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Lecture Series: Past Events

Lecture Series Information

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Lecture Series

About twice a year, the Jefferson Center invites a major author or thought leader to speak on a topic of interest. These public lectures are an important way that The Jefferson Center shares our goals with the public, and are a significant fund-raiser for us. Events are held at various locations in or near Ashland. Please show your support for The Jefferson Center by attending lectures, and please invite family and friends, including your religious friends and colleagues, to these lively presentations. $10 at the door, check or cash, students with ID free.

03/13/2017 - 7:00pm Secular versus Religious Morality in the Age of Trump

Author Phil Zuckerman will speak Monday, March 13th, 7-9 PM at the Rogue Valley Unitarian (RVUUF) Hall, 87 4th St, Ashland. Many Americans assume that religion is the main source of morality, and that religious people are thus more moral than secular people. Phil will argue that the recent election of Trump should cause us to strongly reconsider that long-standing assumption. The truth is, secular men and women are more moral than their religious peers on a host of contemporary issues, and this lecture will explore how and why this is so.

11/09/2016 - 7:00pm Two Lectures: Journey to the Beginning of Time/Greatest Story

Lawrence Krauss, renowned theoretical physicist, author, and public intellectual, will speak on November 9th, 7 PM, at SOU's Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union on fundamental questions such as, “How did the Universe Begin? How will it End? Are we Alone? Are there other Universes?” and other less grand but no less interesting questions such as “Do Black Holes Exist?” Dr. Krauss will outline how these questions are now accessible, at least in principle, to experiment and observation, and in some cases we have come very close to answering them.

Dr. Krauss will give a second lecture at 7 PM November 10th in Room 151 of SOU's Science Building, titled "The Greatest Story Ever Told...So far" in which he describes the scientific adventure from Plato through the discovery of the Higgs boson. It is a tale ripe with drama and surprise. and allows us to explore the hallmarks of what makes up good science and good scientific discoveries.

05/05/2015 - 7:00pm Self-Justifying Delusions: What the mind’s biases reveal about cheating, justice, love, war, memory—and the rest of life

Carol Tavris, co-author of 'Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)', speaks Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 7-9 PM in the Rogue River Room at the Stevenson Union, SOU, Ashland OR. Dr. Tavris will present how we justify beliefs that are outdated, decisions that are misguided or wrong, and the harms we may inflict on others—including those we love the most.

10/13/2014 - 7:00pm Scientists and Psychics: Why Competent Scientists Become Completely Incompetent When Testing Psychics

Nationally-known magician and skeptic, Dr. Ray Hyman, will speak Monday, October 13th, 7-9 PM at ScienceWorks’ SciTheater to demonstrate how smart scientists can go badly astray when confronted with psychic claims. As a cognitive psychologist, Ray Hyman finds it fascinating to study the workings of mind by examining thinking at its best and at its worst. He focuses on scientists who both succeeded in their chosen field of science and lost their way when evaluating psychic assertions. ScienceWorks is located at 1500 E. Main St. in Ashland. Students free, others $10.

04/10/2014 - 7:00pm Cetacean Evolution: A Whale of a Tale

Join The Jefferson Center at ScienceWorks to hear Dr. Jon Peters present an engaging talk on the origins of whales. The preponderance of evidence detailing whale evolution shows that whales have evolved from a deer-like ancestor to the aquatic forms that we know today. Evidence comes from newly discovered fossils, the many anatomical features of living whales, and newer revealed DNA comparisons between whales and hippos. In the Theater at ScienceWorks, 1500 E. Main in Ashland.

10/17/2013 - 7:00pm The Impact of Religion on American Politics, from a Former Insider of the Religious Right

Join The Jefferson Center to hear Frank Schaefer present a fascinating talk on the origins of the Religious Right, its inner workings and malevolent influence on American politics, as well as his journey growing up in, and then leaving the Religious Right establishment. Question and answer time after the formal talk, and the author will be available for signature of selected books. Thursday October 17 at 7pm in the Meese Room, #305 on the third floor of Hannon Library on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, Oregon. Free to students with I.D. or $10 at the door.

04/11/2013 - 7:00pm Paper, Plastic, or Cotton Tote Bag? What Life Cycle Assessments Tell Us About the Sustainability of Everyday Items

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Lecture for spring 2013 will feature Dr. David Tyler from the Chemistry Department of University of Oregon. Dr. Tyler will deliver a fascinating talk on the relative environmental costs and benefits of common consumer products, and the difficulties associated in making a reasoned conclusion. Join us Thursday April 11 at 7pm in the Diversions Room, downstairs in The Stephenson Union on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, Oregon.

09/19/2012 - 7:00pm Lecture: The Clergy Project

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Lecture with Richard Parham:
The Clergy Project: Ministers Who Don't Believe, at the Talent Library

05/10/2012 - 7:00pm Lecture: How Christians Know

Dr. Richard Carrier: How the First Christians Claimed to Know what they Know (and Why That Matters Now)
in the Meese Room, SOU Hannon Library

09/29/2011 - 7:00pm Lecture: About Evolution

Leonard Eisenberg: Everything You Wanted to Know About Evolution but were Afraid to Ask
ScienceWorks SciTheater