TV shows like CSI give viewers a glimpse of how investigators solve crimes using DNA and other forensic tools, all wrapped up in an hour. What these shows skip over is important: the evolution of DNA technology. DNA completely changed the way law enforcement investigates crime. Now we can prove beyond any doubt whose DNA was left at a crime scene. Highly sensitive technology allows us to develop forensic DNA profiles from vanishingly small samples. A national and international network of DNA databases results in "cold hits" that link previously unknown perpetrators to cases, exonerate the innocent and bring justice to victims.
The necessity for clear science communication extends far beyond the laboratory. It impacts all of us daily, especially when it comes to our health. Join us for a collegial conversation between Lisa Fitzpatrick and Megan Ranney as they discuss their most insightful experiences and biggest aha moments as public health care practitioners and advocates. They will reflect on lessons learned during the pandemic and share their innovative strategies for self-care.
There is more than five times as much dark matter in the universe as normal matter. Through gravity, we have observed evidence of dark matter's existence for nearly 100 years, yet we do not know what the nature of dark matter is. In this talk, Sarah Pearson will take you on a journey through our universe's history and explain how astrophysicists have used the distribution, movement, and growth of galaxies to map out how much dark matter there is in the universe. She will further reveal how stellar streams, which form as smaller gravitationally bound collections of stars are torn apart into distinct streaks on the sky, might hold the key to unravel the nature of dark matter.
In this virtual conversation, New York Times science and global health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli will chat with Peter Hotez, dean of Baylor University’s National School of Tropical Medicine, about the COVID-19 vaccines. They will discuss the science behind the vaccine and address the public’s questions, concerns and misunderstandings. For example, is one vaccine better than another? Can the vaccines damage our DNA? What’s in the vaccines? Should anyone not get the vaccine? This presentation will fill you in on what’s going on now and where we need to get.
In this lecture, Alex Kontorovich will describe some of these connections, both ancient and modern. He will also showcase how mathematics is not a random collection of disjointed facts (as often learned in school), but rather numerous sweeping landscapes, all deeply interconnected and influencing each others’ development.
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In this presentation, Rebecca Goldin will share some humorous as well as serious stories about statistical bloopers in the media, peppered with suggestions for better communication. Numerical reasoning can be powerful, she says, when we move past politics and morality to clarify what quantitative information actually tells us, what it does not and what it cannot.
Like a musical composition, physicist Stephon Alexander will present a four-part movement, each containing a vignette of experiences he had interacting and collaborating with artists and musicians (such as Brian Eno, Ned Kahn, Melvin Gibbs, Will Calhoun, Ornette, Dawn Meson and Rosemary Goodell) and how those interactions influenced his scientific ideas, research, approach and creativity.