Media & Events

Human Values and the Design of the Fight Against Poverty

b_300_0_16777215_00_http___i.telegraph.co.uk_multimedia_archive_01964_2_1964298c.jpgThese two lectures very largely draw on Abhijit Banerjee and my recent book Poor Economics. While the book is organized around thematic chapters, I have focused on two themes that are undercurrents of the entire book (they constitute two of the “five lessons” that we draw at the end “in lieu of a sweeping conclusion”). For each of the topics I will cover (paternalism vs. freedom, and hope as capability), I have tried to take the opportunity of preparing these lectures to highlight the fundamental argument that the book makes.

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Science and Civilisation in China

sir-geoffrey-lloyd

My first question goes like this: one might naturally assume that science developed in the same way whenever and wherever in the world it began to emerge. Yet I shall argue that science developed rather differently in China from the way it did in the West, in ancient Greece for example.

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Health Scan: Backs bear a heavy burden

amit gefen

Prof. Amit Gefen, 2002 Dan David Prize scholarship recipient, is one of the researchers who, have determined that the pressure of heavy loads carried on the back has the potential to damage the soft tissues of the shoulder, causing microstructural damage to the nerves.

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Prof. Randall Goldsmith, 2005 Dan David Prize scholarship recipient Receives NSF CAREER Award for Single-Molecule Research

Goldsmith.pngAssistant Professor Randall Goldsmith recently received a 5-year, $630,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Chemistry for “Single-Molecule Spectroscopy as a Mechanistic Tool for Studying Catalyst Reaction Dynamics.” The prestigious CAREER Award funds promising assistant professors and helps them establish broad foundations for their future research. To be considered, projects must demonstrate a deliberate focus on integrating the proposed research with education.

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What Big Data Will Never Explain

Leon WieseltierShe told him that she loves me, which is an important data point.” I overheard those words a few months ago, and they stopped me in my tracks. I did not know the smitten and empirical young man who spoke them well enough to offer a correction of his way of talking about desire, but I was pleased to have stumbled upon such a blunt formulation of one of the shibboleths of the day. I refer to the messianic conception of data, or Big Data. (It always sounds to me like a tragic bully out of Tennessee Williams: “Big Data’s going to live!”) What the young man was doing was datafying. I take the term from Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier, whose book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, is a useful if propagandistic introduction to the digital world’s latest instrument of salvation.

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Environmental Philosophy and the Question of Origins

flood-Biogea-300x223.jpgReview of Biogea, by Michel Serres. Translated by Randolph Burks (Univocal, 2012). Distributed by University of Minnesota Press.

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