October 27, 2017
Human beings are great at forming opinions--so good, in fact, that we often have no trouble deciding how we feel about a new scientific discovery before we even understand what the heck it is. In this talk, we'll examine the public perception (and misperception) of science, viewed primarily through the lens of the public and media reaction to the announcement, twenty years ago, that Scottish scientists had successfully cloned an adult sheep.
Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Princeton and his Ph.D. in Biology from Johns Hopkins and is currently working on a malaria vaccine at Sanaria Inc. While at JHU, Adam taught undergraduate courses in four departments, including 13 semesters of a class called "Public Perception of Science"; he has given talks on similar subjects at universities and conferences in 28 states and six countries. Adam has appeared on the Food Network, the Weather Channel, the Travel Channel, Discovery International, and NPR; he currently hosts the Science Channel's Outrageous Acts of Science. In addition to his monthly humor column, "Experimental Error," in the AAAS journal Science Careers, Adam is the author of two books: Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (Random House, 2010), and Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball, which will be published by Chicago Review Press on November 1.