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Symposium focuses on origins

Published December 5, 2013

Origins @ UB, a first-of-its-kind, interdisciplinary symposium for the arts, sciences and humanities, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus.

Inspired by the Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium series, the format for Origins @ UB consists of 30-to-40-minute colloquium-level talks — aimed at non-specialist faculty and graduate students — by experts from across the disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences. Speakers comprise a combination of UB faculty and invited speakers from other institutions. Their topics are loosely organized around one “Big Question”: Where did we come from?

Will Kinney, associate professor of physics and symposium organizer, says the question of “Origins” is one that unites the physical sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities in a way that few other basic questions do: Where did the universe come from? Where did life come from? What is the origin of human consciousness? Human culture?

Origins @ UB is predicated, Kinney says, on the idea that researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines have much to learn from each other, and aims to bring those people together to teach each other.

While the event is open to the entire university community and the public, the symposium is geared toward faculty and students in the arts and sciences.

For more information, contact Kinney at