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September 22, 2005


This Friday, Sept. 23, the Center for Science in Society will offer a lunchtime discussion, "The 'Control' of Nature in New Orleans," to be led by Keck Postdoctoral Fellow in Geology Catherine Riihimaki and Rheanna Bensel '06. The discussion is part of the Center's Friday brown-bag series and will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Multicultural Center. All are welcome. Participants may bring their lunches; snacks and drinks will be provided.

"While hurricanes continue to batter the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico," says Riihimaki, "it is timely to discuss the environmental choices that were made in the region leading up to Hurricane Katrina and future choices that may or may not make a similar disaster less likely in the future. We will present the history and geology of how New Orleans came to be a disaster-waiting-to-happen, whether House Speaker Dennis Hastert was right to question rebuilding efforts, and how humans can interact with natural hazards in safer ways."

This year, the Center's Friday brown-bag series' theme is "Rethinking Science in Society." Says Center Director Paul Grobstein, "During the first semester, we will discuss a series of current social and cultural issues, of significance both in their own right and as examples of the importance for contemporary life of general scientific literacy. We will turn in the second semester to a consideration of the implications of these discussions for science education, and consider a variety of ongoing innovations in this area." A complete schedule, an online forum and archives of past discussions are available at


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