Past Lectures 2008-2009
The North Carolina Lecture
Dr. Randolph Chitwood
Medical Discoveries and Innovations in the Twentieth Century
September 24, 2008
Dr. Chitwood pioneered the development and expansion of mitral valve repair surgery in North Carolina, producing better outcomes than possible with valve replacement, which had long been the prevalent surgical treatment. He also recognized that endoscopic methods, in which a specialized camera and instruments are introduced into the body, provide better visibility and access to the mitral valve, and he devised a set of special instruments to simplify the procedure. He performed the first totally endoscopic mitral valve repair in North America and the second in the world.
The endoscopic technique was further improved by Chitwood's recognition that robotic technology could provide surgeons with the visibility and freedom of movement required for performing the intricacies of cardiac surgery.
As a result, surgeons from around the world now come to learn the da Vinci Surgical System techniques at the Brody School of Medicine, the first U.S. institution to perform robotic-assisted mitral valve surgery. The Cardiovascular Center at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, directed by Chitwood, now performs 1,200 cardiac surgical, 3,000 interventional, and 5,000 catheter-based procedures every year.
A member of 25 professional societies, Chitwood recently was elected to the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons of England and has received his alma mater's highest alumnus award, Fellow of Hampden-Sydney College in the Natural Sciences.
The Premier Lecture
Creative Thinkers Who Have Shaped Our World
October 8, 2008
Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He has been the Chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of Time Magazine. He is the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992) and is the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).
Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at the Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item. He joined Time Magazine in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor and editor of new media before becoming the magazine's 14th managing editor in 1996. He became Chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Isaacson was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco to be the vice-chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. In December 2007, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to be the chairman of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership, a government and private sector effort to provide economic and educational opportunities for the Palestinian people. He is the Chairman of the Board of Teach for America, and he is on the boards of United Airlines, Tulane University, and Science Service. He is also on the advisory councils of the National Institutes of Health, the National Constitution Center, and the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC.
Jarvis Lecture in Religion and Culture
Marcus Borg, Ph.D.
Christians in the Age of Empire
November 18, 2008
Marcus J. Borg (Ph.D., Oxford University) is Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture. Known as one of the leading historical Jesus scholars of this generation, he is the author of ten books, two of which have become best-sellers, Jesus: A New Vision Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. His most recent publication is The Heart of Christianity: How We Can Be Passionate Believers Today (2003). He has lectured widely in this country (including at the Smithsonian and Chautauqua Institutions) and overseas (England, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, and South Africa). His books have been translated into German, Dutch, Korean, and French.
Marcus J. Borg (Ph.D., Oxford University) is Hundere Distinguishd Professor of Religion and Culture. Known as one of the leading historical Jesus scholars of this generation, he is the author of ten books, two of which have become best-sellers, Jesus: A New Vision and Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. His most recent publication is The Heart of Christianity: How We Can Be Passionate Believers Today (2003). He has lectured widely in this country (including at the Smithsonian and Chautauqua Institutions) and overseas (England, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, and South Africa). His books have been translated into German, Dutch, Korean, and French.
An outstanding teacher, Borg has received all of OSU's major awards for teaching, including one from the legislature. He is the first person in the College of Liberal Arts to be designated "Distinguished Professor" by the university. He has twice been President of the CLA Faculty Council.
Borg sees philosophy as primarily concerned with the role of ideas in our lives. "Ideas matter," Borg says, "much more than we commonly think they do - especially our world-views and values, namely our ideas about what is real and how we are to live. We receive such ideas from our culture as we grow up, and unless we examine them, we will not be free persons, but will to a large extent live out the agenda of our socialization."
Sallie Southall Cotten Lecture
Eugenie Scott, Ph.D.
Darwin's Legacy in Science and Society
January 27, 2009
Eugenie C. Scott has been since 1987 the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, Inc., a pro-evolution nonprofit science education organization with members in every state. She holds a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Missouri, and honorary D.Sc degrees from McGill University and Ohio State University. Scott has taught at the University of Kentucky and at the University of Colorado. A human biologist, her research has been in medical anthropology and skeletal biology. The author of Creationism vs Evolution: An Introduction, she has many published papers and monographs, has served as chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Anthropological Association, as President of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, and has chaired the Anthropology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Scott is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor, with Glenn Branch, of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.
Scott has been both a researcher and an activist in the creationism/evolution controversy for over twenty-five years, addressing many components of this controversy, including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues. She has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from the National Science Board, the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Geological Society of America, and the American Humanist Association.
Scott is nationally-recognized as a proponent of church/state separation, and serves on the National Advisory Councils of both Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the National Advisory Council of the American Civil Liberties Union. She serves on the Advisory Council of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion committee. Scott has also served on the Board of Directors of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. An internationally-recognized expert on the creation/evolution controversy, she has consulted with the National Academy of Sciences, several State Departments of Education, and legal staffs in both the United States and Australia.
Brewster Lecture in History
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Ph.D.
Vespucci: The Man Who Gave His Name to America
February 25, 2009
Fernández-Armesto is author of the best selling book Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years, which inspired CNN's Millenium, and such critically acclaimed works as The Times Atlas of World Exploration and, most recently, Civilizations. Recent honors include the Caird Medal of the National Maritime Museum (1995), and the John Carter Brown Medal (1999). His journalistic works have been widely syndicated and appear frequently in The Times of London and regularly in the Sunday edition of The Independent. Fernández-Armesto also contributes to BBC Radio, most often as a panelist on "Room for Improvement," International Question Time, and "Night Waves."
Thomas Harriot Lecture
Professor Stephen Clucas
Lecture Title: Thomas Harriot
April 9, 2009
Professor Clucas is the co-editor, with Stephen Gaukroger, of the journal Intellectual History Review, and is a member of the Council of the International Society for Intellectual History. He has been Vice-Chairman of the Thomas Harriot Seminar devoted to the life and times of the Elizabethan scientist and mathematician Thomas Harriot since 1990. Professor Clucas is the organizer, with Peter J. Forshaw, of the EMPHASIS seminar, held in the School of Advanced Studies, University of London, since 2003. He also serves on the Councils of the Society of the History of Alchemy and Chemistry and the Society for Renaissance Studies.
Professor Clucas is the editor of John Dee: Interdisciplinary studies in English Renaissance Thought (Dordrecht: Springer, 2006); The Crisis of 1614 and the Addled Parliament: Literary and Historical Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2003); A Princely Brave Woman: essays on Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2003); and The Wizard Earl's Advices to his Son (The Roxburghe Club, 2002). He has translated Paolo Rossi's Logic and the Art of Memory: The Quest for a Universal Language (London and Chicago: Athlone Press and Chicago University Press, 2000; paperback edition, New York: Continuum Books, 2006).