Category Archives: Lectures

September 2015

penny-higgins

Women, Science, and Love: No One Cries in the Laboratory (Do They?)

Penny Higgins, Ph.D., Research Associate, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Rochester

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 7:00 PM, Manlius Library, 1 Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

This event is free and open to the public.

About the talk
On June 9th of this year, Nobel Prize winner Sir Tim Hunt explained to the World Conference of Science Journalists what he felt was the problem with women in science. “Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.” Hunt’s comments are just one example of challenges that women face in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. Even the dominance of men in typical STEM classrooms perpetuates a culture of “Stereotype Threat” which continues to discourage women from pursuing STEM careers. The challenge ahead is to accept that this as a real problem, and then work toward practical solutions where women and men are treated equally within the sciences.

About the presenter
Penny Higgins is a Vertebrate Paleontologist and Geochemist at the University of Rochester. She divides her time among managing the Stable Isotope Ratios in the Environment Analytical Laboratory (SIREAL), teaching, and doing research on ancient episodes of rapid climate change.

Paranormal Investigator Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell at work in his office and laboratory at the Center for Inquiry
Joe Nickell at work in his office and laboratory at the Center for Inquiry

Important parking information

Be advised that Ferrante Quad is fenced off due to construction. Please park in Lot 13 next to the SRC arena and follow the bridge down to Storer Auditorium. For handicapped parking use Lot 2 behind Ferrante Hall. Storer is located on the second floor of Ferrante Hall.

We previously said that Storer was in the Whitney Technology Building, but it is not. It is in Ferrante Hall.

Investigating the Paranormal: Ghosts, Monsters, Miracles, and Other Strange Mysteries

John Edson Sweet Lecture by
Joe Nickell, Ph.D.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Time: 6:30 PM at the Storer Auditorium, Ferrante Hall, Onondaga Community College

This event is free and open to the public.

CNY Skeptics and TACNY are excited to welcome back paranormal investigator Joe Nickell!

Currently the world’s only full-time, scientific investigator of the paranormal, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Senior Research Fellow Joe Nickell will speak about his many past and present investigations into the paranormal, including weeping icons, crop circles, alien abductions, monsters, haunted houses, spontaneous human combustions, and many others. In contrast to many paranormal proponents, who are little more than mystery mongers, or to some skeptics who call themselves “debunkers,” Joe Nickell holds that mysteries should neither be fostered nor dismissed. Instead, they should be carefully investigated with a view toward solving them. He has spent his life trying to do just that—whether the mysteries were paranormal, historical, forensic, or literary

Joe Nickell, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 1987), is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI)—an international scientific organization—and investigative columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. A former professional stage magician (he was Resident Magician at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame for three years) and private investigator for a world-famous detective agency, Dr. Nickell taught technical writing for several years at the University of Kentucky before taking the full-time position with CSI at its offices at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York.

Utilizing his varied background, Nickell has become widely known as an investigator of myths and mysteries, frauds, forgeries, and hoaxes. He has been called “the modern Sherlock Holmes,” “the original ghost buster,” and “the real-life Scully” (from “The X-Files” ). He has investigated scores of haunted-house cases, including the Amityville Horror and the Mackenzie House in Toronto, Canada. Nickell was an inspiration for Hilary Swank’s role as a miracle investigator in The Reaping (2007). He is the author of more than twenty books, and regularly appears on TV and radio to discuss his investigations.

March 2015 Meeting

3-D prototyping facility at Makerspace
3-D prototyping facility at Makerspace

Michael Giannattasio, MFA

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 7:00 PM
Dewitt Community Library, 3649 Erie Blvd. East, Dewitt, NY 13121

About the presentation
Michael Giannattasio will be covering what additive manufacturing techniques mean to the new inventor/entrepreneur. We now are becoming aware of what 3D printing is and how to make something from our own desk but, what are we really making? How can we turn these new tools into something productive and meaningful?

3-D printers and equipment at Makerspace
3-D printing equipment


About the speaker
Michael Giannattasio is the founder and director of SALT Makerspace. He grew up in California just south of San Francisco. where he experienced a very diverse population which influenced his outlook and goals in life.

Michael received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from California State College Chico. While there he worked with glass, bronze, aluminum, wood, and ceramics refining his process and knowledge of various mediums. Once his degree was completed he worked as a studio assistant, independent fabricator, and professional artist.

In 2009 Michael moved to Syracuse, NY, to go to Syracuse University and began working in the Sculpture Masters in Fine Arts program in VPA. During this time he focused on experiences relating to location specifically developed through digital installations.

In 2012 he began working with 40 Below specifically with the Public Arts Task-force creating collaborative permanent public art works in the City of Syracuse. During this time SALT Makerspace started to develop. During the last two years he has worked with a group of artists, engineers, fabricators, and business experts to develop a business plan that outlined how the Makerspace would sustain itself and what it would offer the community.

Photo of Michael Giannattasio
Michael Giannattasio

January 2015 Meeting

Photo of Susan Millar

The End of Snow: Will Climate Change Melt our Winters?

Professor Susan Millar, Syracuse University

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 7:00 PM
Manlius Library, 1 Arkie Albanese Ave,
Manlius, NY 13104

About the presentation
Temperature records indicate that Earth has warmed an average of 0.85°C during the period 1880 to 2012. That increase, however, has been experienced most significantly at middle and high latitudes, regions that have witnessed as much as 2 degrees Celsius of warming. As New York still reels at the memory of last month’s mammoth snow storm in Buffalo, dumping unprecedented totals in excess of two meters in places, one has to question exactly how anthropogenic warming could possibly be connected. In this presentation, I will explore the atmospheric processes responsible for “snow events”, how snow fall has changed globally, and here in New York, why these changes may well be related to climate change, and what it means for the future of the Golden Snowfall Award.


About the speaker
Susan W. S. Millar is an Associate Professor of Geography at Syracuse University. Professor Millar is originally from Scotland, and hiking the Munros and Corbetts fueled her research interest in periglacial slope processes in both Quaternary and modern contexts. She has conducted NSF-sponsored research in Alaska, Colorado and New York State, examining connections between microclimate, freezing depth, and soil sedimentological characteristics. An on-going project explores relations between changing snow patterns in Central New York and how these affect soil thermal conditions.

November 2014 Meeting

Ethan Kocak with lizard on head

Cartoon Science and Skepticism with Ethan Kocak

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 7:00 PM
Dewitt Community Library
Shoppingtown Mall
Dewitt, NY

About the presentation
Comics and cartoons are usually considered within the domain of entertainment, but at their core is the goal of communication. This discussion is about how that conversation can be about science, skepticism, and critical thinking and what form of comics and cartooning best suits communicating these topics. Since the Internet and comics are now so intertwined, we’ll also have to consider how that changes the discussion, for better or worse, and there will be some live demonstration of what digital comics creation looks like.

About the speaker
Ethan Kocak is an animator and illustrator who lives in Syracuse, NY. He is primarily known for drawing the webcomic “The Black Mudpuppy,” but has also been involved in the animation project “The Darwin Finches,” the all-science “Tetrapod Zoology Comic,” which is written by paleontologist Darren Naish, and “Al the Anoma Llama” with Doubtful News’s Sharon Hill. When not drawing, he’s writing, tweeting, or being a dad.