East Carolina University professor Calvin Mercer has been named co-editor of a new series, “Palgrave Studies in the Future of Humanity and Its Successors.”
The series addresses human enhancement therapies and technologies, applying multiple disciplines to examine an intellectual and cultural movement that advocates the use of emerging technologies including genetic engineering, regenerative medicine, robotics and nanotechnology.
These emerging technologies may enhance desirable human mental and physical abilities while ameliorating human conditions deemed undesirable. Advocates suggest the developments could permit humans to take control of their own evolution and alter the human condition in fundamental ways. Economic, ethical, political, religious, social and other implications of such enhancements are increasingly being discussed.
Sharp disagreements over the social value, morality and feasibility of human enhancement have emerged in early conversations. Mercer said the series will not take an advocacy position. Rather, it will provide a forum for thoughtful debate.
Mercer is an ECU professor of religious studies and director of ECU’s religious studies program. He was the founding chair of the American Academy of Religion Transhumanism and Religion Group, now in its seventh year of successful programs at the annual national meetings. Mercer has co-edited three books and authored several articles on this topic.
His co-editor is Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick.
“The questions and issues addressed in the series play critical roles in our welfare and our future,” Mercer said. “I anticipate that increasingly public policy experts, politicians and political think tanks will take up human enhancement technology. An established and reputable series will be well positioned to contribute to this expanded conversation.”
German diplomat Knut Abraham will present “The Transatlantic Link in Times of Crisis” at 4 p.m. Feb. 12 in room 130 of the Rawl building, East Carolina University.
Abraham, head of the consular and legal section of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., will speak about key issues affecting transatlantic relationships. He will focus on issues that affect the relationship between United States and Germany, such as terrorism, Russia/Ukraine and U.S. espionage against Germany.
He is a German lawyer and career diplomat who has served German embassies in the U.S., Bulgaria and Finland. He has also served the German Foreign Office and the Federal Chancellery in Berlin.
Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the event is free and open to the public. ECU students and faculty interested in current German – U.S. relations are encouraged to attend.
For questions contact Armin Krishnan, Department of Political Science, at email@example.com.
ECU biology graduate student Dustin Foote, assistant curator at Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, will present a series of educational lectures monthly through 2015.
Foote is a graduate of Cornell University pursuing a master’s in biology from ECU. He has held internships at the San Diego Zoo and Emerald Forest Bird Gardens and served one year in an assistantship at Sylvan Heights before assuming the role of assistant curator.
For additional information, visit http://shwpark.com/.
East Carolina University will participate in the worldwide celebration of GIS Day 2014 with activities scheduled from 10 a.m. – to p.m. Nov. 19 in Wright Plaza.
The ECU Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, GeoClub, ECU chapter of the American Meteorological Society, The Coastal Society and SPAN are hosting events including an interactive mapping activity. The mapping will allow students to identify campus landmarks or favorite places on campus for mapping using a live Twitter feed, #GISDay.
GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that make a difference in society. It is held annually during Geography Awareness Week, which promotes geographic literacy with a focus on education.
For more information contact: Dr. Tom Allen, ALLENTH@ecu.edu, 252-328-6624.
Historian and civil rights activist Julian Bond will present the Lawrence F. Brewster Lecture in History at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University.
Bond will present “Crossing the Color Line: From Rhythm ‘N Blues to Rock ‘N Roll,” as part of the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series on campus. He will discuss the civil rights movement through a history of American music, using images and bits of music to trace the melding of jazz, blues, country music and pop into rock & roll, all while examining this transformation through the influences of race, demographics, war, immigration and technology.
The lecture is co-sponsored by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of History, ECU Chancellor’s Office, Office of the Provost, Division of Student Affairs, and the Division of Health Sciences.
One complimentary ticket is available to ECU students with a valid ECU ID. Tickets are $10 for ECU faculty, staff, and all other attendees, and are available through the ECU Central Ticket Office by calling 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.
For additional information on the Voyages lectures, visit http://www.ecu.edu/voyages. More information about the THCAS is located at https://www.ecu.edu/cas.
East Carolina University history professor Dr. Karin Zipf was elected president of the Historical Society of North Carolina Oct. 24 at the organization’s biannual meeting in Montreat.
Zipf has been a member of the HSNC since 2006, and previously served as vice president. Her tenure as president will last for one year.
The Historical Society of North Carolina was established in 1945, and traces its origin from an earlier organization begun by former North Carolina Governor David L. Swain in 1833. The society promotes the scholarship, publication and preservation of North Carolina History.
The HSNC sponsors several awards recognizing research, scholarship and teaching, and coordinates presentations of research projects at its meetings. They maintain a close association with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. Members include professional historians, archivists, librarians, political scientists and a former N.C. Supreme Court Justice.
For additional information, contact Zipf at 252-328-6774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winning ECU team.
Students representing East Carolina University at the North Carolina Geography Bowl won first place in this year’s competition Sept. 26 at UNC-Greensboro. The annual quiz competition tests student teams on their knowledge of college-level geography.
The ECU team defeated Appalachian State University in the title round and went undefeated (5-0) throughout the trivia bowl. It was ECU’s fifth first-place title since 1996, following their most recent win in 2008.
Zach Sefcovic, a graduate student in geography, was the highest scorer of the competition and was named the most valuable player on ECU’s team. The ECU team is coached by geography teaching instructor Scott Wade.
In addition to Sefcovic, the team includes students Jamie Heath (Managing Captain), Brad Sceviour (Competition Captain), Jaclyn Catania, Donnie Kirk, Nicholas Luchetti, Alex Moulton, Mark Nissenbaum, Jessica Van-Horn and Emily Fisher.
Top scorers from the state competition are invited to join the North Carolina All-Star team, which will compete against other southeastern states at the SEDAAG conference (Southeast Division, Association of American Geographers). SEDAAG this year is being held Nov. 23-25 in Athens, Georgia. Sefcovic was invited to join the NC All-Star team.
Top scorers from the SEDAAG regional competition will be invited to join the Southeast Region All-Star team, which will compete against other regions at the AAG (Association of American Geographers) annual conference. That meeting is in Chicago on April 21-25, 2015.
Alumnus Chris Ellis was among three presenters from ECU at the NOAA Science Days event Sept. 23 in Maryland. (Contributed photo)
East Carolina University was well represented this year at NOAA Science Days Sept. 23 in Silver Spring, Maryland. The annual event highlights research done in collaboration with NOAA offices, with this year’s theme focused on social science research.
ECU professor Burrell Montz, chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, presented “Social and Behavioral Influences on Weather-Driven Decisions.” She was also co-PI on work presented by Rachel Hogan Carr, executive director of the Nurture Nature Center. Carr presented “Flood Risk and Uncertainty: Assessing the National Weather Service’s Forecast and Warning Tools.”
ECU graduate Chris Ellis, a social scientist with the National Ocean Service Coastal Service Center, presented “Social Science Research to Improve Hurricane Communications: An Assessment of the NWS Hurricane Local Statement.” Ellis received his doctorate in coastal resources management under the direction of Dr. Hans Vogelsong.
Also presenting was ECU alumna Maria Dillard, social scientist with the National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Hollings Marine Laboratory. Dillard received a master’s in sociology from ECU under the direction of advisor Dr. Bob Edwards. She presented “A Different Kind of Coastal Intelligence: Building Resilience though Assessment of Well-Being and Ecosystem Condition in Coastal Communities.”