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Format: 2021-09-27
Format: 2021-09-27

October

Events for October

Thursday
6:00 pm
October 21
H.F. DeLuca Forum

Wisconsin Science Festival: A World Without Soil, Jo Handelsman

This event is open to the public.

A scientist’s manifesto addressing a soil loss crisis accelerated by poor conservation practices and climate change. This book by celebrated biologist Jo Handelsman lays bare the complex connections among climate change, soil erosion, food and water security, and drug discovery. Humans depend on soil for 95 percent of global food production, yet let it erode at unsustainable rates. In the United States, China, and India, vast tracts of farmland will be barren of topsoil within this century. The combination of intensifying erosion caused by climate change and the increasing food needs of a growing world population is creating a desperate need for solutions to this crisis.

Writing for a nonspecialist audience, Jo Handelsman celebrates the capacities of soil and explores the soil-related challenges of the near future. She begins by telling soil’s origin story, explains how it erodes and the subsequent repercussions worldwide, and offers solutions. She considers lessons learned from indigenous people who have sustainably farmed the same land for thousands of years, practices developed for large-scale agriculture, and proposals using technology and policy initiatives.

Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Thursday
7:00 pm
October 21
H.F. DeLuca Forum

Big Ideas for Busy People: How Do We Know What We Know?

This event is open to the public.

Big Ideas for Busy People: How Do We Know What We Know—The Role of Evidence in Advancing Understanding is free and open to the public.

This popular, fast-paced event featuring five-minute flash talks from some of UW-Madison’s biggest brains is back at the Wisconsin Science Festival! Join us for a fun-filled evening at the Discovery Building – moderated by Eric Wilcots, Dean of the College of Letters & Science – as we explore how we know what we know.

Featuring:

- John Hawks, anthropology, Where did we come from and who are we?
Amy Barger, astronomy, How do we know how old the universe is?
- Phil Newmark, Morgridge Institute for Research, How do we know how animals develop?
- Hilary Dugan, integrative biology, How do we know climate change is real? Lakes as a chronicle of our changing planet
- Keith Findley, law, How can we really know who dunnit – the Wisconsin Innocence Project
- Anne Pringle, botany, How can we know where fungi are – and aren’t?

Friday
8:00 am
October 22
Virtual

Wisconsin Science Festival

The four-day Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide celebration with events (both in-person and virtual) for people of all ages. Events include hands-on science exhibitions, demonstrations, performances, tours, pub nights, workshops and more.

Saturday
8:00 am
October 23
Virtual

Wisconsin Science Festival

The four-day Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide celebration with events (both in-person and virtual) for people of all ages. Events include hands-on science exhibitions, demonstrations, performances, tours, pub nights, workshops and more.

Saturday
11:00 am
October 23
H.F. DeLuca Forum

Wisconsin Book Festival: When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People, Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro

This event is open to the public.

There is an epidemic of bad thinking in the world today. An alarming number of people are embracing crazy, even dangerous ideas. They believe that vaccinations cause autism. They reject the scientific consensus on climate change as a "hoax." And they blame the spread of COVID-19 on the 5G network or a Chinese cabal. Worse, bad thinking drives bad acting--it even inspired a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol. In this book, Steven Nadler and Lawrence Shapiro argue that the best antidote for bad thinking is the wisdom, insights, and practical skills of philosophy. When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People provides an engaging tour through the basic principles of logic, argument, evidence, and probability that can make all of us more reasonable and responsible citizens.

When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People shows how we can more readily spot and avoid flawed arguments and unreliable information; determine whether evidence supports or contradicts an idea; distinguish between merely believing something and knowing it; and much more. In doing so, the book reveals how epistemology, which addresses the nature of belief and knowledge, and ethics, the study of moral principles that should govern our behavior, can reduce bad thinking. Moreover, the book shows why philosophy's millennia-old advice about how to lead a good, rational, and examined life is essential for escaping our current predicament. In a world in which irrationality has exploded to deadly effect, When Bad Thinking Happens to Good People is a timely and essential guide for a return to reason.

Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Saturday
12:30 pm
October 23
H.F. DeLuca Forum

Magic Mushrooms? New Research on Fungus-Derived Hallucinogens at UW-Madison and Beyond

This Wisconsin Science Festival event is free and open to the public.

Psychedelic compounds from fungi and other plant sources are being studied in combination with psychotherapy for the treatment of a number of mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, PTSD and addiction. UW-Madison has launched a new transdisciplinary center and master’s degree program to support the next generation of research on the potential value of these psychoactive agents to address a range of conditions and contexts. Wisconsin Public Radio’s Steve Paulson and a distinguished panel of experts will explore what we know about these compounds, how they work, and their role and impact across cultures.

Panelists:

- Nancy Keller, Medical Microbiology & Immunology and Bacteriology
- Charles Raison, Psychiatry
- Alberto Vargas, Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies
- Cody Wenthur, School of Pharmacy

This event will be held at the Discovery Building and will also be available online.

Saturday
1:45 pm
October 23
H.F. DeLuca Forum

Fungi in Wisconsin: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This Wisconsin Science Festival event is free and open to the public.

Fungi in Wisconsin go well beyond button mushrooms and meaty portobellos. They are important to our state in numerous ways that range from posing serious threats to crops and ecosystems to being essential for numerous organisms and industries like brewing. Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller and a panel of experts explore the roles that fungi play in supporting and threatening important Wisconsin habitats and industries.

Panelists:

- Amanda Gevens, Plant Pathology
- Chris Hittinger, Genetics
- Leslie Holland, Plant Pathology
- Michelle Jusino, U.S. Forest Service
- Dan Lindner, U.S. Forest Service

Saturday
3:00 pm
October 23
H.F. DeLuca Forum

Wisconsin Book Festival: Shape, Jordan Ellenberg

This event is open to the public.

From the New York Times-bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong—himself a world-class geometer—a far-ranging exploration of the power of geometry, which turns out to help us think better about practically everything. How should a democracy choose its representatives? How can you stop a pandemic from sweeping the world? How do computers learn to play Go, and why is learning Go so much easier for them than learning to read a sentence? Can ancient Greek proportions predict the stock market? (Sorry, no.) What should your kids learn in school if they really want to learn to think? All these are questions about geometry. For real.

If you’re like most people, geometry is a sterile and dimly remembered exercise you gladly left behind in the dust of ninth grade, along with your braces and active romantic interest in pop singers. If you recall any of it, it’s plodding through a series of miniscule steps only to prove some fact about triangles that was obvious to you in the first place. That’s not geometry. Okay, it is geometry, but only a tiny part, which has as much to do with geometry in all its flush modern richness as conjugating a verb has to do with a great novel. Shape reveals the geometry underneath some of the most important scientific, political, and philosophical problems we face. Geometry asks: Where are things? Which things are near each other? How can you get from one thing to another thing? Those are important questions. The word “geometry”comes from the Greek for “measuring the world.” If anything, that’s an undersell. Geometry doesn’t just measure the world—it explains it. Shape shows us how.

Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Saturday
4:00 pm
October 23
H.F. DeLuca Forum

Wisconsin Book Festival: Fans, Larry Olmsted

This event is open to the public.

Larry Olmsted’s writing and research have been called “eye-opening” (People), “impressive” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), and “enlightening” (Kirkus Reviews). Now, the New York Times and Washington Post bestselling author turns his expertise to a subject that has never been fully explored, delivering a highly entertaining game changer that uses brand-new research to show us why being a sports fan is good for us individually and is a force for positive change in society.

Fans is a passionate reminder of how games, teams, and the communities dedicated to them are vital to our lives. Citing fascinating new studies on sports fandom, Larry Olmsted makes the case that the more you identify with a sports team, the better your social, psychological, and physical health is; the more meaningful your relationships are; and the more connected and happier you are. Fans maintain better cognitive processing as their gray matter ages; they have better language skills; and college students who follow sports have higher GPAs, better graduation rates, and higher incomes after graduating. And there’s more: On a societal level, sports help us heal after tragedies, providing community and hope when we need it most. Fans is the perfect gift for anyone who loves sports or anyone who loves someone who loves sports.

Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Sunday
8:00 am
October 24
Virtual

Wisconsin Science Festival

The four-day Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide celebration with events (both in-person and virtual) for people of all ages. Events include hands-on science exhibitions, demonstrations, performances, tours, pub nights, workshops and more.

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