Two Bowdoin Talks: Jews in Hollywood and Latin American Sci-Fi Art

Neal Gabler on Tuesday gave a talk at Bowdoin on Jews and Hollywood, focusing on the early years of Hollywood when five of the six major studios were headed by Jews. These movie moguls wanted to be regarded first as Americans, and they strived to reinvent themselves as new men. In doing so, they created a powerful cluster of images and ideas, painting an idealized portrait of an American society to which they were denied access.

Gabler’s lecture was sponsored by the Harry Spindel Memorial Lectureship Fund, which was established as a lasting testimony to his lifelong devotion to Jewish Learning. Read more about Gabler’s talk.

Later in the week, Gabriel Perez-Barreiro delivered a keynote lecture exploring the ways in which some artists from Latin America have used science and space travel as metaphors for expressing present day realities and imagined futures. Watch his talk here.

Bowdoin is creating an archive of many of the lectures that take place on campus at Bowdoin Talks.

Faculty Profile: Biologist, Genetics Education Advocate, and Ferocious Drummer Jack Bateman

jackbateman-256x384Jack Bateman, Bowdoin’s Samuel S. Butcher Assistant Professor in the Natural Sciences, talks chromosomes, education and The Princess Bride, in this third installment in our series of faculty profiles.

In these short Q&As, faculty members answer questions about their research, teaching and non-academic interests. Read the story.

Why Not to Believe Every Medical Study That Makes Headlines (Vox)

doctor shadow

“Real insights don’t come by way of miraculous, one-off findings or divinely ordained eureka moments; they happen after a long, plodding process of vetting and repeating tests, and peer-to-peer discussion,” writes Julia Belluz from Vox.

The notion that progress doesn’t come quickly but often is a gradual learning process rings true in many areas, but especially in medical studies, says Belluz, where medical hype often takes precedent over research quality. In one instance, a study looked at 50 randomly selected ingredients from a cookbook and found that most of the foods had medical studies claiming they both cause and prevent cancer. It’s one indication of how our insatiable desire for flashy and immediate news has gone awry. Read the article here.

‘Wandering’ Jupiter Responsible for Unusual Solar System (Science Daily)

outer space, galaxy, universe,

Scientists who have long puzzled about why our solar system differs substantially from other planetary systems may now have an important clue.

Astrophysicists Konstantin Batygin and Gregory Laughlin say that one reason why our inner planets have unusually lower masses than other planetary systems lies in Jupitar’s migration paths. Read the article here.