Event Calendar

April 2020

Wed, Apr 15, 2020

Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor

Talking about the N-word: A Social and Pedagogical History of a Word

The Center for Humanistic Inquiry welcomes Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, Associate Professor of History at Smith College, for a virtual salon. Professor Pryor specializes in 19th-century U.S. history and race. Her first book, Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War, is a social history of black activists who, long before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, fought against segregation on public vehicles. Her essay, “The Etymology of [the n-word]: Resistance, Language, and the Politics of Freedom in the Antebellum North,” won the Ralph D. Gray Prize for the best article of 2016 in the Journal of the Early Republic. Her next project, inspired by the article as well as her teaching at Smith College, is a historical and pedagogical study of the n-word framed, in part, by her experience as a biracial woman in the United States.

Amherst College faculty, staff, and students all welcome. The Zoom link will be made available the day of the event. Amherst College email address is required for login. Video and sound will be turned off for all but the guest speaker and the host facilitator, Jen Manion, Associate Professor of History, Amherst College and CHI advisory board member. Participants will be invited to submit questions via the chat function, which Prof. Manion will share with Prof. Pryor for discussion.

Fri, Apr 24, 2020

People demonstrating bednet use

Rob Mather: Against Malaria Foundation (AMF) and What We Do

Rob is the founder of AMF, consistently rated as one of the world’s most effective charities (especially in terms of lives saved per dollar). AMF has raised over $240m ($200m in the past 4 years) and distributed over 110m anti-mosquito bednets, protecting over 200m people. Rob will join us online to tell us about AMF and what it does, followed by a Q&A.
For more information: https://us04web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_34AJSGCOTvSEcEwc-hs4ww

Sun, Apr 26, 2020

Virtual Poetry Readings

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Zoom Webinar

Please join us for a Sunday Poetry Reading, hosted virtually, by the Amherst Center for Russian Culture, with Maria Stepanova & Linor Goralik.
The reading will be in Russian with English translations provided.
The event will be held via a zoom webinar. To access the broadcast, you must register in advance at:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Zx2gI5YkTUCmDT0nX7F5zA
Along with registering, those new to zoom will also have to download the application to the device they will use to join the broadcast. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Registration Required

Tue, Apr 28, 2020

Stiglitz and Novak

COVID Conversations: Thinking Through the Pandemic, with Joseph Stiglitz ’64 H’74, hosted by David Novak ’91

COVID-19 has caused fear, grief, upheaval, and loneliness; it has also led us to appreciate compassion, resilience, selflessness, and adaptability. It has laid bare the social inequalities that too many people live with day in and day out, pandemic or not, and it has caused us, as individuals and as societies, to think more deeply about the balance between self-determination and interdependence, individual freedoms and responsibility to the common good.

In this series of live-streamed conversations, esteemed alumni and friends of the College will discuss current and future impacts of the public health crisis within the United States and globally. Audience members may submit live questions for the Q&A portion of each conversation.

Joseph Stiglitz '64 is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university's highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003.

In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are People, Power, and Profits, Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy, Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.

David Novak '91 was appointed to the Amherst College Board of Trustees in 2018. He is Co-President at the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), and is based in London. He joined the firm in 1997 and moved to London in 2000. He is responsible for CD&R’s European business and is a member of the firm’s Executive and Investment committees. Prior to CD&R, he worked at Morgan Stanley in the private equity and investment banking divisions.
Since graduating from Amherst, Novak has served as international chair of Amherst’s Lives of Consequence campaign, chair of the executive committee of the Alumni Council, class agent, associate class agent, member of the 25th Reunion Gift Committee and volunteer for the Amherst Alumni Outreach Volunteer Program.

Novak currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the American School in London and on the Board of the Valerie Fund, which supports children with cancer and blood disorders. Other prior charitable activities have included service on boards associated with Maccabi GB, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Right to Play UK. He currently serves as an advisor to Ahren Innovation Capital. In 2009 he was selected to join the Forum of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.

Novak graduated from Amherst with a B.A. in economics, cum laude, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School with honors. He and his wife, Jane, have two boys.

Thu, Apr 30, 2020

Three Minute Thesis Competition (Virtual)

Support the senior speakers in Amherst College’s 3MT® - Three Minute Thesis Competition. Thesis students, nominated by their departments and selected as finalists, will compete for cash prizes as they communicate the significance of their thesis in a compelling and accessible way—in 3 minutes. Cheer on these senior thesis writers and help judge which presentation should win the “People’s Choice” award. The Zoom link will be made available the day of the event.

Sponsored by the Writing Center. Hosted by Susan Daniels, associate in public speaking.

Varmus, Kessler and Tilghman

"COVID Conversations: Thinking Through the Pandemic," with Harold Varmus ’61 & David Kessler ’73, hosted by Shirley Tilghman H’08

COVID-19 has caused fear, grief, upheaval and loneliness; it has also led us to appreciate compassion, resilience, selflessness and adaptability. It has laid bare the social inequalities that too many people live with day in and day out, pandemic or not, and it has caused us, as individuals and as societies, to think more deeply about the balance between self-determination and interdependence, individual freedoms and responsibility to the common good.

In this series of live-streamed conversations, esteemed alumni and friends of the College will discuss current and future impacts of the public health crisis within the United States and globally. Audience members may submit live questions for the Q&A portion of each conversation.

Harold Varmus '61, M.D., co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, joined the Meyer Cancer Center of Weill Cornell Medicine as the Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine in April, 2015. He is also a senior associate member of the New York Genome Center, where he helps to develop programs in cancer genomics, and an adjunct professor at the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York. Previously, Dr. Varmus was director of the National Cancer Institute for five years, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for 10 years and director of the National Institutes of Health for six years.

A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard University in English literature and of Columbia University in medicine, he was further trained at Columbia University Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health and the University of California, San Francisco, before becoming a member of the UCSF basic science faculty for over two decades. He is a member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, is involved in several initiatives to promote science and health in developing countries, and serves on advisory groups for several academic, governmental, philanthropic and commercial institutions. His current positions include co-chair of the Mayor’s LifeSciNYC initiative and member of advisory boards for Chan-Zuckerberg Science, the Broad and Crick Institutes, the global health program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and four biotechnology companies (Surrozen, Dragonfly, PetraPharma, and Volastra).

The author of about 400 scientific papers and five books, including a 2009 memoir entitled The Art and Politics of Science, Varmus was a co-chair of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, a co-founder and chair of the board of the Public Library of Science, and chair of the scientific board of the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health.

David A. Kessler '73, M.D. is professor of pediatrics and epidemiology and professor of biostatistics at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. He previously served as dean of the schools of medicine at UCSF and Yale University.

Dr. Kessler served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from November 1990 until March 1997, appointed by President George H.W. Bush and reappointed by President Bill Clinton. As commissioner of the FDA, he acted to speed approval of new drugs and placed high priority on getting promising therapies for serious and life-threatening diseases to patients as quickly as possible. According to The New York Times, Kessler “revitalized a beleaguered agency that had become mired in bureaucratic disarray.” The Los Angeles Times praised him for “restor[ing] the Food and Drug Administration to what it was meant to be--an aggressive advocate for the public’s health.”

Dr. Kessler’s books Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering (2016) and The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (2009) were New York Times best-sellers. His latest book is Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs: The Simple Truth About Food, Weight, and Disease (2020). Kessler serves on the board of various organizations, including as chair of the board of Science in the Public Interest, and has been an Amherst College trustee. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the recipient of the 2001 National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal. His other honors have included the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor, the American Heart Association’s National Public Affairs Special Recognition Award, the American Federation for AIDS Research Sheldon W. Andelson Public Policy Achievement Award, the American Academy of Pediatrics Excellence in Public Service Award, the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Leadership Award, the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health Excellence in Women’s Health Award and the “2008 National Hero” award from the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

Shirley M. Tilghman H'08 was elected Princeton University’s 19th president on May 5, 2001, after serving on the Princeton faculty for 15 years. Upon the completion of her term in June of 2013, she returned to the faculty. During her scientific career as a mammalian developmental geneticist, she studied the way in which genes are organized in the genome and regulated during early development, and was one of the founding members of the National Advisory Council of the Human Genome Project for the National Institutes of Health.

Tilghman is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Developmental Biology, the Genetics Society of America Medal and the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and The Royal Society of London. She serves as a trustee of Amherst College, the Institute for Advanced Study and the Simons Foundation. She serves on the Science Advisory Board of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is a director of The Broad Institute of MIT, and is a Fellow of the Corporation of Harvard College.