Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science
Thursday April 7, 2016
Taylor Hall, Room 102
We think of ourselves as free compared to Galileo – free to think, write, learn, teach, research, and speak about “dangerous” ideas. But are we? This lecture explores the reality of America today, in which financial interests, university branding campaigns, progressive and conservative identity politics, Title IX worries, trigger warnings, and the like are all working to impinge upon the work university faculties and students must do to keep democracy healthy in the age of the Internet. Drawing on her own two decades of work as a researcher and activist around “dangerous” ideas about sex and gender, Dr. Dreger will argue that what we need is to come to a common understanding of the pursuit of evidence as the most important moral imperative of our day.
Alice Dreger is an historian of science and social justice advocate. She argues passionately the need to use historic and scientific evidence to create a more just world. Much of her academic and advocacy work has focused on improving the lives of people born with norm-challenging bodies.
Pauline Newman graduated from Vassar in 1947 and then went on to earn an MS from Columbia, a Ph.D. in Applied Physical Chemistry from Yale and an LL.B. from NYU. Her early career involved research, patent law, and policy work. Since 1984 Judge Pauline Newman has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Her distinguished career as a jurist has included authoring many important opinions in the field of intellectual property and patent law, and more broadly, she has been involved in many decisions that have bridged issues of importance for the practice and application of science and technology, for government, business and academia.
Presented by the Pauline Newman ‘47 Distinguished Lecture in Science, Technology, and Society
Sponsored by the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS)