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OHC lectures

2019–20 Convergence: intersections between the sciences and the humanities

The Convergence lecture series will highlight key areas of human experience where science and the humanities intersect as well as areas of divergence where science and the humanities could be brought into more productive relation. Our speakers will discuss a range of topics and perspectives relating to bioethics, health and justice, climate change and human adaptation, and neuroscience and the human brain.

As scientific research opportunities expand, urgent questions concerning the impact of these discoveries on the human experience are coming to the forefront of the public debate: How is the research being done? What ethical practices and guidelines are being adopted to ensure that human rights and biological diversity are protected? Who is funding the research and why? How are the innovations being used—or misused? What are the impacts to individuals, communities, countries, and our planet? When is the right moment to pivot and change directions if these questions cannot be answered? When do we forge ahead quickly for the benefit of all?

Ruha Benjamin

Ruha Benjamin, African American Studies, Princeton University; author of Race After Technology (2019).
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene
Benjamin’s work investigates the social dimensions of science and technology with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequality, health and justice, knowledge and power.

Elizabeth Rush

Elizabeth Rush, 
Creative Nonfiction, Brown University; author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore (2018)
Thursday, March 5, 2020
7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene
Rush’s work explores how humans adapt to changes enacted upon them by forces seemingly beyond their control, from ecological transformation to political revolution.

Leonard Mlodinow



Leonard Mlodinow, author of Elastic: flexible thinking in a time of change (2018
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene
Mlodinow is a theoretical physicist and author, recognized for groundbreaking discoveries in physics and for making science accessible and interesting to the general public.

Paul Root Wolpe

“Deep Ethics in the Age of the Algorithm”
Paul Root Wolpe, Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University
Thursday, May 14, 2020
7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 1376 Olive St., Eugene
A futurist interested in social dynamics, Wolpe’s work focuses on the social, religious, ethical, and ideological impact of medicine and technology on the human condition.

Information about OHC lectureships