The Institute for the Science of Origins is excited to sponsor the Origins Science Scholars Program for the general public at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

red-rectangle-join-us-button-hiDuring this unique program, members of the community engage with each other and with leading scholars of the origins sciences to investigate everything from the big bang to the developing mind and emerging life. Each evening begins with a presentation by a world-class researcher, followed by dinner and open discussion among all the participants.

We are excited to share unique and challenging perspectives and hope to leave participants better educated about origins research and the Institute for the Science of Origins.

We look forward to seeing you!

Click here to see videos of past OSS lectures!
Click here to register online
To register by phone: Call Felicia at 216-368-2090

Fall 2019 Program

.The seven-week program addresses new issues::

“Sauropod Dinosaurs”
“Extraterrestrial Intelligence”
“The Shape of Space”
“The Human Difference”

 

When: October 15, 2019 through November 26, 2019
Where: Sessions will be held on the campus of Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Schedule:       Tuesday evenings from 5:30-8 p.m.
5:30-6 p.m. – Coffee and cookies
6-7 p.m. – Lecture and Q&A
7-8 p.m. – Dinner and discussion

Lectures:

Oct 15


Lee Hall
Cleveland Museum of Natural History

“Sauropod Dinosaurs: Long Necks and Peculiar Claws”
This session will be held in the Tinkham Veale Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

In a major group of dinosaurs, the sauropods, questions swirl around the function and evolution of their claws and feet. Lee Hall of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Department of Vertebrate Paleontology will discuss sauropod evolution and diversity, and address hypotheses of their paleobiology by comparison to modern animals.

 


Oct 22


Ben Monreal
Case Western Reserve University

“How Giant Telescopes Will Find New Earths”

This session will be held in the Tinkham Veale Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

Professor of Physics, Ben Monreal will discuss how giant telescopes hold the key to discovering new earth-like planets in other star systems..

Oct 29


Corbin Covault
Case Western Reserve University

“Intelligent Life on Other Planets: What are the Odds?”

Presented in collaboration with CWRU’s Emeriti Academy
This session will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Ever since humans began turning their eyes to the heavens, the question has persisted: is there intelligent life out there? In 1961, astrophysicist Frank Drake attempted to quantify the  odds. The Drake equation is a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy, but Drake proposed it not as a serious attempt to determine a precise number but as a way to stimulate scientific dialogue at the first scientific meeting on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). At the time, very few of the variables were calculable. For example, the existence of planets outside our solar system had not been confirmed. But now those planets are definitely in evidence and dozens are earth-like. Progress has been made on several other aspects necessary for the Drake equation. So, are we getting much closer to being able to answer the thorny question: What are the Odds?”

 


Nov 5


Corbin Covault
Case Western Reserve University

“SETI and Beyond: What Comes Next”

Presented in collaboration with CWRU’s Emeriti Academy
This session will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

The Search for extraterrestrial intelligence began immediately following the advent of radio and became an organized international effort in the 1980s. At that time, radio waves were our state of the art technology. But today the cutting edge is optical. What prospective technological advances are now on the horizon that we couldn’t have expected in the 80s?

 

Nov 12


Ken Miller
Brown University

“The Human Difference: How Evolution Fashioned the Earth’s Most Extraordinary Creature”

Presented in collaboration with CWRU’s Department of Philosophy and Emeriti Academy

This session will be held in the Tinkham Veale Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

Evolution has long been a controversial topic in the United States, often the target of laws and public policies designed to prevent it being taught in schools. While evidence for evolution is abundant, to many the most troublesome part of Darwin’s theory is its claim that our own species was fashioned by the evolutionary process. Beginning with the basic principles of evolution by natural selection, Dr. Miller will review the data that form our current understanding of the evolutionary process, and show how it has produced the diversity of living things around us. Next will be the specific question of human evolution, reviewing the abundance of pre-human fossil forms that have come to light in recent years, and then moving to the marks that evolution has left in the human genome. Particular DNA sequences and unique chromosome markers demonstrate the ancestry of our species, and link us to a number of other close animal relatives. Finally, Dr. Miller will conclude by asking what the scientific evidence means in human terms. Does the scientific story of our ancestry minimize, dehumanize, or even trivialize the significance of human life? He will argue this view is based upon a profound misunderstanding of the actual nature of evolution. An authentic review of the actual science does quite the opposite, confirming human exceptionalism, and validating the idea that the human experiment matters for ourselves, the planet, and even for the Cosmos.

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Nov 19


Glenn Starkman
Dept of Physics, Case Western Reserve University

“The Shape of Space”

This session will be held in the Tinkham Veale Center on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

The universe is big. The universe is flat.  What does that mean?  What more is there to say about the shape of space? That’s what we’d like to know.  We see tantalizing hints that the universe is not infinite in all directions, in the patterns imprinted on the cosmic microwave background radiation — the remnant radiation from the big bang. Those patterns reflect the sound waves that were traveling through the early universe, and they are less disorganized than our theories predict.  A finite universe is one way for that to happen. 

 

Nov 26


Lee Hall
Cleveland Museum of Natural History

“Underfoot Ancient Giants: Tracking Sauropod Dinosaurs”

This session will be held in the Thwing Center ballroom on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

Lee Hall, paleontologist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Department of Vertebrate Paleontology will build on his October 15 lecture to focus on the analysis of sauropod trackways from across the globe to test hypotheses of claw function using preserved evidence of walking behavior and foot/substrate interaction. This study includes comparisons to modern groups as well. The results will surprise you!

 

Many Thanks! 

The ISO Origins Science Scholars Program is presented in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University’s College of Arts and Sciences and The Laura and Alvin Siegal Lifelong Learning Program and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and taped and broadcast in cooperation with CWRU’s MediaVision and IdeaStream.

 

Learn more:

For more information about the program, you can:
Download the Origins Science Scholars brochure

Click here to register online.
To register by phone: Call Felicia at 216-368-2090

CWRU Students:
If you’d like to sign up for a chance to attend the lecture and dinner on one of the above dates, please follow this link