Michael Specter, staff writer for The New Yorker
, engaged and entertained a large and diverse audience at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College
, February 6. Specter’s lecture, based on his book,Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Live
, was the first in the Spring 2013 Science in the Modern World Lecture series, sponsored in part by The Friends of Natural & Social Sciences at Purchase College and The New York Academy of Sciences.In his lecture, Spector addressed and examined the question: Has people’s mistrust of institutions turned them against scientific and technological advances that benefit us and society at large? Instead of being seen as a source of progress, he suggests, science is viewed by many as just another special interest group, with its own agenda to promote. Accordingly, there are efforts to ban genetically modified foods in a world where millions of people are at risk for malnutrition and starvation, and citizen groups protest the use of vaccines, one of the most effective public health measures ever developed. Specter argued for a “new enlightenment,” rather than slipping back into magical thinking about the world we live in.
The lecture, was free and open to the public.
Future lectures in the Purchase College Science in the Modern World series include:
Climate Whiplash: What Happens After Global Warming?
Professor, Paul Smith’s College, Research Associate for
University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute
March 6, 2013
The Science of Saving Tigers
Executive Director, Wildlife Conservation
Society’s Asia Program
April 3, 2013