Monday, 6 Oct 2014

Writing about Iowa - A Conversation with Jane Smiley
7:00 PM – Sun Room, Memorial Union - Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres. Her new novel, Some Luck, follows an American farm family during three transformative decades.The book is the first in a trilogy covering 100 years in this family’s history. Smiley is the author of numerous novels, as well as five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She was a professor of English at Iowa State from 1981 to 1996 and has a masters, MFA and doctorate from the University of Iowa. Steve Sullivan, local film reviewer and member of the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, will moderate the discussion. A book signing will follow the event.

Thursday, 9 Oct 2014

How Technology Is Changing the Archaeology of the Ancient Maya - Arlen Chase
7:00 PM – Sun Room, Memorial Union - Arlen Chase is a pioneer in applying laser-based remote sensing to research on the ancient Maya civilization. He will discuss how LiDAR technology (Light Detection And Ranging), with its ability to penetrate dense tropical canopies, can provide detailed information about the large-scale distribution of archaeological remains without the laborious process of on-the-ground mapping. Chase is a Pegasus professor and chair of the Anthropology Department at the University of Central Florida. He currently co-directs excavations at Caracol, Belize, the largest recorded Classic Period (A.D. 250-900) Maya center. Sigma Xi Series.

Monday, 13 Oct 2014

In the Footsteps of Norman Borlaug: The Golden Years of Wheat Production - Sanjaya Rajaram
8:00 PM – Great Hall, Memorial Union - Plant scientist Sanjaya Rajaram was named the 2014 World Food Prize Laureate for his scientific research that led to a remarkable increase in world wheat production, building upon the successes of the Green Revolution. Rajaram succeeded Norman Borlaug in leading the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center's (CIMMYT) wheat breeding program and developed 480 wheat varieties that have been released in 51 countries and have been widely adopted by small- and large-scale farmers alike. His breakthrough breeding technologies have had a far-reaching and significant impact in providing more nutritious food around the globe and alleviating world hunger. 2014 Norman Borlaug Lecture and part of the World Affairs Series. A reception and student poster display will precede the lecture from 7 to 8 p.m. in the South Ballroom, Memorial Union. Posters will address world food issues and are submitted by undergraduate and graduate students.

Thursday, 16 Oct 2014

The Strategies of a Successful Transposable Element - Susan Wessler
4:00 PM – Sun Room, Memorial Union - A reception will precede the lecture at 3:30 pm. Susan Wessler is the University of California President’s Chair and Distinguished Professor of Genetics at the University of California Riverside and home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a molecular geneticist known for her contributions to the field of transposon biology, specifically on the roles of plant transposable elements in gene and genome evolution. Her laboratory has pioneered the use of computational and experimental analyses in the identification of actively transposing elements. Wessler is coauthor of the widely used genetics textbook Introduction to Genetic Analysis and the popular reference book The Mutants of Maize. Women in STEM Series

The Battle between Church and State: Fighting to Maintain Separation - Dan Barker
7:00 PM – Great Hall, Memorial Union - Dan Barker is a former preacher of both Quaker and Assembly of God congregations. Barker received his degree in religion from Azusa Pacific University in 1970, and was ordained into the ministry shortly thereafter. After years as a preacher and a successful Christian music composer Barker began to question his faith and in 1984 announced that he had become an atheist. He is now a prominent atheist activist and the author of many books articles, including Maybe Yes, Maybe no: A Guide For Young Skeptics, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist, and Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists. Barker is now the co-president of the nationally known advocacy organization Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The LGBT Athletes and Moments That Changed the Sports World Forever - Cyd Zeigler
8:00 PM – Sun Room, Memorial Union - Cyd Zeigler is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT sports issues, a cofounder of, and coauthor of The Outsports Revolution: Truth & Myth in the World of Gay Sports. He has written extensively on athletes coming out at all levels of sports and the impact homophobia has on closeted athletes. Most recently he was on the team that developed and helped execute the strategy for Michael Sam's coming out before the NFL draft. An award-winning journalist, Ziegler is credited with breaking various national stories, including the coming out of former professional athletes John Amaechi and Wade Davis, the groundbreaking interview with straight ally and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, and the first openly transgender college basketball player, Kye Allums.

Friday, 17 Oct 2014

Take It to the Farmer - M. S. Swaminathan
7:00 PM – Ensminger Room, 1204 Kildee - Indian agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan is often recognized as the father of the Green Revolution in India. He is the first recipient of the World Food Prize, in 1987, for spearheading the introduction of high-yielding wheat and rice varieties among farmers of that nation. His research ultimately helped India end its reliance on grain imports. Swaminathan studied agriculture in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, earned a PhD in plant genetics from Cambridge, and continued his research in the United States. He began as a scientist with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in the 1960s and subsequently held such positions as director general of the International Rice Research Center and chairman of the National Commission on Farmers for the Government of India. Swaminathan currently serves as chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, holding its UNESCO Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology.

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014

Inter-religious Dialogue: The Importance of Interacting with People of Other Faiths - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
7:00 PM – South Ballroom, Memorial Union - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is a spiritual leader, well-known scholar of Jewish history and ethics and a prolific author. His book Jewish Literacy:The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People, and Its History is the most widely read book on Judaism of the past two decades. Rabbi Telushkin is a senior associate of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, serves on the board of the Jewish Book Council, and is the rabbi of the Los Angeles-based Synagogue for the Performing Arts.

Lectures Program Event Being Planned
8:00 PM – Sun Room, Memorial Union - Speaker to be announced.