Getting ready for Convergence

Convergence starts this week, so this weekend I’m finally actually taking a serious look at my schedule. I somehow seem to have packed most of my panels into Thursday — I think that means I get to burn out on the first day. No! I think it means I get inspired on the first day.

Here’s what I’ll be up to. Maybe I’ll see a few of you around.

Thursday, July 6

Invasive Species
Thursday July 6, 2017 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Atrium 4
When, if ever, is it possible to bring a species into a new environment? What are the potential consequences. Let’s discuss the outcomes of historical examples. Panelists: Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, PZ Myers, Vernon McIntosh, Jen Dixon, Renate Fiora (mod)

Religion in the Future
Thursday July 6, 2017 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Atrium 4
How will current religions evolve as time progresses? What new variants will arise? What about completely different religions that may come from encounters with aliens? Panelists: Lana Rosario (mod), PZ Myers, Hertzey Hertz, Samantha Bitner, Lathan Murrell

The Cosmic Perspective
Thursday July 6, 2017 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Atrium 4
Neil deGrasse Tyson refers to the “cosmic perspective” when it comes to managing anxiety about day-to-day life. Scientists share and discuss the many facts about the universe that make modern earthly problems feel insignificant. Panelists: Dan Berliner, Melanie Galloway, PZ Myers, Luxander Pond (mod)

Apocalyptic Plagues: Threat or Ghost?
Thursday July 6, 2017 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Atrium 6
Are we overdue for the next pandemic? Will we ever face the motaba virus or plagues like it? How have we overcome the plagues of the past. Panelists: Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, PZ Myers, richard hurley, Tim Lieder (mod), Kris Coulter

State of Science
Thursday July 6, 2017 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Atrium 4
 It’s 2017 and science is moving at a roaring pace. Let’s talk about the greatest breakthroughs this year, including both corporate and academic hits that my not get as much press. From front page to popular only within that discipline, come get inspired. Panelists: Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, Dan Berliner, PZ Myers, Vernon McIntosh, Peter Larsen (mod)

Friday, July 7

I Want To Be Ms. Frizzle: Using Sci-fi and Fantasy as Teaching Tools
Friday, July 7 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Atrium 2
Everyone wanted to be in Ms. Frizzle’s class as a kid (well, except Arnold). Now that we’re teachers, how can we use fantastical elements in our classrooms to encourage our students and drive their learning? Panelists: Dan Berliner, PZ Myers, Michael Zecca (mod), Jen Dixon, Peter Larsen

Sunday, July 9

Face Value: Why Do We Believe False Things?
Sunday July 9, 2017 3:30pm – 4:30pm
That thing you posted.. It’s not real. Why do humans keep believing false things over and over, even though it’s easier than ever to check the facts? Discuss the history and psychology of false beliefs and how they apply to the modern, digital era. Panelists: PZ Myers, William Donohue, Kayla McGrady (mod), Sara McAtee, Lathan Murrell


  1. naturalcynic says

    “why Do We Believe False Things?” Is that the William Donohue who believes in a shitload of false things?

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    When, if ever, is it possible to bring a species into a new environment?

    You’re shitting us, right? I’m guessing it will be about what should be “permissible”, not what’s possible.

  3. archangelospumoni says

    Dr Myers:
    Does Drumpfh count as an “invasive species?” There must be an explanation somewhere.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Invasive species:
    CRISPR & “Gene driver”
    Nuke it from orbit. It is the only way to make sure.

  5. numerobis says

    Invasive Species: climate change is a fun case.

    The northern tree line has long been about 400 miles South of where I live. But with climate change, the trees are moving North. The technical issue: what are the barriers to moving (slow growth, bad soil, physical barriers, etc) and what can make them move (planes, boats, and automo…birds). The ethical issue: is it “right” to help the trees along or should we fight to keep the vegetation the way it was despite the change in climate?