Bill McKibben‘s 1989 book “The End of Nature” was an early call to arms about climate change. In the decades since, he’s turned his passion-filled reporting into activism, such as helping to organize civil disobedience against the Keystone pipeline project. He will discuss the environment and his activism in a Q&A with Duke professors Norman Wirzba and Jed Purdy at 5 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Divinity School’s Goodson Chapel.
Reynolds Price’s vast intellectual interests were reflected in his home, where visitors found African art, Greek busts, modern art and books galore. Documentarian Alex Harris, a close friend of Price, photographed the collections in Price’s home. With the photos now on exhibit at Rubenstein Library, Harris joins Margaret Sartor for a photographic tour of the private world of the beloved teacher and author at 5 p.m. Sept. 28 in the library’s Holsti-Anderson Family Assembly Room.
Whether he was talking about the relevance of Aristotle to modern times or how to value both Eastern and Western philosophy, Duke professor Owen Flanagan kept people interested. His influence has been felt far beyond the disciplinary boundaries of philosophy, including in neuroscience, where he helped build bridges with philosophers. Leading scholars from across the country and from a variety of fields will come to Duke to honor him with a two-day symposium, “Ethics, Mind & Self: Themes From The Work Of Owen Flanagan” Sept. 28-29 in Smith Warehouse.
For space fans, any visit by a speaker from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is certain pleasure, but this one has special interest. Firouz Michael Naderi, the head of NASA’s Mars exploration program, will discuss the cosmic roots of human life on Earth and our future exploration of the solar system and beyond. His talk, “How Did Humans Come to be on Planet Earth and Where to Next?” will be held at noon Sept. 29 in 125 Hudson Hall. It’s safe to say Naderi will be the only speaker at Duke next week who has had an asteroid named after him.
Duke Professor Jehanne Gheith had a successful career studying and teaching Russian literature before a sharp career pivot led her to pursue work as a researcher and practitioner of end-of-life care. It turns out not to be that dizzying a turn: Her humanities background has proven valuable in working with people dealing with illness and grief. She and three others, including a graphic novelist, will hold a workshop on “Poems, Prose, and Panels: The Work of the Humanities in End of Life Care” at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, in The Edge Workshop in Bostock Library.