“Science, Technology, and Society” Lecture Series, Fall 2016

In Fall 2016, the Center for Science and Society launched its partnership with École Polytechnique in Paris, France by co-hosting an interdisciplinary seminar series titled, “Science, Technology, and Society.” These public events took place in New York City and Paris, and featured scholars from École Polytechnique and Columbia University in dialogue.

Alliance hosted a panel "Science, Technology, and The Logics of Preventive War. Yasmine Ergas, Columbia prof      

The inaugural lecture and roundtable, “Science, Technology and the Logics of Preventive War,” was held on September 13, 2016 at Columbia University. Thomas Lindemann, Professor of Political Science at École Polytechnique and a visiting scholar at Columbia University, discussed the technological tools and forecasts used by decision makers and social scientists to predict the impact of conflict, using the First World War and the 2003 Iraq War as case studies. Professor Lindemann’s talk was followed by a roundtable discussion with the following guests:

Carol Cohn, Founding Director of the Consortium of Gender, Security and Human Rights
Yasmine Ergas, Director of the Specialization on Gender and Public Policy, Columbia University
Tim Halpin-Healy, Professor of Physics, Barnard College and Columbia University
Robert Jervis, Professor of International Politics, Columbia University

The recording of the event can be found on the École Polytechnique website.


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Samuel K. Roberts, Professor of History and of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, delivered the keynote lecture at the second event, “Racism and Public Health,” which was held on November 14, 2016 at the Columbia Global Center in Paris. In this lecture, Professor Roberts offered a “harm reduction” perspective on the role of race United States drug history since the 1870s, reevaluating the concepts of addiction and social stigma. The event also included a roundtable discussion with:

Soraya Boudia,  Professor of Sociology; Center for Research in Medicine, Science, Health, Mental health, and Society; Université Paris-Descarte
Renaud Crespin, Research Associate Professor of Political Science at CNRS, Center for the Sociology of Organizations / Sciences-Po
Bruno Falissard, Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine – Université Paris-Sud

You can watch a recording of the event here.


  Climate Change and the Anthropocene    

The third seminar of the series, “The Anthropocenic Sublime: A Critique,” was held on December 15, 2016 at Barnard College and featured a keynote speech by Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, researcher at CNRS – Centre Koyré, who analyzed the evocative power of the Anthropocene as new manmade geological age. The featured respondents were:

Adam Sobel, Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University
Frankie Pavia,  Ph.D. student at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Deborah Coen, Professor of History, Barnard College – Columbia University

The recording of the event can be viewed here.

Look out for announcements from the Center for Science and Society regarding future events featured in the “Science, Technology, and Society” series.


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