A public discussion of globally significant social science research making a difference in your own backyard

The School of Social Sciences at UC Irvine is one of the world’s leading institutions for interdisciplinary social science research. In 2010, Times Higher Education ranked the school as one of the top 50 programs in the world for social science research, teaching and knowledge transfer. Of its six core doctoral programs, two now rank in the top 10, three are in the top 30 and one is in the top 40 when compared against a highly competitive field of hundreds of programs worldwide. Globally recognized for its excellence, the school's faculty include 11 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Science, as well as cutting-edge junior scholars whose work is creating new fields of inquiry.

The School of Social Sciences invites you to hear from some of our industry experts as they speak on pertinent and pressing issues of the day. Sustainability and transportation, the new digital and social media society, and the future of healthcare policy in America provide the backdrop for our 2011-12 Expert Speaker Series.


Making and Moving Future Communities: Transit and the Urban Landscape

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517

From proposals for more light rail to the building of innovative park space, new visions for urban communities involve questions of mobility: How do people get from home to work to play, and what kinds of communities do our transit decisions and policies produce? Join the following social sciences and community experts as they examine ramifications of transit technology, planning and neighborhood development in the 21st century.

  • David Brownstone, UCI economist, on the demand for new transportation technologies
  • Jan Brueckner, UCI economist, on gentrification, changing spatial relations in cities with regard to new transit infrastructure
  • Karen Leonard, UCI anthropologist, on the debate over the extension of the Expo Line in Los Angeles
  • Brian Ulaszewski, Studio 111 at Perkowitz+Ruth Architects associate, on creating alternative mobility infrastructure and urban open space

This event will be moderated by Beth Krom, Irvine mayor pro tem. 


Digital Futures: What Comes After the Network Society?

Thursday, February 16, 2012
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517

From the Arab Spring of 2011 to the development of iPhone apps for the elderly, new communications technologies are radically transforming society, culture and politics. Join the following social sciences and industry experts as they reflect on the changing landscape of the Internet, social media and virtual worlds for education, culture and industrial design:

  • Tom Boellstorff, UCI anthropologist, on social life in "virtual worlds," and the growing importance of the overlay of digital information in how we experience the world around us
  • Mimi Ito, UCI anthropologist and MacArthur Foundation Chair of Digital Media and Learning, on children's use of digital media and its implications for the future of learning
  • Scott Mainwaring, Intel Labs Interactions and Experience Research Lab researcher, on industrial application of digital technologies attuned, like never before, to respond to and create the contexts within which we all live our lives

This event will be moderated by Bobby Barzi, `96 social sciences and hiSoft Envisage, Inc. vice president.

Healthcare Futures: Policy, Promise and Politics

Thursday, April 12, 2012
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517

The healthcare debate will be center stage in the 2012 Presidential elections. While the cost of care rises, the problem of who pays for it looms over almost every major public policy and business decision. What are the real issues behind the headlines? Join the following social sciences and health industry experts in a panel discussion on the current state and possible future of healthcare in the United States:

  • Matthew Beckmann, UCI political scientist, on the healthcare debate in Presidential politics
  • Andrew Noymer, UCI sociologist, on epidemics and social relations in American history
  • John Molina, Molina Healthcare chief financial officer, on healthcare from the insurance industry perspective

This event will be moderated by Jeff Margolis, Margolis Health Enterprises president and ceo.

These lectures are free and open to the public. Parking is available for $10.00 per day, or $2.00 per hour in the Social Science Parking Structure on the corner of Campus Drive and Stanford. To RSVP or for further information, please contact Rosemarie Swatez, rswatez@uci.edu or 949-824-2511.

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