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Collin College Announces Its Distinguished Speaker Series

August 23, 2007 -- Collin College has unveiled the line up for its 2007-08 Distinguished Speaker Series, which is organized around the theme of "Knowledge."

This year's slate of speakers represents a variety of academic disciplines including writers, scientists, technology experts and more. The purpose of the series is to provide a venue for renown scholars to come to the college and speak to Collin College faculty, staff, students and community members.

The Collin College Distinguished Speaker Series is free and open to the public. All lectures will be held at the Spring Creek Campus Conference Center, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano.

This year's speakers are:

  • Dr. Trevor Pinch, professor of sociology and professor and chair of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University, will give a lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Spring Creek Campus Conference Center. Dr. Pinch s presentation, "Understanding the Golem of Science and Technology: The Social Roots of Knowledge centers on the sociology of knowledge.
  • Dr. Diane Ackerman, poet and author, will speak to ways of knowing in her presentation, "Creative Intelligence or What a Poem Knows" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6. She will explore the act of artistic creation in general, the psychology of artists, how artists problem-solve to create a work of art, and what truths only art can teach us about the world. Dr. Ackerman is the author of The Zookeeper's Wife, An Alchemy of Mind, Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden, the bestseller, A Natural History of the Senses, Deep Play, A Slender Thread and more. Her poetry has been published in Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire, I Praise My Destroyer, Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems, Lady Faustus and more.
  • Dr. Joan Fujimura, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was founding director of the Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, will present "Epistemology in Action: Knowledge Production in Context" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 4. Her lecture will focus on the practical production of knowledge. Dr. Fujimura's primary work is in the anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, feminist studies, and history of science, medicine, and technology. Her studies examine the interrelations of society and science through ethnographic, sociological and historical methods. Fujimura has written on developments in genetics, molecular biology, biotechnology, biomedicine and HIV-AIDS research.
  • Finally, the year's series ends with a discussion of "pseudo-knowledge" facilitated by Dr. Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, in his presentation, "Why People Believe Weird Things" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 15. His presentation is based on his bestselling book, Why People Believe Weird Things and is filled with humor, insight, and personal anecdotes - a highly entertaining wake-up call that has proved a hit on college campuses. Dr. Shermer is the executive director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology and the co-host and producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, "Exploring the Unknown."

The 2006-07 inaugural series, focusing on the vibrant interrelationship between science, religion, and the law, featured Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dr. Edward J. Larson, Talmadge Chair of Law and Russell Professor of American History at the University of Georgia, Dr. David L. Faigman, Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California Hastings School of Law, and Dr. John F. Haught, evolutionary theist and distinguished research professor of theology at Georgetown University.

The 2007-08 Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored by the Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement.

For more information about the Distinguished Speaker Series, contact Regina Hughes, director, at or call 972.881.5900 or visit its webpage at