UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – January 11, 2021

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

11 January 2021

Hi Everyone,

Starting last Wednesday afternoon we’ve been dealing with both a coup and covid.  As Pat Remington noted with the opening slide of his WN@TL talk on January 6 on “Covid-19:  The Pandemic, Public Health, and Politics,” the two are intertwined.

The competing worldviews of what we know, how we know it, and how we test ideas have been on grand display for nearly a year now in the realm of covid.  In the realms of evolution, of vaccinations, and of climate change, the disputes have been in ferment and foment for decades, even centuries.

Divisions over how we weigh evidence and whether to give weight to expertise, and especially the nature of proof and disproof of priors, underscore the differences in what it takes to change our minds, change our values, change our tribes, and change our policies.

There have been less electric times to be engaging the public in science, to be inviting them to take part in the life of the university,  to be encouraging people of all ages to see themselves as vital parts of the scholarly enterprise, to be helping people hone their skills in epistemology and ethics as they strive to make personal decisions and to take part in forming public policies.
But only rarely have the stakes been higher.

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, January 11. 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 January 11 at 10am includes:
  • Welcome
  • Updates
  • Science Expeditions Campus-wide Open House  April 9-11:  
    • Online Events  
    • Outdoor Activities on Campus & Other UW-Madison Sites   
    • Communications & Promotions
    • Engineering Expo update
  • 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:
  • “Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” public science seminar, by Zoom.  Wednesdays at 7 pm CT.  Every Wednesday night, 50 times a year. Register at go.wisc.edu/240r59.   WN@TL resumes on January 13 with Prof Nam Kim of Anthropology on “Plumbing Nebulous Depths: Violence and Warfare in Humanity’s Past”
  • The UW Now Livestream.  Tuesday January 12 at 7pm CST.  “The Future of Politics and Policy” with David Canon, professor of American politics; Ryan Owens, professor of political science; and Susan Webb Yackee, director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

4.  Upcoming Lineup for Wednesday Nite @ The Lab online by zoom starting at 7pm Central.  Register at https://go.wisc.edu/240r59
Schedule and descriptions at https://science.wisc.edu/wednesday-nite-at-the-lab/

-Jan 13 Nam Kim, Anthropology, “Plumbing Nebulous Depths: Violence and Warfare in Humanity’s Past”
-Jan 20 Claudia Solis-Lemus, Plant Pathology & Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, “Through the Looking-Glass of Data Science”
-Jan 27 Sean Carroll, Howard Hughes Medical Institute,  “A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You” 
5. Paul Brandl and Tom Zinnen, co-organizers of the “PLATO Frontiers in Life Sciences” seminar series, are looking for your suggestions of colleagues who might like to give a ~50 minute talk by zoom on their research to a group of ~25 retirees.  They’re an affirmative and appreciative audience.  Now in its 16th year, “PLATO Frontiers” runs Wednesdays starting at 1pm, beginning on February 24, 2021. Please contact Tom Zinnen with suggestions:  zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu.
6.  The Arboretum has just announced the Winter Enrichment lecture series, Arboretum Research Symposium, and a few winter classes. Below is information for the Updater. 
The 2021 lectures will be virtual on Thursday mornings, February 4 through April 8, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Lectures are $10 each and advance registration is required. 7 or more lectures for $70. Talks will begin promptly at 10 a.m. (CST).
February 4. Relationships, History, Hip Hop, and Forestry: Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion in the Environmental Sciences. Thomas Easley, Assistant Dean of Community and Inclusion, Yale University, Yale School of the Environment. Register by January 31.
February 11. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Biodiversity Conservation. Robin Kimmerer, Distinguished Teaching Professor, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York. Register by February 7. NOTE: This lecture will not be recorded.
February 25. How Microbes Shape Our Lives, Transform the Environment, and Influence Climate Change. Charlotte Francoeur, Ph.D. Student, Department of Bacteriology, UW–Madison. Register by February 21.
March 4. Holy Ground: Working with Faith and Indigenous Leaders to Build Resilience. Dekila Chungyalpa, Director, Loka Initiative, Center for Healthy Minds, UW–Madison. Register by February 28.
March 11. Beyond the Clinical Walls: Environmental Determinants of Health. Jamie Ferschinger, Director, and Stephanie Mercado, Neighborhood Revitalization Coordinator, Department of Environmental Health, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers. Register by March 7.
March 18. Climate Change and Wisconsin’s Forests: What We Know, What We Expect, and How to Adapt. Stephen Handler, Climate Change Specialist, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. Register by March 14.
March 25. Treaty Rights, Culturally Important Beings, and Indigenous-led Climate Adaptation in the Ojibwe Ceded Territories. Robert Croll, Policy Analyst and Climate Change Program Coordinator, and Hannah Panci, Climate Change Scientist, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Register by March 21.
April 1. Using Markets to Achieve Conservation: Examples from the Field. Dominic Parker, Associate Professor, Agricultural and Applied Economics, UW–Madison. Register by March 28.
April 8. Climate Change, Reality versus Development: Global South and Worldwide Perspective. Marie-Josée Paula Houénou, specialist in climate change and environmental law and strategies, and city advisor, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow at UW–Madison. Register by April 4.
February 18. Arboretum Research Symposium. Students, faculty, and other researchers will present findings from projects on Arboretum lands and in the Lake Wingra watershed. Free. Register in advance. About the Arboretum Research Symposium»
Fridays, February 5 and 12, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. 
Nature Poetry, session 1
These classes offer a sampling of modern nature poetry. Session is two classes, February 5 and 12. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee: $15 for session. Space is limited. Registration required by January 31.
Fridays, February 19 and 26, 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
Nature Poetry, session 2 
These classes offer a sampling of modern nature poetry. Session is two classes, February 19 and 26. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee: $15 for session. Space is limited. Registration required by February 14. 
Tuesdays, March 2 and 9, 6:30–8 p.m.
Writing Your “Marshland Elegy” 
In this two-part class, we will interpret Alo Leopold’s “Marshland Elegy” through the contemporary lens of unprecedented loss of species and ecological diversity. Session is two classes, March 2 and 9. Instructor: Troy Hess. Fee: $15 for session. Space is limited. Registration required by February 25.