“Universities and the Search for Truth”
Academic Symposium

Thursday, August 24
6:30 — 8 p.m.
Bailey Hall

This faculty panel discussion will explore the ways in which people assess and communicate information, as well as the role of universities in those activities.

Moderator: Bruce Lewenstein

Professor of Science Communication

Dr. Bruce V. Lewenstein is a widely-known authority on public communication of science and technology–how science and technology are reported to the public and how the public understands controversial scientific issues and "emerging technologies" such as biotechnology and nanotechnology. Trained as a historian of science, he often uses historical case studies in his research. He has also done extensive work evaluating "citizen science" outreach projects, in which citizens fully participate in the scientific process by gathering, entering, and sometimes analyzing scientific data. In recent years, he has helped connect the "public communication" field with the "learning sciences" field, especially around issues of public engagement in science. He works frequently with scientists learning more about public communication of science and technology.


Kevin Clermont

Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law

Kevin Clermont is a specialist in the procedural aspects of litigation. After his graduation from Harvard Law School and a judicial clerkship, Mr. Clermont spent two years in private practice as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.

Since joining the Cornell Law School Faculty in 1974, Professor Clermont has authored a good number of books on civil procedure. His coauthored casebook, Materials for a Basic Course in Civil Procedure, is regarded as a model of careful legal craftsmanship and also a thoughtful introduction for students.


Sarah Murray

Associate professor of linguistics

Murray's primary interests are the semantics and pragmatics of natural language, specifically what sorts of formal representations are needed to analyze a variety of linguistic structures across grammatically diverse languages.

She currently does fieldwork with the Cheyenne over the summers on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Southeastern Montana. In addition, she is interested in fieldwork and field methods in general, especially the methodology of semantic fieldwork.


Mor Naaman

Associate professor of information science at Cornell Tech

Mor Naaman is an associate professor of Information Science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, where he is the founder of the Connective Media hub and leads a research group focused on social technologies. He applies multidisciplinary research methods to 1) gain a better understanding of people and their use of social tech, 2) extract insights about people, technology and society from online data, and 3) design novel technologies and tools to support social interaction and exchange.


Holly Prigerson

Irving Sherwood Wright Professor in Geriatrics and professor of sociology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine

Holly Prigerson, PhD, is the Irving Sherwood Wright Professor of Geriatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College, Professor of Sociology in Medicine, and Director, Center for Research on End-of-Life Care. The theme of her research across studies has been on examining psychosocial and behavioral influences on medical care and care outcomes for patients and families confronting life-threatening illnesses and death. 


David Shalloway

Greater Philadelphia Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

With a PhD in theoretical physics and over twenty years experience in experimental biological research, my research focuses on the molecular biology of cancer and in computational biology. I am particularly interested in the training of both our undergraduate and graduate biology students at the interface between biology, mathematics, physics and computation.


Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Associate professor of English

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Open Interval, a 2009 National Book Award finalist, and Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, as well as Poems in Conversation and a Conversation, a chapbook collaboration with Elizabeth Alexander. She is currently at work on The Coal Tar Colors, her third poetry collection, and Purchase, a collection of essays. She has written plays and lyrics for The Cherry, an Ithaca arts collective. She was one of ten celebrated poets commissioned to write poems inspired by Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series in conjunction with the 2015 exhibit One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Works for MoMA.


If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the Inauguration Committee at
presidentialinauguration@cornell.edu or (607) 255-6347.