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Klopsteg Lectures

All lectures are free open to the public, thanks to the generosity of The Klopsteg fund. They are held in the Hagstrum Room (University Hall Room 201) on Mondays from 4:30-6:00pm, unless otherwise indicated.

In 2021-2022, Science in Human Culture will partner with the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2) at Washington University in St. Louis to co-sponsor a series of public panels and Klopsteg lectures that focus on the intersections of race, science, and medicine. Through this partnership, members of both institutions will have opportunities to participate in events in the series that explore questions surrounding the production of scientific knowledge across the Americas, including institutional barriers, “gatekeeping,” and the construction of expertise; genomics, genetics, and understandings of race; and the roles of science in society in the present and past.

Program Director: Professor Paul Ramírez


Schedule for 2021-22

Fall Quarter

October 18 - Bathsheba Demuth, History - Brown University

"The Reindeer and the End of the World: Apocalypse, Climate and Soviet Dreams"

Climate change and other alterations to the Earth caused by human activity are often described in apocalyptic terms: as Armageddon, or the end of the world. Nowhere is this more true than in the Arctic, where the rates of warming are twice that of temperate regions and have been visible for decades. This talk turns to the history of the Chukchi Peninsula, in far eastern Siberia, a place that has experienced radical changes in the past: first with the founding of the Soviet Union and then with its dissolution. Weaving a story of devoted Bolsheviks, Chukchi nomads, and herds of reindeer, it explores what kinds of narratives suit the empirical experience of radical change, what is lost when we emphasize rupture, and what is gained by paying attention to the ruins left by past ways of living as we face a transformed Arctic - and planet. This lecture will be held virtually, please contact Janet Hundrieser for the Zoom link.


 Friday, November 5 - 1:00-2:45pm (please note different day and time)

"Gatekeeping & the Publishing Landscape for Scholarship on Race, Medicine & Science"

Holden Thorp, Moderator and Editor in Chief - Science Family of Journals

Gil Eyal, Sociology - Columbia University

Tess Lanzarotta, History, Science in Human Culture Program-Northwestern University

Damon Scott Tweedy, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences - Duke University

Yolonda Wilson, Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics - Saint Louis University

Please register here:

Winter Quarter

January 24  - Tess Lanzarotta - History, Science in Human Culture - Northwestern University

"The Last Biomedical Frontier: Indigenous Health and Settler Colonialism in Cold War Alaska"

February 7 - Santiago Molina - Sociology, Science in Human Culture - Northwestern University

"Governance, Crisis and the Normalization of Genome Editing"

February 14 - Rebecca Seligman and Maddalena Canna, Anthropology - Northwestern University

"From Sensations to Symptoms: The Social Shaping of the Functional Illness Experience"

February 28 - Gabriela Soto Laveaga , History of Science - Harvard University, Co-Sponsored with the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Equity at Washington University

"Hydraulic Erasures: Rivers, Irrigation and Experiment Stations in Northern Mexico and India"

March 7 - Gil Eyal, Sociology - Columbia University, Co-Sponsored with the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Equity at Washington University

"Mistrust in Numbers: Regulatory Science, Trans-Science and the Crisis of Expertise"

Spring Quarter

April 11 - Mariola Espinosa, History - University of Iowa

"Caribbean Connections: Towards a Global Vision in the History of Medicine"

April 25 - Shobita Parthasarathy, Science, Technology and Public Policy - University of Michigan

"Understanding the Transnational Politics of Inclusive Innovation"

May 2 - Hugh Cagle, History - University of Utah

"Before the Fact: Science and Social Order at the Edge of the Amazon ca. 1600."

 May 9 - Danielle Giffort,  Sociology - University of Health Sciences & Pharmacy

"The Specter of Timothy Leary in Psychedelic Science"

May 23 - Daniela Bleichmar, Art History and History - University of Southern California-Dornsife

Title TBD



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