Political scientist Michael Parenti explores the connection between extreme patriotism, militarism, and the concept of ‘being number one’. Speaking to an audience at Boulder, Colorado, Dr. Parenti’s characteristic wit is on display, as he tackles challenging political and social issues.

Lecture date: August, 1988.
Further reading: Superpatriotism (book).

The Methodologies of Herodotus

Author Tom Holland delves into the mind and methodologies of Herodotus of Halicarnassus. Mr. Holland expands on his own work in translating Herodotus’ masterpiece, The Histories. He brings the ancient historian to life as an exceptionally curious, thorough, and original scholar. Audience questions follow.

Lecture date: May 27, 2014.

The Sounds of the Universe

Astronomer Carolin Crawford explains the value of sound in Astronomy. Dr. Crawford begins at earth and the sun, then extends her analysis out to the solar system, and beyond. She explains how scientists use sound analysis to infer key properties of astronomical objects and events.

Lecture date: November 23, 2011.
Resources: Sound files.

There is Grandeur in This View of Life

Biologist Richard Dawkins focuses on the final chapter of his 2009 book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution (Ch. 13). In this chapter, Dr. Dawkins breaks down the concluding words of the first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (Ch. 14, 1859), transforming them into sub-headings for elaboration. This speech is best viewed alongside Dr. Jerry Coyne’s presentation on the same day, to which Dr. Dawkins refers.

Event dates: October 2–4, 2009.
Additional lecture: NYAS (Oct. 19, 2009).

From Butterflies to Humans

In this lecture at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, biologist Sean B. Carroll highlights some key mechanisms of evolutionary biology. Dr. Carroll closes with important messages regarding the rapid degradation of biodiversity on earth, and the wide-scale dismissal of evolutionary knowledge in the United States. This was the final presentation for the institute’s Constant Change and Common Threads lecture series.

Lecture date: Late November, 2005.
Further reading: From DNA to Diversity.

Early Revolutions in Astronomy and Galileo’s Legacy

Astronomer Michelle Thaller discusses the great struggle between observation, science, and reason; and religious dogma, backed by church power. At no point has this tension played out more famously, than when Galileo began publishing and promoting his observations of the heavens. Dr. Thaller provides fascinating insight into Galileo the man, and the historical context in which he worked. Most importantly, she highlights the scientific legacy he left for us all.

Lecture date: February 17, 2010.
Additional video: Hammer vs. Feather.