LASER Talks at Tempe - The Need to Know | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University

LASER Talks at Tempe - The Need to Know

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Human Cell Atlas curator Dr. Suzy O'Hara, molecular virologist Arvind Varsani, and News Co/Lab managing director Kristy Roschke discuss microbiology and misinformation Tuesday, October 19 on Zoom

As always, we have existed within a framework of small biological things that impact us as humans. But now, it feels as though we are thrust into a need to know situation and many people feel as though they are being fed tainted or half of the information. Why are some people feeling that they are being lied to or that the information they are receiving is incorrect in some way? Why do we need to understand these very small biological entities that reside within us?  From our more intimate world of friends and family to our global communities, we are impacted by the small biological systems within and between all of us. What is the difference between cells and viruses? Why are we in this pandemic predicament and how can we avoid more in the future? And how does art inform and elucidate these questions?

Join Dr. Suzy O'Hara, Arvind Varsani, Kristy Roschke, and Pamela Winfrey for a LASER talk on microbiology and misinformation at The Need to Know: Small Things, Tuesday October 19, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Phoenix MST on Zoom. 

About the Speakers

Dr Suzy O’Hara is a Research Fellow at University of Sunderland and the Project Curator for One Cell At A Time, a public engagement project for The Human Cell Atlas. The Human Cell Atlas is a pioneering, multidisciplinary, global research project that aims to map every cell type in the human body, from development to old age. This will transform our understanding of biology and disease, and could revolutionise the way illnesses are diagnosed and treated. A truly global initiative, there are now more than 2,000 HCA members, from 75 countries around the world. One Cell At A Time brings together art, science and diverse local communities to explore the science of the Human Cell Atlas, as well as attitudes and concerns surrounding public perception of tissue and data donation for research in new and creative ways. 

Arvind Varsani is a molecular virologist who works across ecosystems from plants to animals and from the tropics to the Antarctic. His research uses a combination of traditional virology, microscopy (including transmission electron microscopy), molecular and cellular biology techniques in conjunction with modern sequencing techniques, synthetic biology and bioinformatics to characterize viruses and understand their dynamics.

Kristy Roschke is the managing director of the News Co/Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Lab works to advance media literacy through journalism, education and technology. Through existing research and partnerships, the Lab experiments with new ways to increase public understanding of how news works - helping people better find, understand, act upon and create credible news and information, and to share it with integrity.

CHAIR: Pamela Winfrey 


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The Leonardo/ISAST LASERs are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of the LASERs is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 40 cities around the world. To learn more about how our LASER Hosts and to visit a LASER near you please visit our website. @lasertalks

October 19th, 2021 from  9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Online / Tempe, AZ 85201
United States