BUFFALO, N.Y. — A group of University at Buffalo
colleagues has put together an eclectic event aimed at breaking
boundaries between disciplines: Origins @ UB, a daylong symposium
at which experts in fields from philosophy to physics will discuss
one “Big Question”: Where did we come from?
The public is invited.
When: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16
Where: 120 Clemens Hall on UB’s North Campus
(building No. 9 in the orange section of this map: http://bit.ly/1jq1rRX)
One-line event description: A symposium on the origins of
the universe, the Earth, life, consciousness and culture
What: The agenda
will consist of 40-minute academic lectures by UB College of Arts
and Sciences researchers, including:
- David Braun (philosophy)
- Craig Colder (psychology)
- Omer Gokcumen (biological sciences)
- Tracy Gregg (geology)
- Will Kinney (physics)
- Charles Mitchell (geology)
- Salvatore Rappoccio (physics)
- Paige Sarlin (media study)
- Phil Stevens (anthropology)
The talks will look at problems like the influence of mass
extinction on evolution, and time as an emergent property in the
Who should come: Anyone interested in hearing
graduate-level presentations. The event is free and open to the UB
community and public.
Why you should come: It’s a way to push your
intellectual boundaries, says Will Kinney, UB associate professor
of physics, who planned the event with UB geologist Tracy Gregg and
fellow UB physicists Salvatore Rappoccio and Dejan Stojkovic.
“There’s a need for creative spaces that span
disciplines, and this is a first attempt at creating that
space,” he said. “People tend to get stuck in narrow
boxes, but many ideas that are truly transformative come from
hearing points of view outside of your own field of
Kinney is a co-founder of Buffalo’s Science
& Art Cabaret, which brings scientists and artists together
a few times a year to speak to the public about a common theme.
Since its creation in 2009, the cabaret — usually held in a
basement club — has tackled topics ranging from magic and
illusions to relativity.
Origins @ UB will be a little different, featuring
colloquium-level lectures geared toward graduate students and
faculty members. The conversation will be more academic in nature
— but still entertaining.
In a flyer promoting the event, Kinney writes, “The theme
of Origins is a jumping-off point, not a straitjacket: each speaker
is challenged to ask how his or her research, or field as a whole,
contributes to understanding where we, as individuals or as a
society or as a species or as an ecosystem or as a cosmos, came
Sponsors: Physics at the Falls conference series and the
UB Humanities Institute