Yale Explores headed west for its Spring 2019 campaign, bringing an evening of connection, engagement, and interdisciplinary exploration to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Yale Explores series kicked off a year ago with events in Washington, D.C. and Boston, moving to Philadelphia and New York last fall. At each stop, the program has highlighted the benefits and necessity of interdisciplinary study and research, all while bringing a piece of Yale to alumni, family, and friends around the country.
The centerpiece of each event is a moderated panel discussion during which Yale faculty members from different departments and schools address some of the world’s most pressing problems from the perspectives of their own disciplines. The panel discussion is followed by remarks from President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D., who provides context to the discourse through his own field of social psychology and the wider lens of the university.
“Yale faculty members not only tackle pressing global challenges through exceptional research and scholarship,” Salovey said, “they are teaching the next generation of leaders to develop and adopt solutions that can bridge competing and multifaceted interests.”
The San Francisco event was held March 12 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to discuss “Being Human in the Age of Intelligent Machines,” a closer look at artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and how advances in computer and other sciences affect the human experience. The event was moderated by Yale Jackson Institute senior fellow Margaret Warner ’71 and featured panelists Shelly Kagan (philosophy), Laurie Santos (psychology), and Brian Scassellati (computer science and mechanical engineering and materials science).
From there, Yale Explores traveled south to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where Warner was joined by David Schleicher (law), Karen Seto (geography and urbanization), and David Vlahov (nursing) for an examination of “The 21st Century City and Society,” a look at urbanization and how best to manage the expected rapid growth in urban centers in the coming years.
In all, nearly 700 local Yalies came out for the two events, including a capacity crowd of 300 in San Francisco and close to 400 in Los Angeles.