January 2018

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Diversity Career Fair
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Breslin Center
Host: Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Should We Genetically Engineer Our Grandchildren?
Date: Friday, January 26, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Atrium of the IQ Building, 775 Woodlot Drive
Speaker: Dr. Leonard Fleck, Professor of Center for Ethics and Department of Philosophy; Dr. Stephen Hsu, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies; moderated by Dr. Mark Reimers, Associate Professor, Neuroscience Program
Host: Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering in collaboration with the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences
Series: Brews and Views
Note: Most of us carry several dozen harmful genetic variants, which affect our health or may be masked by other variants we have, but which could result in more serious disease in some of our ospring. Until recently there was little any of us could do about this, other than becoming informed and perhaps modify our lifestyles. However, the recent revolution in genetic engineering through CRISPR/Cas brings into view the prospect of changing these alleles permanently. Do we have an obligation to remove these alleles from the gene pool of humanity?

Perceptions of Emerging Biotechnologies
Date: Monday, January 29, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: 273 Giltner Hall
Speaker: Christina Azodi (Plant Biology and ESPP) together with Rob Last - Barnett Rosenberg Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Plant Biology & the director of the NIH Training Grant Program at MSU on “Plant Biotechnology for Health and Sustainability”. John Besley - Associate Professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations and the Ellis N Brandt Chair in Public Relations Joseph Hamm - Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice and Appointed Faculty of Environmental Science and Policy
Host: ESPP
Contact: Karessa Weir
Series: ESPP Research Colloquia, Spring 2018
Note: Abstract: Research on public views of biotechnology has centered on opinions about genetically modified (GM) foods. As the breadth of biotechnology applications grows, it is crucial to understand public concerns about different biotech products in order to develop proactive strategies to address these concerns. Here, we explore the perceived benefits and risks associated with different biotechnology products and how those perceptions translate into support for or opposition to the product and into beliefs about the need for regulation.

Are 'Water Smart Landscapes' Contagious? An epidemic approach on networks to study peer effects
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: 230 Psychology
Speaker: Dr. Christa Brelsford Oak Ridge National Laboratory Geographic Information Science and Technology group
Host: Global Urban Studies
Contact: Dr. Zachary Neal (
Series: Global Urban Studies Brownbag Series
Note: ABSTRACT We test the existence of a neighborhood based peer effect around participation in an incentive based conservation program called ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ (WSL) in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. We use 15 years of geo-coded daily records of WSL program applications and approvals compiled by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Clark County Tax Assessors rolls for home characteristics. We use this data to test whether a spatially mediated peer effect can be observed in WSL participation likelihood at the household level. We show that epidemic spreading models provide more flexibility in modeling assumptions, and also provide one mechanism for addressing problems associated with correlated unobservables than hazards models which can also be applied to address the same questions. We build networks of neighborhood based peers for 16 randomly selected neighborhoods in Las Vegas and test for the existence of a peer based influence on WSL participation by using a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered epidemic spreading model (SEIR), in which a home can become infected via autoinfection or through contagion from its infected neighbors. We show that this type of epidemic model can be directly recast to an additive-multiplicative hazard model, but not to purely multiplicative one. Using both inference and prediction approaches we find evidence of peer effects in several Las Vegas neighborhoods.

February 2018

Culture, Carbon and Climate Change: A Class Analysis of Climate Change Believe, Lifestyle Lock-in, and Personal Carbon Footprint
Date: Friday, February 2, 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: 457 Berkey Hall
Speaker: Dr. Jean Boucher, Visiting Professor
Host: Department of Sociology

Darwin Discovery Day
Date: Sunday, February 11, 1 p.m.
Location: MSU Museum
Host: MSU Museum
Note: MSU scientists and students take part in Darwin Discovery Day to share their expertise and love of science with the public. Activities, tours and university science collections are featured throughout the MSU Museum.

Evolutionary Approaches to Antibiotic Resistance
Date: Tuesday, February 20, 11 a.m.
Location: 101 Biochemistry
Speaker: Michael Baym, Harvard University
Host: MMG Graduate Students
Series: MMG Seminars Spring 2018

April 2018

Small Animals Day
Date: Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: MSU Pavilion
Host: Department of Animal Science
Note: Small Animals Day is slated from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the MSU Pavilion. Admission is $3 per person, infants under 1 year old are free. Parking is available at the MSU Pavilion.

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