Robert B. and Floretta F. Austin Distinguished Lecture in Science
The eleventh annual Robert B. and Floretta F. Austin Distinguished Lecture in Science was held on March 1, 2016.
Oh the Humanity: Challenges to Solving Chronic, Hard Problems in a Rapidly Changing World
Presented by Margaret Werner-Washburne, Ph.D.
Regents’ Professor Emerita
University of New Mexico Department of Biology
While we live our lives in biological time, many parts of our world are changing exponentially. We are faced with chronic, hard problems in education and other important social and political arenas. Meanwhile, from computers and the Internet to biology and genetic engineering, the speed and impact of change affects almost every person in our country. Humans are hard wired to respond specifically to challenges that seem intractable or appear rapidly. I will talk about my path as a scientist and discuss approaches to identifying and solving these types of challenges and the role the Mountain West might play in solving the biggest challenges.
The Austin Lecture
The Austin Lecture is funded by the Robert B. and Floretta F. Austin Memorial Endowment, which was established by the family and friends of the Austins in 1987. Bob Austin graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in metallurgical engineering in 1934. He was a long-time supporter of the university and a founder of the College of Mines and Earth Resources Constituent Alumni Association (C2A2). All three of the Austins’ children earned degrees from the University of Idaho, and two grandchildren are alumni as well.
For additional information, contact Eric Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Richard A. Feely, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
- Peter Donnelly, Director, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
- Jill Seaman, Infectious Disease Physician, MacArthur Fellows
- John L. Phillips, retired, NASA Astronaut
- Carolyn Porco, Adjunct Professor, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado in Boulder
- Susan L. Brantley Professor, Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University