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STS Wire 11/14/2016

In this Issue
  • Course Spotlight: The Sociology of Innovation and Invention
  • Black Holes, Astrophysics and How to Get to Equity in STEM
  • Energy Seminar: Climate-Wise Choices in a World of Oil Abundance
  • Careers in International Law
  • Race in the Real World - Healing Through Hip-Hop with Tomás Alvarez III
  • The National Collegiate Research Conference
  • Course Spotlight: BioSecurity and Bioterrorism Response
  • Global Climate Summer Law & Policy Intern 
  • Undergraduate Research Assistants 
Course Spotlight:
The Sociology of Innovation and Invention (STS 200F)
This strong capstone course taught by Woody Powell examines the social, cultural, and economic factors that foster novelty. It studies a wide array of historical contexts, from the Renaissance to the present day, in which clusters of related innovations transformed the way things are done. It asks when do such innovations cascade out and produce social inventions that, for good and bad, create profound changes in how things are done, leading to new forms of organizations and new categories of people. 
By the end of the course, committed students will have attained:
  • a knowledge of, and ability to describe and identify, the fundamental processes of innovation and invention;
  • a deeper understanding of how both social and material technologies develop and evolve;
  • awareness of major theoretical traditions that study these phenomena;
  • insight into the role played by individuals in the innovation process;
  • a sense of the distinctive and shared trends in the emergence of new kinds of  organizations.
Offered in Winter
Read more on ExploreCourses.
Black Holes, Astrophysics and How to Get to Equity in STEM 
The Fall 2016 WISE Inspirations Network at Stanford (WINS) program features Meg Urry, the Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Astrophysics has made incredible advances over the past 40 years. Far less impressive is the slow pace at which physics and other STEM fields enlist talented students who fall outside the dominant white+male group. Although women are 50% of the population and 60% of all college graduates in the US, their participation in physics falls short of 20%; people of color, veterans, first-in-family college students, the disabled, the LGBTIQA* community and other minority groups are also under-represented, and those with intersecting identities even more so. Because the demographics of science varies widely across fields, nations and time, culture—rather than ability or interest—is likely the dominant variable. The preferential exclusion of minority groups means that we are leaving talent on the table, i.e., the STEM enterprise is not as strong as it could be. And we are short-changing our students, who are far more diverse than faculty. Extensive research has made clear why the academy falls short of parity, including implicit bias, insufficient mentoring, shifting criteria for evaluation, lack of role models and harassment. We can’t afford to lose another generation of STEM talent, vanishing like matter into a black hole — we need their energy and new perspectives to lead to innovation and transformative science. Read more.
Monday, November 14, 2016 | 4:30PM-6:30PM | Mackenzie Room, Huang Center
Energy Seminar: Climate-Wise Choices in a World of Oil Abundance

     In the last five years, commercial-scale application of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has opened up large resources of so-called “tight oil”.  At the same time, a decade of investment in unconventional resources such as the Canadian oil sands has allowed production from enormous deposits of low-grade hydrocarbons.  This abundance conflicts with a key long-term challenge: maintaining a stable climate by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.  How does an era of oil abundance affect the climate challenge? Can we choose wisely among oil resources to minimize climate impacts?  What opportunities exist for oil companies to reduce the impacts of these new resources?  This panel discussion will cover these topics and introduce the “Oil Climate Index”, an open-source effort to model and estimate emissions from global oil resources. Read more.
Monday, November 14, 2016 | 4:30PM-5:20PM | Nvidia Auditorium
Careers in International Law
Think you might be interested in a career in international law? Penelope Van Tuyl, Associate Director at Stanford’s Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Beth Van Schaack, Faculty Fellow at the Handa Center, and Leah Kaplan, Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School, will lead a discussion about the range of available professional pathways in this field, necessary qualifications, and strategies for how to identify and land good entry level opportunities at the beginning of your career. Read more.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016 | 12:10PM-1:30PM | BEAM 2nd Floor Conference Room
Race in the Real World - Healing Through Hip-Hop with Tomás Alvarez III

     CNN Hero and US Ashoka Fellow, Tomás Alvarez, is a champion for a new mental health paradigm that focuses on wellbeing and empowers youth to become change makers in their community and beyond. For the last 12 years he has been using Hip-Hop Therapy to promote positive mental health outcomes among marginalized and underserved youth. As a clinically trained social worker he developed one of the first Hip-Hop Therapy programs in 2004 and served as the founding CEO of the Oakland-based nonprofit Beats, Rhymes and Life, Incorporated. Tomás' work has inspired individuals and groups around the world to adopt (and adapt) Hip-Hop Therapy as a tool to cultivate mental health among youth. Through his new social venture, the Hip-Hop Therapy Global Institute (HHTGI), Tomás is developing an open-action platform (www.hiphoptherapy.org) to empower a new generation of leaders to inspire wellbeing through Hip-Hop. Read more.
Thursday, November 17, 2016 | 12:30PM | CCSRE Conference Room
The National Collegiate Research Conference

       The National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) is a platform for undergraduates from across the nation to share their interest in research. We strongly believe that student researchers have the ability to make meaningful and significant contributions in all fields of study. Students are not only engaging in research earlier in their careers, but they are also participating in increasing numbers. In light of this positive growth, we have identified the urgent need for a cohesive undergraduate research community. ​ This conference will bring together a host of budding minds and established researchers to expand upon this theme in a three-day dialogue to expose participants to the current research environment. Read more.

The application deadline for general applications is November 28th, 2016
January 19-21, 2017 | Harvard University
Course Spotlight: BioSecurity and Bioterrorism Response (PUBLPOL 122)

This class explores how well the U.S. and global healthcare systems are prepared to withstand a pandemic or a bioterrorism attack, how the medical/healthcare field, government, and the technology sectors are involved in biosecurity and pandemic or bioterrorism response and how they and how they interface, the rise of synthetic biology with its promises and threats, global bio-surveillance, making the medical diognosis, isolation, containment, hospital surgery capacity, stockpiling and distribution of countermeasures, food and agriculture biosecurity, new promising of technologies for detection of bio-threats and countermeasures. Open to medical, graduate, and undergraduate students. No prior background in biology necessary.
Offered in Winter
Read more on ExploreCourses.
Global Climate Summer Law & Policy Intern
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) seeks a highly qualified summer Law and Policy Clerk to work with our Global Climate team on research, writing, and creative advocacy strategies for encouraging and incentivizing sovereign nations to reduce their global warming pollution. Previous clerks have researched and written legal and policy documents that were subsequently published in leading national journals or included in EDF submissions to intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Much of our work in this field occurs at the interface between public international law and legal frameworks governing domestic public and private actors. Projects may focus on treaty development, development of national or subnational law, linkages between and among national and sub-national legal systems, and/or linkages between treaties and domestic programs. Read more.

Undergraduate Research Assistants
The Stanford Humanities Center seeks qualified, enthusiastic undergraduate research assistants (URAs) to assist Humanities Center faculty fellows with research projects over winter and spring quarters 2017. Projects include a wide range of scholarly topics and research methods, including data management, network analysis, digital humanities, bibliographic editing, GIS analysis, oral history, and more. 
Pending final budgetary approval from VPUE, undergraduate RAs will be asked to work 8-10 hours a week, and will be paid the Stanford undergraduate wage of $15/hour. The faculty leader of each project will provide guidance and mentorship (e.g., weekly meetings and reviews) to the URAs as the research progresses. Group activities will also take place over the course of the year to share feedback and research results. More information, including full descriptions of the projects for which URAs are sought, can be found here.
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