2013 Speakers

2013 Speakers

The collective ideas and experiences of the BLE panel speakers will inspire, engage and challenge participants, creating a forum for cross-disciplinary conversations. The outcome: world-changing ideas with people from diverse fields of study and work.
As an environmentalist, Saleem Ali’s goal is to find solutions in the conflicts between resource use and conservation. He proposes that we must accept our need to consume, but warns that we must also conserve. In evaluating the impact of using resources, he argues that there is a way to consume responsibly and alleviate global poverty.

Jill Tarter, astronomer and former Director of the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has spent 35 years searching for an answer to a very old question: Is there extraterrestrial life in the universe? Her answer: “I think it’s perfectly possible. Everything that we have learned, or that we think we know about the cosmos and about life, suggests it is plausible that what happened here could have happened elsewhere. It is a legitimate question to pose of the cosmos, and I honestly don’t know what the answer is.”

Lynda Barry is an author and cartoonist credited with expanding the literary, thematic and emotional range of American comics. She is best known for her groundbreaking weekly comic strip “Ernie Pook’s Comeek,” which ran for 30 years throughout the United States and Canada. Her work explores the depths of creation and imagination. She believes play can be serious, monsters have purpose and not knowing is an answer unto itself.

When Molly Carnes received tenure in 1990 in the Department of Medicine at UW-Madison, she was the only woman with tenure in her department. That experience began a commitment to study the challenges facing women in academics. Her goal is to increase the diversity of leadership in academic medicine, science and engineering, with a particular emphasis on gender equity.

A leader in the field of social learning systems, Etienne Wenger-Trayner believes that human knowing is a social act. This idea impacts how we think about learning and teaching. He coined the term “communities of practice,” which are groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do and learn how to do it better through regular interaction.

In addition to these conversation leaders, moderators will keep the conversations moving. Patrick Sims, Department of Theatre and Drama, and Kathy Cramer Walsh, Department of Political Science, will lead sessions.