The CALS Speaker Series aims to bring in distinguished guest speakers to provide our community with insightful perspectives on a variety of topics. All presentations are free and open to the public.
Spring 2018 CALS Speaker Series
ABT Framework: The Communications Tool Science Has Been Needing
Wednesday, April 4
UI Administration Building, Auditorium
In this talk, Olson will explain the ABT Narrative, “And, But, Therefore,” to help scientists develop narratives essential for truly effective communication. ABT is the bridge between the sciences and the humanities that has been needed ever since C.P. Snow’s 1959 essay, “The Two Cultures.”
Science and Narrative Panel
Thursday, April 5
Idaho Commons Whitewater Room
In this panel, Olson and Jayde Lovell will draw on their three years of running the Story Circles Narrative Program to lay out four hypotheses that have intrigued them regarding how the brain processes narrative, gets better at narrative, possible developmental consequences of narrative and the possible impact of social media on narrative ability. The four hypotheses will then be addressed by a panel of three neurophysiologists from the University of Idaho, followed by Q&A with the audience.
Improving Water Quality: Are Economics and the Environment Always at Odds?
Thursday, April 12
Idaho Commons Summit Room
In this presentation, what is known about the current state of water quality in the United States, with a particular focus on agricultural sources, is outlined. With this backdrop, a range of policy and private market approaches to addressing agricultural water pollution problems will be discussed including the possible role of certification programs, water quality markets and trading, voluntary adoption of conservation practices, level of federal and state financial support, presence of state level regulations and the role of conservation compliance in the current and proposed Farm Bill.
Randy Olson is a scientist-turned-filmmaker who is the author of three books on science communication. He earned his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University, then became a professor of marine biology at the University of New Hampshire. After achieving tenure, he departed academia to attend the U.S.C. Cinema School, followed by two decades of filmmaking in Hollywood, and now has circled back to science and academia to relate what he has learned.
His first book, “Don’t Be Such A Scientist,” sold over 50,000 copies and will be released as a second edition with 50 pages of new content in April 2018. His latest book, “Houston, We Have A Narrative” laid out the concept of his Story Circles Narrative Training program he now runs with several government agencies and has involved over 1,000 scientists. He was also the writer/director of the feature documentary, “Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus,” that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and aired on Showtime for two years.
Learn more about Randy at www.scienceneedsstory.com.
Catherine L. Kling is the Charles F. Curtis Distinguished Professor of Economics, President’s Chair of Environmental Economics and Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015.
Kling has published nearly 100 refereed journal articles and book chapters which have received over 8,000 (google scholar) citations. At Iowa State, she leads an interdisciplinary research group developing integrated assessment models related to agricultural land use, water quality and ecosystem service valuation which has received over $7 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Kling’s engagement in the policy process includes over ten years of service as a member EPA’s Science Advisory Board, membership on the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Research Council and a member of five National Research Council studies. She served as president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, has held editorial positions at ten economics journals, and has received seven awards from professional associations for her research including the Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. She is a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resources Economists, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and a University Fellow at Resources for the Future.
Wed. April 11, 6 p.m., Ag Sciences Auditorium, Rm 106
This year's speaker is an alumna, director of USA Cycling and the only three-time female athlete to win consecutively at the Olympic Summer Games for the U.S.
- Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Topic: Innovations for 21st Century Food Systems
- Cara L. Santa Maria, M.S., Science Communicator and Journalist
Fred Gould, Distinguished University Professor, North Carolina State University
Topic: What’s for Dinner? A Guide to Understanding GMOs