Evelynn Hammonds

Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, and Professor of African-American and African History, Harvard University

"The Marginalization of Experience:  Women of Color in STEM"

Portrait of Evelynn Hammondsthat she sentWomen of Color have historically had the lowest participation rate of any demographic group in scientific and technical fields.  This talk examines the long history of the underrepresentation of women of color in STEM fields.  

Tuesday, September 19th  /  12:30 to 2 PM

VCU Student Commons (907 Floyd Ave.), Richmond Salons I & II

This event event is part of the Berglund Seminar Series, and may be counted for Berglund credit.

This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Hammonds is also presenting at a Science Pub RVA event, co-sponsored by STS@VCU.  For more information, click here.


Kismet's head

Frankenstein Dissected

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelly's novel (in collaboration with the Humanities Research Center)

A Panel Discussion on "Artificial Life—Past, Present and Future"


  • Isiah Lavender III (Asst. Professor of English, Lousiana State Univ.)
  • Youngmoo Kim (Director, Expressive and Creative Interactive Technologies (ExCITe) Center, Drexel Univ.)
  • Jennifer Rhee (Dept. of English & the Media, Art, and Text (MATX) Program, VCU)

Wednesday, November 15th  /   4 to 5:30 PM

VCU Cabell Library, Lecture Hall (3rd floor, room 303)

This event is co-sponsored by the Humanities Research Center and the Department of Kinetic Imaging.

Stuart Firestein

Professor of Biological Sciences, Columbia University

"Ignorance, Uncertainty, Doubt and Failure:  Why Science Is so Successful"

The activity of science is often hidden from all but professional scientists, promoting a view of science as an activity that generates piles of facts and undeniable truths.  This is a distorted view, since every scientist will tell you that in order for the sciences to remain dynamic and continue to progress, it must embrace questions, failures, and ambiguity.  Join us for a lively lecture and discussion of these issues!

 Tuesday, October 24th at 12:30 PM

VCU Student Commons (907 Floyd Ave), Richmond Salons I & II (2nd floor)

This event is co-sponsored by the VCU School of Life Sciences

This event is part of the Berglund Seminar Series, and may be counted for Berglund credit.

This lecture is free and open to the public.


Frankenstein Dissected:
Twenty-First-Century Legacies of a Nineteenth-Century Classic

Join us for a roundtable discussion with preliminary comments by our three guests, followed by conversation with the audience. Co-Sponsored with VCU's Humanities Research Center, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelly's novel.

Thursday, February 8
Cabell Library Multipurpose Room (250)
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Our guests are:

Universal's Pub Photo of F's Monster (public domain)


Portrait of Susan Lederer

Susan Lederer   

"Franken-Fears: The Ethical Legacy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"

Robert Turell Professor of Medical History and Bioethics, Department of Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Dr. Lederer will also be giving an additional informal talk during her time in Richmond. Visit Science Pub RVA for more info.


Portrait of Ed Finn

Ed Finn

"Frankenstein and the Scientific Imagination"

Director, Center for Science and the Imagination, Assistant Professor in the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering, and Assistant Professor of English, Arizona State University.


Portrait of Catherine Ingrassia

Catherine Ingrassia   

'A devout but nearly silent listener': Frankenstein, Women, and Narrative Silence

Professor of English, Virginia Commonwealth University.


The Maintainers: Revaluing Essential Work in an Age of Innovation-Speak

Our age is obsessed with innovation. Innovation is thought to be the goal of business, policy-making, philanthropy, education, even play. Yet, the vast majority of human activity aims not at creating or adopting innovative things but in maintaining old ones. While our society celebrates Innovators, the simple truth is that most of us are Maintainers.

In this talk Dr. Vinsel traces how Americans have talked about maintainers and innovators over the last 70 years. Is innovation being celebrated at the cost of maintenance? And has our esteem for these activities changed across time? Dr. Vinsel also explores what these changes mean for modern engineering and STEM education and how our regard for maintenance and innovation deserves to be reevaluated.

Wednesday, March 14
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

VCU Student Commons (907 Floyd Ave.)
Richmond Salons I-II

Headshot of Lee Vinsel


Sainath Suryanarayanan: Indigenous Symbiocultures of Plants, People and Bees: Interspecies Resistance to Agribiotechnology in the Yucatán Peninsula

Resistance to the spread of genetically engineered crops is on the rise in Luso-Hispanic countries, which are the world’s largest producers and exporters of GE-crops. This resistance is of a mixed variety—human communities organizing social movements have been surprisingly assisted by plants, animals and other nonhumans that have developed “biological” resistance to GE-crops.

In this talk, Dr. Suryanarayanan will develop the idea of symbioculture-- a co-evolving system of interspecies alliances between human and other-than-human entities—to explain the resistance of indigenous Mayan beekeepers to the spread of GE-soy in the Yucatán peninsula. In particular, he focus on the relationships between Yucatec Maya communities, milpa plants and stingless bees.

Monday, April 9
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

VCU Student Commons (907 Floyd Ave.)
Forum Room (Room 157)