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Past Events at CDHS 2004

This page lists recent lectures and events. It includes a brief description plus a link to a complete summary.



What can and should CDHS do about Bush's War?

Jim Wojtkowski, December 12, 2004

“What can and should CDHS do about Bush’s war?” was the question. We put aside other matters this month to deal, as we can, with this urgent matter. Member Jim Wojtkowski, now an Executive Council member, brought his copy of a locally made DVD documentary – three shorts, in fact – of the mass demonstration in New York City last February 15, at which the Capital District was represented by six buses and as many “Peace Train” riders.


Problems with provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act

Melanie Trimble, November 14, 2004

Problems with provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act topped Melanie Trimble’s talk in November. Trimble is the Executive Director of the Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. Congress passed all 350 pages of the PATRIOT Act in the wee hours one morning soon after the eruption of the anthrax scare and the September 11 terrorist attacks. The bill moved so quickly that most legislators did not have enough time to read it before casting their votes. In fact, the prose analysis of the Act, which explains in plain English what the bill would do, was not completed until after the bill was already passed.


What can Humanist Realistically Accomplish

Dr. Jerry Lieberman, October 10, 2004

Dr. Jerry Lieberman talked to us about What humanists can realistically accomplish. Dr. Lieberman is president of the Humanist of Florida Association. His talk was not a lecture of the usual kind but designed and succeeded as a wake-up call to make more of ourselves and play a greater role in our community on all levels. Our CDHS is not unknown to him. He is well aware of our achievements, and praised in particular our monthly newsletter (which you are reading now), but without meaning offense, he prodded us that a humanist organization like ours could do more, and should.


The Status of Reproductive Rights

Patricia A. McGeown, September 12, 2004

Patricia A. McGeown, President and CEO, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, updated us at the September meeting on “The Status of Reproductive Rights: Threats in Legislation, Regulation, Policy, Scientific Integrity.”


Travels in Kenming, China

Gregg Millett, August 8, 2004

At our August meeting, CDHS member Gregg Millett and his granddaughter Krystal Garrison presented us with a slide show of their recent trip to a Chinese city, Kunming, and let us participate in their overwhelming experience. They were assisted by Bingru Xie, who is a native of Kunming and presently a Ph.D. student at the University at Albany. She helped with authentic comments and answers to questions.


The Rise of the Religious Right

Dr. Kathleen Damiani, July 11, 2004

Kathleen Damiani, PhD, spoke at our July meeting on the rise of the religious right in the Republican Party. President of the Board of Directors of TheocracyWatch at Ithaca NY, she is a teacher who currently works as a grants administrator for the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation and Historic Preservation. TheocracyWatch is a project of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University. CRESP is a nonsectarian, action-based educational organization with its roots in religious dialogue, human rights advocacy, and ethical thought.


How the war is affecting Iraqi citizens -- an illustrated discussion

Lorna Tychostup, June 13, 2004

The best way to describe Iraq is as a place where many different truths are happening at once. To get inside the Iraqi mind, Tychostup says, one has to understand their current situation in addition to what they endured under Saddam Hussein. What you see on the news, she says, is not necessarily the truth or the whole truth. Add to this the U.S. Involvement, its underlying motivations, the 2000 and upcoming U.S. elections, and the shades of gray can leave a visitor to Iraq with conflicting feelings.


Themes found in the movie "Flight from Death"

Sheldon Solomon, May 9, 2004 [more]

Buckminster Fuller -- A Personal View

Ken Siegal, Apr. 12, 2004

Dr. CDHSer Ken Siegal spoke at the April meeting on R. Buckminster Fuller who, among many other things, designed the Geodesic Dome, coined the phrase "think globally and act locally," and developed the principles of "Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science" (which the Buckminster Fuller Institute describes as the attempt to anticipate and solve humanity's major problems through the highest technology by providing “more and more life support for everybody, with less and less resources.


Lobbying on behalf of Humanist principles

Tim Gordinier, Mar. 15, 2004

Dr. Tim Gordinier, IHS, Director of Public Policy, spoke at the March meeting on Lobbying and Humanism. He began by summarizing important recent and pending cases including the California Supreme Court ruling obligating religious hospitals to maintain the same emergency services as secular hospitals, the Davey vs. Locke decision that a state is not required to subsidize a theology degree if their constitution prohibits it, and the pending Newdow Pledge-of-Allegiance case. Gordinier also discussed the various methods of political activism along with the different types of lobbying and their effects and then the issues that the IHS lobbies for.


Evolutionary clues in the Antarctic depths

Dr. Sam Bowser, Feb. 8, 2004

Our February meeting celebrated Charles Darwin’s birthday, and as the icing on our “Happy Birthday Charles” cake we had the pleasure of Dr. Sam Bowser describing his searches for “Evolutionary Clues in the Antarctic Depth.” Prof. Bowser is with the Wadsworth Center department of Biomedical Science at SUNY and the NSF (National Science Foundation).


Introduced Diseases and their Impact on People and Wildlife

Ward Stone, Jan. 11, 2004

Ward Stone, head of the Wildlife Pathology Unit at the New York State Department of Conservation, spoke at the January meeting on "Introduced diseases and their impact on people and wildlife." His discussion included PCB pollution, infectious disease, the attitude of the DEC administration toward these threats, and what we face in the future.


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