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The Science, Technology and Society lecture series at Colby College will hold three lectures in September on the Waterville campus. All are open to the public and free of charge.
On Friday, September 20, at 4 p.m. James Fleming will present the lecture “Fixing the Weather and Climate: Military and Civilian Schemes for Cloud Seeding and Climate Engineering.” The event will be held in Room 01 of the F.W. Olin Science Center and refreshments will be served 15 minutes prior. Fleming, professor of science, technology and society at Colby, will examine the history of weather and climate modification by military and civilian planners since 1945. He also will discuss how those proposed technical fixes reflect larger social tensions, values and public apprehensions. Fleming’s publications include Historical Perspectives on Climate Change and Meteorology in America, 1800-1870. He serves as president of the International Commission on History of Meteorology and chair of the History of Atmospheric Sciences Committee of the American Meteorological Society.
On Thursday, September 26, at 7 p.m. technology critic David Noble will present the lecture “Beyond the Promised Land: Modernity and Messiansim.” The event will be held in Room 01 of the F.W. Olin Science Center and a reception will follow. Noble, a professor of history at York University, will examine how technology and faith are intertwined in Western culture. Noble’s books include The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention. In this publication he traces the intertwining of technology and faith in Western culture and argues that religious motivations and a desire for transcendence have been the driving forces behind such large-scale technological quests as the space program, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering.
On Friday, September 27, at 4 p.m. Noble will present a second lecture, “Pitfalls of Educational Technologies.” The event will be held in Room 01 of the F.W. Olin Science Center and refreshments will be served 15 minutes prior. Noble is an outspoken critic of distance learning technologies and will focus on the potential perils of educational technology and distance learning. His most recent book is Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education.