1.  Science Alliance meets weekly by Webex at 10:00 am Mondays, including today, October 26. Email Liz Jesse at ejesse2@wisc.edu or Tom Zinnen at zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu to receive the link. The meeting notes are archived on https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/.

The draft agenda for October 26 at 10am includes:

-Updates from colleagues and their science outreach programs
-Wisconsin Science Festival review #2, October 15-18, on line, all across Wisconsin
-Engineering Expo
-UW Science Expeditions in April:  suggestions for parallel planning for online, hybrid, and in person;  refresher on options for team communications and for file sharing
-Other announcements or topics

2.  Please add your upcoming online programs or resources with learners of any ages to the list at http://science.wisc.edu/ and be sure to include program events in the calendar at http://today.wisc.edu and tag them with “Science” and any other appropriate tag.

3.  Programming Events coming this week and soon:

Badger Talks Live:  –  October 27 at noon, “Climate Change and Ecosystems:  Lessons from the Past.”  Jack Williams, Geography.   https://www.facebook.com/UWConnects/live  &  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/”

“PLATO Frontiers in Life Sciences” public seminar, by Zoom.  Wednesdays at 1 pm CT.  September 30 through December 9 (except Nov 25). https://uwmadison.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvcOmqqDMiEtDdb9mSYczXmivRVETlkeUp   This week:  “Food Systems Under Stress, Especially by Covid.”  Michelle Miller, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

“Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” public science seminar, by Zoom.  Wednesdays at 7 pm CT.  Every Wednesday night, 50 times a year https://uwmadison.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUrce2vrDwtHNBMv0FxIcmw56npNOhu831_   This week: “From Grass to Gas:  A BioFuels Update.”  Allison Bender and Caryn Wadler, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center & Wisconsin Energy Institute

The UW Now Livestream.  Tuesday.  Speaker TBD.

Virtual Saturday Science Workshop with UW Space Place. Oct 31 at 10:00am. Check at http://www.spaceplace.wisc.edu/#satworkshops

About Every Two Weeks:  Maritime Archeology Webinars.  Tamara Thomsen and Caitlin Zant. Wisconsin Historical Society.  Archive of past talks at https://wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Article/CS16271   Contact Amy Wyatt for dates and times.

4.   UW Students speak out about Climate Change
Give a listen to these 12 “elevator speeches” from summer 2020. https://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/education/AOS102/

5.  From the Wisconsin Energy Institute:

October 29 at 4:00 pm CDT (Note: the start time is 4:00pm CDT, rather than 4:30 as mistakenly stated in previous Updaters): Climate Solutions Workshops for Educators 
The Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program and the Wisconsin Energy Institute are excited to bring no-cost interactive climate solutions workshops to your middle or high school classroom. Explore the En-ROADS simulation with us as you network with other teachers and imagine how this workshop fits into your curriculum. Learn more and Register here.

November 17 at 4:15 pm CST: Energy and Climate Justice Forward in Energy Forum

The negative economic and environmental impacts of our fossil fuel based energy system have concentrated effects on communities of color. Centuries of racial segregation, redlining, and unequal pay have left these marginalized groups on land where they face disproportionately high levels of pollution and are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Communities of color also face systemic disadvantages in energy costs, higher energy burdens, and limited access to renewable energy benefits. Join us on November 17 from 4:15–5:45pm for a panel discussion on these issues and how we can address energy and climate justice with introductory remarks from Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. Learn more and Register Here.

6.  Upcoming Events from the UW-Madison Arboretum

Virtual Lecture Series – “Land, Culture, Identity: Roots of Resilience”
Tuesdays in October, from 7:00–8:30 p.m.  More at https://arboretum.wisc.edu/learn/adult-education/public-talks/
Free. Advance registration required.  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSffX5C9FD4UhjYp5k0cl_lHKsR9rOiCMyc55p7CMcdBJPhXEQ/viewform

– October 6. Decolonization and Indigenization of Agriculture: The Foundation of Building a Resilient Regenerative System. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin is the owner-founder of Regeneration Farms LLC, and founder and president of the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance.

– October 13. Preserving the Wisdom of the Land and Traditional Food Systems through Education. Elena Terry is the founder and executive chef of Wild Bearies, and the food and culinary program coordinator for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance

– October 20. Honor the Guardians, Respect the Land. Pao Vue, PhD, is a wetland biologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

– October 27. The African American Land Ethic. Lillian “Ebonie” Alexander is the executive director of the Black Family Land Trust.