Science historian Alice Dreger to deliver lecture, “Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science,” April 7, 2016

Alice Dreger, a historian of science and social justice advocate, will deliver the 2016 Pauline Newman ’47 Distinguished Lecture in Science, Technology, and Society at Vassar College on Thursday, April 7, 5:00pm, in Taylor Hall, room 102. This event is free and open to the public.

The talk will draw from her 2015 book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science. “The book calls on American academics to step up, defend academic freedom, and be responsible to truth and democracy, both,” says Dreger. The New York Times called Galileo’s Middle Finger a “smart, delightful book. Galileo’s Middle Finger is many things: a rant, a manifesto, a treasury of evocative new terms (sissyphobia, autogynephilia, phall-o-meter).”

A committed activist, Dreger argues for the need to use historic and scientific evidence to create a more just world. Much of her academic and advocacy work has focused on improving the lives of people born with norm-challenging bodies. More recently, she has been exploring the role of academics and journalists in sustaining American democracy, and the absolute need for use of scientific and historic evidence in sustaining both democracy and social justice. Her work has been published in the New York Times and The Atlantic.

About the Pauline Newman ’47 Distinguished Lecture in Science, Technology, and Society
Pauline Newman graduated from Vassar in 1947 and then went on to earn an MS from Columbia, a Ph.D. in Applied Physical Chemistry from Yale and an LL.B. from NYU. Her early career involved research, patent law, and policy work. Since 1984 Judge Pauline Newman has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Her distinguished career as a jurist has included authoring many important opinions in the field of intellectual property and patent law, and more broadly, she has been involved in many decisions that have bridged issues of importance for the practice and application of science and technology, for government, business and academia.  Judge Newman has endowed the distinguished lecture to bring to campus outstanding scholars in the field of STS to explore the intersections of social, scientific, and technological issues.

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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, March 9, 2016