Hot Science - Cool Talks

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    Humans vs AI: Robot Soccer and Gran Turismo
    (2024-04-19) Stone, Peter
    Advancements in AI have unleashed astonishing capabilities, but it is not magic. Peter Stone reveals his insights into cutting-edge AI and robotics and explores how they may reshape our world. Someday these technologies could win the World Cup, and they are already outperforming the best humans at complex tasks like high-speed racing.
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    Breaking the Universe: Discoveries from the Beginning of Time
    (2024-03-22) Casey, Caitlin
    The powerful James Webb Space Telescope allows us to see back to the beginning of time, shortly after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies were only starting to form. Professor Caitlin Casey will explore with us some exciting new discoveries made using JWST during the first billion years of cosmic time. These discoveries are challenging scientists’ existing understanding about the universe itself and will change the way you see the cosmos.
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    Recipes for Food Insecurity
    (2024-01-26) Patel, Raj
    In "Recipes for Food Insecurity," Dr. Raj Patel unveils his research into a powerful link between food justice and addressing climate change. Battling a changing climate means transforming the food system and challenging oppressive systems. Dr. Patel's insights originate from researching frontline communities who have already developed unique solutions for a hot planet.
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    Tarsiers – Tiny Terrors of the Tropics!
    (2023-11-03) Kirk, Chris
    Have you ever wondered what an insect’s worst nightmare is? Dive into the wonderful weirdness of tarsiers with Dr. Chris Kirk in “Tarsiers – Tiny Terrors of the Tropics!”. These primates have freaky adaptations, but in many ways, they are also just like us!
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    Living Wonders of the Hill Country
    (2023-09-29) Hillis, David
    Discover the enchanting stories that make the Hill Country such a unique place. From colorful wildflowers to endangered species, an incredible variety of plants and animals call this region home. Learn about the importance of preserving the Hill Country's biological diversity and leave with ideas for how you can make a positive difference. Copies of Dr. Hillis’s new book, Armadillos to Ziziphus, will be available for purchase on site—don't miss the chance to get your copy signed after the talk!
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    A Dinosaur’s Roar
    (2023-04-07) Clarke, Julia
    Based on Hollywood movies, many of us imagine that a dinosaur may have roared like a lion or a tiger. But what if instead of roaring, dinosaurs instead cooed? By examining birds as living descendants of dinosaurs, Dr. Julia Clarke shares how ancient dinosaurs may have produced sound and what that tells us about modern-day birds.
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    Climate Change: Science to Solutions
    (2023-02-24) Persad, Geeta
    Understanding how climate change will stress our human systems can lead to better decisions and better outcomes for people. Using computer representations that can capture the entire Earth system, geoscientist Geeta Persad conducts research that sheds more light on our climate future and solutions at hand. Our Hot Science - Cool Talks event is a featured event in the Texas Science Festival, sponsored by the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin.
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    Film Screening: The Ants and the Grasshopper
    (2023-01-12) Patel, Raj
    Join us for the screening of The Ants and the Grasshopper, a documentary that tells the story of a Malawian activist trying to save her home from extreme weather. Called "charming, infuriating" and "big-hearted" by The New Yorker, the film weaves together the most urgent themes of our times: climate change, gender and racial inequality, the gaps between the rich and the poor, and the ideas that groups around the world have generated in order to save the planet. At the end of the film, director and LBJ School research professor Raj Patel will answer questions from the audience. This event is a collaboration between the LBJ School, Hot Science - Cool Talks, and Texas Global.
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    Hurricane Destructiveness in the 21st Century
    (2022-11-11) Emanuel, Kerry
    Tropical cyclones cause on average more than 10,000 deaths and $40 billion in damages globally each year. Not only are hurricanes destructive because of the damaging winds but heavy rainfall and storm surge lead to flooding, rip currents and even tornadoes. Are hurricanes becoming more powerful and destructive and to what extent are these changes caused by climate change? Dr. Kerry Emanuel shares his research on hurricane prediction models and the long-term risk of hurricanes.
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    Successfully Communicating about Climate Change
    (2022-09-23) Ranney, Michael
    Is it possible to change an individual’s perceptions about climate change? Definitely! Join us for a conversation with Michael Ranney, whose research focuses on understanding and explaining challenging information, including concepts such as global warming and its impacts. Prof. Ranney shares interventions that have proven to be effective in increasing the acceptance of climate change by people across the political spectrum.
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    Reconstructing Environmental (In)Justice
    (2022-06-10) Bruno, Tianna
    Environmental injustice refers to the uneven distribution of environmental benefits and burdens based primarily on race, but also other marginalizing factors such as income and gender. In this conversation, Dr. Bruno will describe how this phenomenon spans across Texas and its history, with a focus on Port Arthur, Texas, where the largest petrochemical refinery in the Northern Hemisphere is nestled within a Black community. Dr. Bruno will describe the importance of integrating social science and environmental reconstruction methods to assess environmental injustice over time.
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    Finding Ancient Water
    (2022-05-13) Montañez, Isabel
    Caves with their luminous rock formations fascinate both explorers and scientists. But trapped in these glittering crystals are tiny droplets of water that have preserved what rain and snow were like thousands of years ago. Dr. Isabel Montañez shares her fascinating research in creating a timeline for Northern California’s climate history going back nearly 20,000 years.
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    Space Environmentalism
    (2021-11-12) Jah, Moriba
    With more than 500,000 objects floating in space and only about 2,000 functioning, space junk is growing exponentially. When these objects stop working, they drift aimlessly into the cosmos. These rogue bits of metal and space debris pose a danger to the technologies we rely on and to the future of space exploration. Dr. Moriba Jah examines what we can do to make space safe, secure, and sustainable in the long term.
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    Water Justice
    (2021-09-10) Jones, Kimberly
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    To Err is Human
    (Environmental Science Institute, 2021-07-23) Bob Duke
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    Amazing Amazonian Monkeys
    (2021-04-09) Di Fiore, Anthony
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    The Fate of Food
    (2021-03-05) Little, Amanda
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    Cultivating Science and Environmental Justice
    (2020-12-04) Ramirez-Andreotta, Monica
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    Will we live on Mars?
    (2020-11-06) Levy, Joe
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    Leaping Lemurs
    (2020-09-25) Lewis, Rebecca