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Past Events at CDHS 2006

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



Professor Tim Madigan Speaks On The Scopes "Monkey" Trial

Professor Tim Madigan teaches philosophy at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, and is a former Executive Editor of Free Inquiry Magazine, December, 2006

Professor Madigan has appeared before our group several times and has been honored as an "Outstanding Friend of CDHS." His latest talk, at our November meeting, was entitled The 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial: Its Continuing Relevance.


Life, Liberty, and Happiness, an Optimist Manifesto by Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson talked about his just-published book, Life, Liberty, and Happiness, an Optimist Manifesto, November, 2006

His book was honored with the Spooner Award for advancing the literature of liberty. Frank, a graduate of the NYU Law School, served for twenty-six years as an Administrative Law Judge for the New York Public Service Commission, and then turned his hobby of collecting world and ancient coins into a coin business. More about his book can be found on his website.[F.Robinson]


CDHS 20th Anniversary Dinner

Inauguration of the Dennis Bender award and Presentation by Lori Lipman Brown, October, 2006

We had a great dinner with many local members present. A new award was created and named in memory of Dennis Bender- recognizing outstanding leadership contributions to CDHS. Dennis, who died last year, was a founding member of this organization and the one who held it together in its early, formative years.
Also, Lori Lipman Brown, Director and Lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America in Washington DC, reported on the challenges of representing secular/humanist/freethought interests and viewpoints in today's Washington.


Environmental Health Decision-making: How do we get our communities involved?

Lois J Shapiro-Canter, J.D., president and CEO of the Saratoga Foundation for Women World-Wide, Inc, September 10, 2006

Lois J Shapiro-Canter, J.D., spoke at our September meeting. Shapiro-Canter has been a leader in environmental, economic, and civil justice for more than two decades and is a former Albany County Assistant District Attorney. Her discussion with us focused on "Environmental Health Decision-making: How do we get our communities involved?"


Applying the Principles of Secular Humanism

Discussion coordinated by Holly Nolan, 13 August 2006

We conducted a series of discussions on how we can apply and promote the principles of secular humanism. We initially broke up into sub-groups to separately discuss each of various particular "principles" in these contexts. We were asked to first consider each topic in the broad perspective of what we might ideally do if not constrained by resource and other limitations; then to discuss what our actual CDHS group might realistically do; and finally, what we can do as individuals. We ultimately heard reports from each group and then had a more general discussion.


Celebrating the achievments of a longtime member

Bob Blank's 90th birthday, July 9, 2006

Our July meeting provided a treat for the 70 CDHSers and guests who gathered to celebrate Bob Blank's 90th birthday and delight in his reminiscences and reflections on a remarkable life well lived. Bob is a rare find. It is unlikely that any of us will ever encounter a fellow human who has traveled as extensively, read as widely, become engrossed in music as deeply, experienced such extremes of great love and devastating loss, and thought as penetratingly about all of this - and who retains such total recall of all this experience - as our own Renaissance Man.


Making Proctor's Theatre the cultural beacon of the Capital District

Philip Morris, Executive Director and CEO of Proctor's Theatre, June 11, 2006

Philip Morris is (a) a pie-in-the-sky optimist, (b) a visionary, or (c) a schemer who will stop at nothing in pursuit of his ultimate goal. Those who heard him speak at the June 11 meeting of the Capital District Humanist Society, came away thinking that Morris, Executive Director and CEO of Proctor's Theatre, is all three.


How the fear of death affects human actions and politics.

Sheldon Solomon, Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College, May 14, 2006

Events such as 9/11 remind societies of their death fears and can lead to the rise of charismatic leaders with simplistic and religious based messages. G. W. Bush's popularity after 9/11 has been ascribed to this phenomenon.


Luddite Objections to Human Cloning?

Dr. Glenn McGee is director of the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical Center, April, 2006

Professor McGee noted that when you are subjected to modern medical care, strangers are at your bedside. From admittance to and discharge from a hospital, as many as 94 medical people see your records; and that the American population is uninformed on what is going on. Genetic engineering is already in full swing and by many considered controversial. The controversies are exacerbated when it comes to stem-cell research and, of course, cloning. These are areas of particular concern to bioethics.


National health care - What is wrong with it and what is right?

Dr. Paul Sorum, March 12, 2006

Dr. Paul Sorum's subject was national health care - what is wrong with it and what is right. Dr. Sorum is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Albany Medical College and the Chair of the Capital District chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. Dr. Sorum is well qualified to speak on this subject. He has a wide background in primary care practice for children and adults. He teaches evidence-based medicine to medical students, and he has done research in medical decision-making and health psychology in the United States and France.


Evolution vs. (not so) Intelligent Design

ID Panel Discussion Group, Feburary 12, 2006

How is evolution being taught in school? How should it be taught? Dr. Sam Bowser, research biologist, installing an observatory in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, to provide continuous views of life in the world's coldest seawater. Dr. Susan Jenks, Assistant Professor at Russell Sage with a joint appointment in Psychology and Biology; oversees interdisciplinary Biopsychology major. Melissa Joslin, Biology teacher at Averill Park High School and adjunct at Siena College instructing science majors preparing to teach in high schools


US in the World

Dr. Steven Liebo, January 8, 2006

Dr. Steven Leibo, professor of Modern Global History and Politics at The Sage Colleges, shared a wide range of thoughts on the place of the United States in the world in 2006. Since 2000, Dr. Leibo has organized trips to Vietnam for Vietnam War veterans, college students, and Vietnamese-Americans and has created a documentary on the effects of the Vietnam War on the Capital Region. He co-founded and edits an internet community that discusses Asian international relations.



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[Past Events 2007]

[Past Events 2006]

[Past Events 2005]

[Past Events 2004]

[Past Events 2003]

[Past Events 2002]

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