URI Honors Colloquium

Sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Honors Program

Honors Colloquium 2017 –

Origins: Life, the Universe and Everything


Tuesday Evenings, 7 p.m.-September 12, 2017 – December 5, 2017- Edwards Auditorium- URI Kingston Campus


Dawn Cardace, Joel Chandlee, Holly Dunsworth, Albert Kausch, and Alycia Moseley Austin

Where did we come from? How did the universe begin? How did galaxies, stars and planets form? How did life begin? How did intelligent, rational beings arise? And, from such humble beginnings, how did we develop a mind that can ask these big questions?

The topic of ‘origins’ will be explored in 2017 Honors Colloquium and will include speakers whose work pursues answers to these important questions. Please join us as we provide a forum to shed light on our current best understanding of humanity’s place in the cosmos.

Speakers will include:

September 12, 2017 

Hakeem Oluseyi – Astrophysicist, cosmologist, inventor, TV host, and educator.

He is a space sciences education manager for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and Distinguished Research Professor of Physics and Space Sciences at Florida Institute of Technology.

September 19, 2017 

Jane Goodall – Primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, United Nations Messenger of Peace, and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots and Shoots program.

She is world-renowned for her field research with chimpanzees, which transformed our understanding of chimpanzees and the relationship between humans and animals.

September 26, 2017 

Meave Leakey – Paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Hubbard Medal recipient.

She is Director of Field Research at Turkana Basin Institute and a research professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Anthropology. Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Women’s Studies Lecture

October 3, 2017 

Robert Hazen – Earth scientist, mineralogist, and astrobiologist.

He is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University.

October 10, 2017 

Emily Lakdawalla – Senior editor and planetary evangelist.

She is a science writer and blogger of The Planetary Society and a passionate advocate for the exploration of all the worlds in our solar system.

October 17, 2017 

Jack Szostak – Geneticist and 2009 Nobel Prize Laureate.

He is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University, and Alex A. Rich Distinguished Investigator, Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital.

October 24, 2017 

Paul Davies – Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author.

He is Regents’ Professor and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University and principal investigator in the Center for Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology at Arizona State University.

November 14, 2017 

Heather Berlin – Neuroscientist, educator, and TV host.

She is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a visiting scholar at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.

November 28, 2017 

Sara Seager – Astronomer, planetary scientist, and author.

She is a professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. She was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in space.

December 5, 2017 

Anil Seth – Neuroscientist, editor, author, and blogger.

He is a professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex, co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and editor-in-chief of Neuroscience and Consciousness.

NOTE: More speakers and presentations to come! Please check back soon.

For more information on colloquium events contact Deborah Gardiner at 401.874.2381 or dgardiner@uri.edu.

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact Lynne Derbyshire at 401.874.4732 or derbyshire@uri.edu.

If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401.874.2303 at least five business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call the R.I. Relay Service at 711.

Think Big We Do

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