Political scientist talks creativity to kick off UF lecture series
GAINESVILLE, Fla. â€“ The University of Florida has invited its faculty together next week for an intellectual pep rally. Itâ€™s a lecture, yes, but with a motive to celebrate academics as well as to edify.
Distinguished professor Leslie Paul Thiele of UFâ€™s political science department will speak about â€śFostering a Culture of Responsible Creativity,â€ť the first talk in the Faculty Senateâ€™s Distinguished Professor Lecture Series, at 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at Emerson Alumni Hall.
The series puts the latest class of UF distinguished professorsÂ – chosen for their records of exceptional achievement that puts them at the top of their disciplinesÂ – in front of a faculty audience to translate their work to people outside their field. To go pop without pandering.
The lectures serve as a reminder, at a time when UF is recruiting as many as 130 new academic stars to help lift it to national preeminence, that the newcomers will be joining an existing team of all-stars.
â€śPreeminence is not taking us from ground zero to preeminence. Weâ€™re already at a good place,â€ť said Marc Heft, Faculty Senate president and a professor in the College of Dentistry. â€śWhat weâ€™re doing with preeminence is augmenting our faculty strategically.â€ť
Heft said his aim in creating the lecture series is to engage faculty from across campus in thinking about core issues in the universityâ€™s intellectual life. Responsible creativity certainly counts among those core issues, Heft said.
Thieleâ€™s talk is expected to touch on how creativity happens and how creativity can be harnessed to forward environmental, social and other beneficial goals. Heâ€™ll also unveil his vision for a new research center on campus to foster responsible creativity.
â€śCreativity, of course, can cut two ways,â€ť Thiele said. â€śBringing a sense of ethics to innovation can help UF make an even more positive impact on society with its discoveries.â€ť
The series continues Feb. 17 when engineering professor Ranganathan Narayanan is scheduled to deliver a lecture titled, â€śBhopal â€“ A Tale of Technology, Tragedy, and Travesty.â€ť
Leonid Moroz, a professor of neuroscience in UFâ€™s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, is scheduled to speak March 24.