Rice University is home to an abundance of brilliant minds, game-changing research and unique stories. Now alumni and friends don’t have to be on campus — or even in Houston — to experience Rice’s vibrant intellectual life. Each month, join Rice alumna Kate Coley ’11, associate director of alumni programs, as she sits down with those on campus and those out in the world to explore a range of fascinating topics. We’re bringing Rice’s spirit of lifelong learning beyond the hedges, to you!
COVID-19 is constantly on our minds and on our screens. How has the history of contagion media shaped the way we respond to and think about pandemics like this? How do we handle the shifting paradigm of health communications in a digital age? In this episode, Kirsten Ostherr, director of Rice’s Medical Humanities Program and Medical Futures Lab, discusses representation, social media, marginalized communities and the dangers of misinformation around the global crisis.
How can ants teach us to be more efficient? Most of us think of ants as a picnic pest on the hunt for food, but ants are actually members of societies that function as complexly as ours with divisions of labor and specialties. They grow their own food on a mass scale, develop pesticides and prepare in case of food scarcity, all without ever experiencing a traffic jam. In this episode, Rice Associate Teaching Professor and Evolutionary Biologist Scott Solomon will discuss his research into what makes ant colonies such a successful model for efficiency.