2012 Badash Memorial Lecturer Michael Gordin discusses Velikovsky's "Pseudoscience Wars"

Monday, October 29, 2012
7:00-8:30 PM
UCSB's Loma Pelona Conference Center
Michael D. Gordin

Professor of History

Princeton University

Princeton University Professor of History Michael Gordin discusses his new book,  The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Scientific Fringe. at a talk on the UCSB campus. The book examines the unexpected difficulties of clearly separating mainstream sciences from pseudosciences.

Gordin's talk – appropriate for the Halloween week – will discuss some of the tricky boundaries between science and pseudoscience that emerged after the publication of Velikovsky’s controversial 1950 bestseller, Worlds in Collision. In that book, Velikovsky, a scientifically-trained medical doctor and psychoanalyst, drew the ire of mainstream scientists by proposing a new theory of the earth's origins integrating themes found in mythology with scientific findings. Some of the book's findings are discussed in a recent feature piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education

This is a free event. it is recommended that you arrive early to get a seat. Parking is available in Parking Structure #22, a short 5-minute walk from Loma Pelona (campus map ; the Loma Pelona Conference Center is Building 876 in the lower left in the F-2 quadrant).

Gordin will give a separate seminar on campus for the Center for Cold War Studies the day after his talk.

Michael Gordin is Professor of History and Director of the Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies at Princeton University. An engaging speaker, his research interests include Soviet history, the history of science, and nuclear issues. He will give a separate seminar on campus for the Center for Cold War Studies the day after his talk.

The Lawrence Badash Memorial Lecture Series was started in 2009 with small gift from Lawrence Badash, an emeritus professor in the history of science at UCSB and long-time public intellectual interested in the history of the physical sciences, arms control, environmental issues, and the place of science in civil society. After Larry’s 2010 passing, his life partner, Nancy Hofbauer, and his two children, Bruce and Lisa, made a generous donation to continue the series.