Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Patt Morrison for Wed, 9/14/2011


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:00 – 1:30




1:30 – 2:00

The Pope behind bars? Victims of sexual abuse take their case to The Hague

Should Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials be held responsible for sexual assault crimes perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church? It’s an interesting question and one The Hague may be forced to answer soon. Two advocacy groups, The Center for Constitutional Rights and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, have filed a massive complaint urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to examine the case and prosecute the highest members of the Catholic Church. Victims claim that the individual lawsuits filed against priests and bishops have not stopped the abuse and some wonder if the high profile case might force the church to confront the issue. The Vatican counters that decisions about priests who have committed sexual assault are not made by the Pope or top officials at the church.  The case is ambitious—The Hague’s primary purpose is to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide-and some legal experts think it’s unlikely the case will be heard.  But victims’ lawyers claim the abuse is a wide spread, global problem and the church needs to be held accountable.  Should The Hague take this case? Is the Pope ultimately responsible for the sexual abuse perpetrated by priests under his purview?



Vince Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights




2:00 – 2:30

Running on empty? You may be suffering from a personal energy crisis

The world is facing an energy crisis and this time… it’s personal. To invoke a cliché: the world is becoming increasingly fast paced and the draw to stay connected to our phones, email and social media has become almost a necessity. This saturation of abstract duties and tasks, exacerbating both our work and home lives, has taken us down a perilous lifestyle devoid of not only time, but more importantly, energy. “In physics, energy is defined simply as the capacity to do work” says Tony Shwartz, president of the Energy Project. “Human beings are not meant to operate like computers” he elaborates, asserting that we are physiologically more inclined to operate on a “pulse-based” system, moving rhythmically on a cycle of action and rest. Citing a study involving pilots on long-haul flights, Shwartz notes that the ones who took just a 30 minute nap experienced a 16% bonus to reaction time, while those who took no break averaged a 34% decrease in response time. Nathaniel Kleitman, the prolific sleep researcher from the University of Chicago, paralleled the waking “rest activity schedule” to the same cycle that occurs while we are asleep. Some employers have recognized this personal crisis early and have begun offering fitness facilities, energy-rich food and even napping pods as a means of combating fatigue. Will society at large begin to recognize and combat this sunken eyed menace lurking at our doorstep? Or do we lack the energy to even try…



Tony Schwartz, president and CEO, The Energy Project



2:30 – 2:40




2:40 – 3:00

Contagion: science goes to the movies

What does a seizure look like? How can you self- vaccinate in an outbreak? Which is the correct way to pipette liquid nitrogen? Those are just some of the questions scientists were called in to consult on during the making of last weekend’s box office winner “Contagion.” In Steven Soderbergh’s thriller, a pandemic virus spreads, leaving death and destruction in its wake. But that’s just Hollywood, right? Not quite—“Contagion” joins the growing ranks of blockbusters that are “ultrarealistic.” From robots and bugs, to climate change and viral outbreaks, does Hollywood have more incentive to accurately portray science the way it is, especially when savvy audiences can fact check it on their smart phones? Can Hollywood be used as a recruiting tool for the sciences? Patt reviews the science Hollywood portrays most accurately and the science you can only find in the movies.



Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University and co-chair of the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee; he served as a consultant on “Contagion”



Phil Plate, creator of Discovery’s Bad Astronomy blog; he’s an astronomer, lecturer, and author



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