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Carl Bergstrom to Deliver 3rd Annual J. T. Scopes Lecture

Posted by on Friday, February 23, 2024 in featured.

By: Danielle Bowden, Evolutionary Studies Administrative Specialist

Carl Bergstrom, Professor of Biology at the University of Washington will deliver this year’s J. T. Scopes lecture on March 6th. The lecture is titled “Information foraging in a social media world” and will be hosted by Vanderbilt University’s Evolutionary Studies Initiative. The event will be held in Buttrick 101. Admission is free, and the public is warmly invited.

Bergstrom is a theoretical and evolutionary biologist. He has authored several books, including the very popular Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World. This book is based on the eponymous course that he developed and teaches at the University of Washington, which provides his students with the tools needed to identify and refute misinformation stemming from quantitative data. This course’s proposed syllabus went viral overnight, and was first offered in Spring 2017.

Bergstrom earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1998 where he trained in evolutionary biology and mathematical population genetics. His research includes the evolution of communication and the process of evolution in genomes. Bergstrom became one of the nation’s top experts regarding misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. He has made several appearances on major news outlets exposing misinformation about the pandemic.

Our exciting lecture series is named after John T. Scopes, the Tennessee science teacher involved in the “Scopes Monkey Trial” who was charged and convicted for teaching evolution in a Dayton, TN high school in 1925. The J. T. Scopes Lecture series was launched in 2022 and aims to highlight scientists that speak truth and defend science.

The Evolutionary Studies Initiative at Vanderbilt University fosters collaboration amongst scholars from diverse disciplines with a shared passion for evolution-related fields. Join us on March 6th to be part of our J. T. Scopes lecture with Carl Bergstrom.