Is simple chance the source of all the beauty and diversity we see in the world? Sean B. Carroll tells the story of the awesome power of chance. Sean’s book “A Series of Fortunate Events” is available now: https://geni.us/mPPrdQH
Why is the world the way it is? How did we get here? Does everything happen for a reason or are some things left to chance? Philosophers and theologians have pondered these questions for millennia, but startling scientific discoveries over the past half century are revealing that we live in a world driven by chance.
Sean B. Carroll is an award-winning scientist, writer, educator, and film producer. He is Vice President for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Balo-Simon Chair of Biology at the University of Maryland. His books include The Serengeti Rules (Princeton), Brave Genius, and Remarkable Creatures, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This talk and Q&A was recorded by the Royal Institution on 6 October 2020.
In the second talk as part of our Virtual Design Festival collaboration with Architects, not Architecture, architect Richard Rogers discusses his reluctance to enter the Centre Pompidou competition and liking the Lloyd’s building. The idea behind Architects, not Architecture is for architects to discuss their path, influences and experiences.
In his lecture in November 2017, Rogers explained that he’d been told he couldn’t use buildings for his talk, as the main rule of the series is that architects aren’t allowed to discuss their projects. “I said: That’s like saying I can’t use my two hands,” Rogers said.
“Architecture is part of me. And architecture is not just about buildings, it’s about spaces and places.” Born in Florence, Rogers moved to England with his family and studied at the Architectural Association School in London, where he founded Richard Rogers Partnership with Su Rogers, now Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, in 1977.
Obesity is at the root of silent epidemics such as type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Laura Schmidt explores the causes and solutions, taking lessons from tobacco: reducing the availability of harmful substances reduces consumption, thereby reducing harms to health. She talks about the UCSF Healthy Beverage Initiative and the effects it has had on employee health.
Originally comprising vast areas of the North Shores of Long Island, the Gold Coast was a favorite retreat of the rich and famous. Beginning around the turn of the century and through the 1920’s, the North Shore was the place to be for some of the most notable Americans. Along with grand houses, they built elaborate gardens, hiring such notable architects and landscape architects as Delano and Aldrich, Carrere and Hastings, the Olmsted Brothers, and Beatrix Farrand. Discover the gardens, as they were originally built, and learn about their history, landscape design, and present condition. This event was presented through the generous support of the Boston Design Center as part of the ICAA-NE Design Series.
CeCe Haydock graduated from Princeton University (BA English) and received a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry. After working for the New York City Parks Department, she joined the firm, Innocenti and Webel in Locust Valley, NY, before starting her private practice. In 2007, she did research as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome on Edith Wharton and Italian villas. She has lectured and written on historic Italian, French, and American gardens for Old Westbury Gardens, Maryland’s Ladew Topiary Gardens, Princeton University, and numerous garden and horticultural clubs. A trustee of Planting Fields Arboretum and a member of the International Council of The Preservation Society of Newport County, she is a visiting lecturer at the New York Botanic Garden and an adjunct professor at Long Island University. CeCe is currently expanding her private practice to include landscape sustainability.
Brilliant horsemen and great fighters, the Scythians were nomadic horsemen who ranged wide across the grasslands of the Asian steppe from the Altai mountains in the east to the Great Hungarian Plain in the first millennium BC.
Their steppe homeland bordered on a number of sedentary states to the south – the Chinese, the Persians and the Greeks – and there were, inevitably, numerous interactions between the nomads and their neighbours. The Scythians fought the Persians on a number of occasions, in one battle killing their king and on another occasion driving the invading army of Darius the Great from the steppe.
Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology, University of Oxford.
Barry Cunliffe taught archaeology at the Universities of Bristol and Southampton and was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 2008, thereafter becoming Emeritus Professor. He has excavated widely in Britain (Fishbourne, Bath, Danebury, Hengistbury Head, Brading) and in the Channel Islands, Brittany, and Spain, and has been President of the Council for British Archaeology and of the Society of Antiquaries, Governor of the Museum of London, a Commissioner of English Heritage, and a Trustee of the British Museum.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, it buried Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the surrounding settlements under nearly 20 feet of volcanic ash and pumice. Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer, documented his eyewitness account of the disaster, supporting the archaeological evidence uncovered there in the last two centuries.
This Great Lecture reviews how these buried cities and their exploration have had a lasting impact on European and American culture. C. Brian Rose, Ph.D., Curator-in-Charge, Mediterranean Section, Penn Museum; Immediate Past President, Archaeological Institute of America; Trustee, American Academy in Rome
In this much-anticipated book, a leading economist argues that many key problems of the American economy are due not to the flaws of capitalism or the inevitabilities of globalization but to the concentration of corporate power. By lobbying against competition, the biggest firms drive profits higher while depressing wages and limiting opportunities for investment, innovation, and growth.
Why are cell-phone plans so much more expensive in the United States than in Europe? It seems a simple question. But the search for an answer took Thomas Philippon on an unexpected journey through some of the most complex and hotly debated issues in modern economics. Ultimately he reached his surprising conclusion: American markets, once a model for the world, are giving up on healthy competition. Sector after economic sector is more concentrated than it was twenty years ago, dominated by fewer and bigger players who lobby politicians aggressively to protect and expand their profit margins. Across the country, this drives up prices while driving down investment, productivity, growth, and wages, resulting in more inequality. Meanwhile, Europe―long dismissed for competitive sclerosis and weak antitrust―is beating America at its own game.
Philippon, one of the world’s leading economists, did not expect these conclusions in the age of Silicon Valley start-ups and millennial millionaires. But the data from his cutting-edge research proved undeniable. In this compelling tale of economic detective work, we follow him as he works out the basic facts and consequences of industry concentration in the U.S. and Europe, shows how lobbying and campaign contributions have defanged antitrust regulators, and considers what all this means for free trade, technology, and innovation. For the sake of ordinary Americans, he concludes, government needs to return to what it once did best: keeping the playing field level for competition. It’s time to make American markets great―and free―again.