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Rationally Speaking


June Public Lecture: Matt Strassler

The Einstein Obsession:

Science, Myth and Public Perception

WHEN: June 16th, 2pm

WHERE: Jefferson Market Library, 425 6th Ave. West Village, NYC

Free and open to the public!

Who hasn't heard of Einstein? We all know Einstein failed eighth grade math. (Although he didn't.)  We know he showed energy is the same thing as mass (or was it "matter"?), that he's the father of the atomic bomb, that he was an old man with frizzy hair, and that he was a patent clerk whose theory was that everything is relative and that nothing can move faster than light.  This messy assortment of half-truths and misconceptions permeates our culture and affects public perceptions of science, at many different levels.  In this talk we'll consider how our culture's obsession with Einstein impacts efforts to convey science to the public.

Matt Strassler has been a professor of theoretical particle physics and string theory at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington, and Rutgers University. He is a former Sloan Foundation fellow and is an elected member of the American Physical Society. In addition to carrying out research related to the Large Hadron Collider (the big new accelerator in Europe that is looking for the Higgs particle), he runs a website, Of Particular Significance, whose purpose is to convey information about science, especially particle physics, to the public.


NECSS 2012: April 21-22 Tickets still available!

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism (NECSS – pronounced “nexus”) is an educational conference held annually in New York City. As its name suggests, NECSS explores the intersection of science, skepticism, the media, and society for the purpose of promoting a more rational world.

A complete list of prior NECSS speakers is available here.

Register for tickets today! Discounts available for New York City Skeptics members!


Darwin Day Celebration 2012

The Evolution of Altruism and Social Intelligence

Time: Sunday, Feb. 12, 2:00 PM
Place: Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Sq
New York University, New York

Free and open to the public!

What can the decision making skills of monkeys tell us about our own tendency toward irrationality? How do chimps and human toddlers decide when and how to help others? Discover how surprisingly smart and "nice" our closest relatives are and how this impacted our own development and evolution.

On the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, explore the origins of the human mind with prominent psychologists Laurie Santos, director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale Univeristy, and Felix Warneken, Department of Psychology at Harvard University.

Dr. Santos and Warneken join Massimo Pigliucci, philosopher and evolutionary biologist at the City University of New York, in discussion about altruism, decision making, and the evolution of human cognition.

Sponsored by New York City Skeptics and Center for Inquiry in New York City.