Schedule

Conference Program
Day No. 1: Friday, Feb. 9, 2024

Baker Institute for Public Policy

Time Session/Description
8 a.m.

Breakfast and check-in

9 a.m. Poetic invocation
“Brave New Words”
Savannah Cooper-Ramsey, poet
9:05 a.m. Welcome remarks
Luis Campos, conference chair
Baker College Chair for the History of Science, Technology and Innovation;
Faculty Scholar, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University Reginald DesRoches, president, Rice University

Jason Hafner, interim Scientia Institute director (2023–2024); professor of physics and astronomy and of chemistry, Rice University
9:20 a.m. Novelistic intervention
Invoking the Future: “Brave New Worlds: Past and Future”
Michael Rogers, principal, Practical Futurist
Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought, Rice University
9:50 a.m. Panel 1: “Ever Since Asilomar: Past, Present and Future Implications”

Moderator: Kirstin R.W. Matthews, fellow in science and technology policy, Baker Institute for Public Policy; lecturer, Department of BioSciences, Rice University

  • “The Spirit of Asilomar”
    Luis Campos, Baker College Chair for the History of Science, Technology and Innovation, Rice University
  • “The Human Drama of Asilomar: A Look Back — and Ahead”
    Michael Rogers, principal, Practical Futurist
  • Coffee break at 10:35 a.m.
  • “One Meeting, Many Meanings”
    Matthew Cobb, professor of zoology, University of Manchester (U.K.)
  • “Charting the Ethical Frontier: Navigating Teleology in a Technocratic World”
    Shannon Nangle, co-founder and CEO, Circe
  • Q&A and conversation
11:50 a.m. “Investing in Futures”
Joseph Campana, William Shakespeare Professor of English; director, Center for Environmental Studies, Rice University
Noon Lunch — Brochstein Pavilion
1:30 p.m. The Civic Scientist Keynote Address
“The Potential Impacts of Directing Evolution”
Frances Arnold, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2018, Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology Introduction: Joff Silberg, Stewart Memorial Professor of BioSciences; director of Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology Program, Rice University
2:35 p.m. Coffee break (15 minutes)
2:50 p.m. Panel 2: “Synthetic Biology: Can It Change the World?” Moderator: Yousif Shamoo, Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of BioSciences, Rice University
  • “World Needs in 2050 and How Synthetic Biology Could Help
    Caroline Ajo-Franklin, professor of biosciences; director of the Rice Synthetic Biology Institute; Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholar, Rice University
  • “Synthetic Biology for Global Impact: Engineering Biology at Ginkgo”
    Patrick Boyle, head of Codebase, Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.
  • “Can It Change Global Governance?”
    Joy Zhang, professor of sociology; founding director, Centre for Global Science and Epistemic Justice, University of Kent (U.K.)
  • “Hello, Is Dr. Frankenstein There?”
    Antonio Regalado, senior editor for biomedicine, MIT Technology Review
  • Q&A
  • Film clip: “Reinventing the Dodo”
    Steven van Eekelen/Netherlands
4:45 p.m. Performance
“The Choreography of CRISPR”
Gabrielle Lamb, choreographer and artistic director, Pigeonwing Dance
In conversation with Kirsten Ostherr, Gladys Louise Fox Professor, Department of English; director, Medical Humanities Research Institute; director, Medical Humanities Program, Rice University
5:15 p.m. Closing Remarks
Luis Campos
5:30 p.m. Brave New Hors d’Oeuvres Reception — Brochstein Pavilion
In collaboration with Rice Dining
7 p.m. Film: “Make People Better” (encore screening) — Rice Cinema

Day No. 2: Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024

Baker Institute for Public Policy

Time Session/Description
8 a.m. Breakfast and check-in
9 a.m. Welcome remarks and introduction
Luis Campos, conference chair
Baker College Chair for the History of Science, Technology and Innovation, Rice University
9:15 a.m. Panel 3: “Data Surveillance: Who Counts and Who’s Counting?”
Moderator: Michael Rogers, principal, Practical Futurist
  • “Wastewater Surveillance in Houston, Texas: Navigating Science, Public Health and Ethics in the Era of Environmental Monitoring”
    Lauren Stadler, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, Rice University
  • “Refusing the Smart City in Times of Platforms and Pivots”
    Lilly Irani, associate professor of communication and science studies, University of California, San Diego
  • “Transnational and ‘Incidental’ Communications From the War on Drugs to 702”
    Matthew Jones, Smith Family Professor of History, Princeton University
  • Coffee break at 10:20 a.m.
  • “Mnemonic Flickerings: The Disappearances and Reappearances of the Memory of Mexico’s Disappeared”
    Sergio Beltrán-García, adjunct professor and co-director of re/presentare, National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • Q&A
11:30 a.m. Artistic intervention
“You’ve Just Been *$%^#* By PSYOPS: UFOs, Magic, Electronic Warfare, Mind Control, Artificial Intelligence and the Death of the Internet”
Trevor Paglen, artist
Introduction: Alison Weaver, Suzanne Deal Booth Executive Director, Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University
12:30 p.m. Lunch — Rice Memorial Center, Grand Hall
“The Rights of Nature — the New, Innovative Form of Environmental Governance Confronting the World We’ve Wrought”
Mari Margil, executive director, Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights
2:30 p.m. Panel 4: “How to Govern the Climate?”

Moderators:
Cymene Howe, professor of anthropology; co-director, Program in Science and Technology Studies, Rice University
Gökçe Günel, associate professor of anthropology; director of graduate studies, Rice University

  • “Phasing Out Fossil Fuels: Who Draws the Road Map?”
    Holly Jean Buck, assistant professor of environment and sustainability, University at Buffalo
  • “Investments and Inheritances of Plastic”
    Heather Davis, program director and assistant professor of culture and media, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School
  • “‘Just Transition’ Within Global Climate Policy: The Genealogy of an Idea”
    Naveeda Khan, associate professor and chair of anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
  • “From Reduction To Regeneration: Beyond Carbon Fundamentalism In Climate Policy”
    Myles Lennon, Dean’s Assistant Professor of Environment and Society and Anthropology, Brown University
  • Coffee break at 3:35 p.m. and "A Taste of the Anthropocene (AToTA) " by Jiabao Li, Cooper Galvin, The Balloon Collective
  • “Reindeer, Rockets and Oligoptic-Satellitarian Environments in Northern Sweden”
    Chakad Ojani, postdoctoral researcher, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University
  • Q&A

4:20 p.m. Artistic intervention
“Creating With More-Than-Humans”
Jiabao Li, artist and technologist; assistant professor of design, The University of Texas at Austin
4:50 p.m. Closing program remarks
Luis Campos, conference chair
Valediction
Savannah Cooper-Ramsey
5 p.m. Adjournment
6 p.m. Creative writing workshop — Herring Hall, Room 100
“Brave New Worlds: Found Texts”
Savannah Cooper-Ramsey
7 p.m. Film Festival: “BIO-FICTION @ Rice” (shorts) - Rice Cinema
Panelists: Robert Howell, Kirsten Ostherr and Elizabeth Petrick, Rice University

Conference Series Launch
Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024

Fondren Library, Kyle Morrow Room (third floor)

Time Session/Description
6–8 p.m. Lecture
“Imaginary Futures: Science, Fans and Fictions”
Jim Endersby, professor of the history of science; associate dean for People, Culture and Inclusion in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities, University of Sussex (U.K.)
In collaboration with Friends of Fondren at Fondren Library
View Livestream

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024

Asia Society Texas Center, Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater

Time Session/Description
6:30–9 p.m. Film screening
Make People Better
Discussion with Jim Endersby, professor of the history of science; associate dean for People, Culture and Inclusion in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities, University of Sussex (U.K.), in conversation with Robert Howell, Yasser El-Sayed Professor of Philosophy; chair, Department of Philosophy, Rice University

Conference Events Locations

Event Map

Map of Rice University Campus with conference events locations (Fondren Library #12, Baker Institute #47, Humanities Building #49, Brochstein Pavilion #61, Rice Memorial Center #21, Herring Hall #41, Rice Cinema is located in Sewall Hall (room 301) #39 on map).

Download Event Location Map (PDF)

Asia Society Texas
1370 Southmore Boulevard
Houston, TX 77004

De Lange Conference

delange@rice.edu

P.O. BOX

Scientia MS–8 | P.O. Box 1892 | Houston, TX 77251-1892