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Spring Discussions on Contemporary Issues Start Today in the Science Library

University Libraries series “Campus Conversations in Standish,” engaging students, faculty and staff, begins at 12:35 p.m. with a Rabi Musah talk on psychoactive plants.

Speakers in “Campus Conversations in Standish” this spring are, left to right, Rick Fogarty of History, Provost James Stellar, and Rabi Musah of Chemistry.

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 24, 2016) — The pros, cons and legality accompanying psychoactive plants, the power of our unconscious decisions, and how today’s Middle East was profoundly shaped by events 100 years ago are the topics for discussion this spring in a University Libraries series that engages students and the campus community with leading UAlbany faculty scholars in an attractive setting.

“Campus Conversations in Standish,” free and open to public and held in the Science Library’s 3rd floor Standish Room, features three University faculty, beginning with chemist Rabi Musah’s appearance today. As with all the series events, a brief presentation will be followed by a discussion of the issues.

The full spring lineup is:

  • Rabi Musah, Associate Professor of Chemistry: Smokes, Chews and Brews: The Dangers and Crackdown on Legal Plant Highs, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 12:35 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Professor Musah’s research comes at a time when the debate over regulating psychoactive plants has resurfaced with intensity.
  • James Stellar, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost: Your Brain: Unconscious Decision-making and How it Affects Your Life and Learning, Wednesday, March 2, 12:35 p.m. -1:30 p.m. Dr. Stellar’s research in psychology comes at a time when the question of how students learn features prominently in the education arena.
  • Rick Fogarty, Associate Professor, History: What Can 1916 Tell Us About 2016? Europe, Islam, and the Middle East, Wednesday, April 6, 12:35 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Key events in the year 1916 during World War I have decisively shaped the Middle East of today, as the Islamic State is all too eager to point out.

Launched in spring 2015, “Campus Conversations in Standish” is designed to showcase faculty research and expertise and to connect members of the UAlbany community in an exchange of ideas and perspectives. The Libraries hosted two “Conversations” in 2015 — with John Delano of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, and Rosemary Armao of Journalism (Communication).

“It is often said that the library is the heart of a university, a metaphor first stated in 1873, it is believed, by Charles Eliot, President of Harvard,” noted Distinguished Librarian Trudi Jacobson, who directs the “Campus Conversations in Standish” project. “The University Libraries strongly believe in supporting the research and teaching needs of our faculty, staff, and students.

“But more than this, we would like to provide a forum for discussion of the exciting research and other activities in which our community members are engaged. To this end, we began the series — to provide a venue for cross-campus conversations, with a particular emphasis on providing students with an opportunity to engage with faculty members from a wide range of disciplines.”

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