Even if you are not able to attend this Connections 2018, you can support the event by purchasing tickets to a Salon Lab. These events provide guests with a chance to interact with experts in a specific field over an intimate dinner.
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the initiatives of Connections 2018!
Reforming Our Judicial System
Speaker: Richard Posner
Date: April 12, 2018
Location: Cynthia Heusing and David Kistenbroker's Home
Host: Cynthia Heusing and David Kistenbroker
Richard Posner is arguably the most influential jurist since Oliver Wendell Holmes. From birthing the law and economics movement to championing a pragmatic approach to judging, Posner's three decade career on the bench has transformed the way litigants, the academy, and judges address legal questions. Now retired from the bench to focus on improving the way pro se litigants are treated by the judicial system, the next chapter of Judge Posner's career promises to be as interesting and transformative as the first. Join us for an evening of drinks, dinner, and conversation with a judge whose wisdom shines brightly in the legal firmament.
Richard Allen Posner:
Richard Allen Posner worked for several years in Washington during the Kennedy and Johnson Administration—as law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., as an assistant to Commissioner Philip Elman of the Federal Trade Commission, as an assistant to the Solicitor General of the U.S., Thurgood Marshall, and as general counsel of President Johnson's Task Force on Communications Policy.
Posner entered law teaching in 1968 at Stanford as an associate professor, and became professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School in 1969, where he remained (later as Lee and Brena Freeman Professor of Law) until his appointment to the Seventh Circuit in 1981. During this period Posner wrote a number of books (including Antitrust Law: An Economic Perspective, Economic Analysis of Law—now in its fifth edition—and The Economics of Justice) and many articles (a number of these in collaboration with the economist William Landes), mainly exploring the application of economics to a variety of legal subjects, including antitrust, public utility and common carrier regulation, torts, contracts, and procedure. He called for major reforms in antitrust policy, proposed and sought to test the theory that the common law is best explained as if the judges were trying to promote economic efficiency, urged wealth maximization as a goal of legal and social policy, contributed to the economic theory of regulation and legislation, and extended the economic analysis of law into fields new to such analysis, such as family law, primitive law, racial discrimination, jurisprudence, and privacy. He founded the Journal of Legal Studies, primarily to encourage economic analysis of law, and was a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He also engaged in private consulting and was from 1977 to 1981 the first president of Lexecon Inc., a firm made up of lawyers and economists that provides economic and legal research and support in antitrust, securities, and other litigation.
Posner became a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in December 1981; he was Chief Judge from 1993 to 2000. He continues to teach part time at the University of Chicago Law School, where he is Senior Lecturer, and to write academic articles and books. He has written 30 books and more than 300 articles and book reviews. His academic work since his becoming a judge has included studies in the economics of criminal law, labor law, and intellectual property; in jurisprudence, law and literature, and the interpretation of constitutional and statutory texts; and in the economics of sexuality and of old age.
Expeditions and Evolution
Speaker: Neil Shubin, Paul Sereno & Zeray Alemseged
Date: May 15, 2018
Location: Liz Parker and Keith Crow's Home
Host: Liz Parker and Keith Crow
Join University of Chicago paleontologists Neil Shubin, Paul Sereno and Zeray Alemseged for a discussion of their expeditions and discoveries—literally from fish to human—and the implications of their findings.
Neil Shubin, Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Organismal Biology & Anatomy, has conducted fieldwork in the North America, China and both polar regions, and his research focuses on the earliest evolution of limbs. Professor Shubin's book and PBS mini-series, Your Inner Fish, tell the story of how deeply our bodies retain a connection to our evolutionary past. His follow-up book, The Universe Within, answers traces that inner history to the events that formed our solar system billions of years ago.
Paul Sereno, Professor, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, has made numerous discoveries on five continents including the earliest dinosaurs in Argentina, a 40-foot "SuperCroc" and scores of dinosaurs on Africa, a mired herd of dinosaurs in the Gobi Desert of China, and fossilized humans predating the Egyptian that lived in a Green Sahara. Dr. Sereno's work has been the subject of 15 documentaries. Currently he is planning a two-month expedition into the heart of the Sahara this fall and, closer to home, has launched Chicago Science Works to propel south side teens toward careers in science.
Zeray Alemseged, Professor, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, focuses his research on understanding our evolutionary history after we split from other apes about 7 million years ago. Famed for his discovery of "Selam,"a 3.3 million year old juvenile australopithecine more complete than the famous "Lucy," Professor Alemseged's work has significantly advanced our understanding of the evolution of early hominins.
Changing the World Through Art Making
Speakers: Amanda Williams, artist, and Naomi Beckwith, MCA curator
Date: October 16, 2018
Location: Mariana and Paul Ingersoll's home
Host: Mariana and Paul Ingersoll
Art can often be a tool for creating awareness for social injustices and help to enact change. Amanda Williams, a Lab alum and current Lab parent, has steadily risen to the forefront as a visual artist whose works speak to larger social issues of contemporary urban spaces, income inequality and race. She will be in conversation with Naomi Beckwith, Larry and Marilyn Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, to speak about her work and social practice art.
Amanda is an Efroymson Family Contemporary Arts Fellow, a 3Arts awardee, recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Arts Foundation Design/Build commission in collaboration with Andres L. Hernandez, part of the ensemble selected to represent the US in the upcoming Venice Architecture Biennale, and a member of the multidisciplinary Exhibition Design team for the Obama Presidential Center, 2018 Ford Fellow, 2018 United States Artists Fellow, and a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grants. She has current exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Arts Club of Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a highly sought-after lecturer on the subject of art and design in the public realm, including talks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New Museum's Ideas City series. Amanda recently served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and will be a Visiting Professor at Cornell University in spring 2018. She lives and works on Chicago's south side.
Naomi Beckwith is the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Prior to joining the MCA, Beckwith was a fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, working on numerous cutting-edge exhibitions including Locally Localized Gravity (2007), which was an exhibition and program of events featuring over 100 artists whose practices are social, participatory, and communal. Beckwith was previously the Associate Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem, where she focused on themes of identity and conceptual practices in contemporary art and artists of African descent, as well as managed the Artists-in-Residence program. Beckwith has curated key exhibitions such as 30 Seconds off an Inch at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2009-10), exhibiting work by 42 artists of color or those inspired by black culture. She holds an MA with Distinction from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, completing her Master's thesis on Adrian Piper and Carrie Mae Weems, and was a Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.
The Politics of Food
Speaker: Sam Kass, food policymaker and former White House Chef
Date: October 24, 2018
Location: Mary Frances Budig and John Hass’s Home
Host: Andrea Wishom Young & Charles Young and Mary Frances Budig and John Hass
Join Sam Kass, food policymaker, former White House Chef for President Obama and Lab alum, for an engaging evening of conversation about the politics of food – in particular, our children’s nutritional and educational future, featuring a menu guided by Kass and prepared by local chefs.
Food entrepreneur Sam Kass is a former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition. He is the founder of TROVE and a partner in Acre Venture Partners.
Kass joined the White House kitchen staff in 2009 as Assistant Chef and, in 2010, became Food Initiative Coordinator. During his White House tenure, he took on several additional roles including Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let’s Move!" campaign and senior White House Policy Advisor for Nutrition. Kass is the first person in the history of the White House to have a position in the Executive Office of the President and the Residence. As one of the First Lady’s longest-serving advisors, he served as Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives and he helped the First Lady create the first major vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden.
In 2011, Fast Company included Sam in their list of "100 Most Creative People," and in 2012, he helped create the American Chef Corps, which is dedicated to promoting diplomacy through culinary initiatives. He is also an MIT Media lab fellow, entrepreneur and advisor.
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