What killed the Dinosaurs? What is BIG History?
An Undergraduate Discussion
Geologist Walter Alvarez
Wednesday, March 28, 5:30-7 p.m.
Harlos House, 1331 East 10th St.
Sign-up required (details below)
Approximately 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs that had ruled
earth were killed off. What caused their extinction? What can modern
science tell us about such events? What can the new field of Big
History tell us that is new?
World-renowned geologist Walter Alvarez is perhaps best
important discovery of a layer rich in the element iridium at the
boundary between the Cretaceous and Tertiary epochs. This discovery,
made in collaboration with his father (Luis Alvarez, who won the 1968
Nobel Prize in physics), convinced scientists that the most recent major
extinction event 65 million years ago, which wiped out the dinosaurs,
was due to the impact of a giant asteroid. Walter Alvarez documents
their work in T. rex and the Crater of Doom. His interests also
Big History, the emerging interdisciplinary field that aims to tie
everything in our planet's past-its cosmic ancestry, its geological and
paleontological evolution, and the pageant of human societies-into a
coherent understanding of the grand sweep and character of history.
Walter Alvarez is Emeritus Professor of Earth & Planetary
Berkeley and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His honors
include the Penrose Medal, the highest honor of the Geological Society
of America. He is on campus for two weeks as the IU Class of 1943 Wells
Scholars Program Professor to participate in a HHC course called Origins
and Extinctions, co-taught by anthropology Professors Kathy Schick and
Nick Toth. Professor Alvarez will also be Scholar in Residence at the
IU CRAFT Research Center and the Stone Age Institute.
SIGN-UP INFO: If you are interested in attending this
event, please check your schedule to make sure you are available for the
entire event and e-mail Anna Duquaine (firstname.lastname@example.org), indicating
you wish to sign up for the "Walter Alvarez" program and include your
name, e-mail address, year in school, and field(s) or study. Space is
limited so we will let you know by e-mail if a space was available when
you replied. The supper is co-sponsored by the Wells Scholars Program
and is open to any IU undergraduate.
Walter Alvarez will also be participating in two events
in Bloomington that are free and open to the public:
Wednesday, March 21st, 7:30 pm, Panel discussion: "EVOLUTION
IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Science, Education, and Politics" with
Walter Alvarez (UC Berkeley Department of Earth and Planetary
Science) and IU's Geoff Conrad, Kathy Schick, and Nicholas Toth
(Anthropology); Elizabeth Raff and Rudolf Ralf (Biology); Lisa
Pratt (Geological Sciences); and Timothy Londergan (Physics).
Mathers Museum of World Cultures, 416 N. Indiana Ave.
Monday, March 26th, 7:30 pm, Public Lecture: "BIG HISTORY: A
Between Humanities and Sciences" by Walter Alvarez, UC Berkeley
Department of Earth and Planetary Science. Whittenberger Auditorium,
IMU. Big History is a new field that aims to tie everything in our
planet's past into a coherent understanding of the grand sweep and
character of history. The lecture will be followed by a public reception
at the University Club, IMU.
For more information, click here.