UCSC Emeriti Lectures


The UCSC Emeriti Association sponsors, with financial support from the UCSC Chancellor, occasional community-wide lectures by one of the distinguished Emeritus/Emeritae Professors from UCSC. Lectures are intended for and attended by all segments of our community: students, faculty, staff, and townspeople. These events are free and open to the public. The lectures are usually given two times during the year (except for the initial year, 2003-2004) in a campus auditorium that is easily accessible to all. The Group´s Chairperson is responsible for coordinating the Emeriti Lectures. The founder of the Emeriti Lecture Series is UCSC Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Joseph F. Bunnett, who proposed, in July 2003, to Chancellor M. R. C. Greenwood that the Series would "make a substantial contribution to the intellectual environment of the campus." Since 2016 we have standardized on the second Tuesday in November and April for Emeriti Lectures.




1. The first lecture was delivered by Elliot Aronson on the evening of Wednesday, February 11, 2004, at the Media Theater on the UCSC campus. It was open to the entire community and was co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology and the Monterey Bay Psychological Association. It was followed by a reception at University Center for members of the Emeriti Group, their companions, Professors of Psychology, and members of the Monterey Bay Psychological Association. Award-winning social psychologist Elliot Aronson´s lecture was entitled "The Elephant in the Parlor: How the Columbine High School Massacre Could Have Been Prevented."

Aronson, a professor emeritus of psychology at UCSC, is author of the book Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine (2000), in which he suggests that the best way to reduce school violence is to foster greater interdependence among students in classrooms.




2. The second lecture in the Series was given by John Pearse, Professor Emeritus, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, on Tuesday, November 23, 2004. His talk, "Reproduction in Freezing Oceans: Paradigm Shifts in the 20th Century," was held in the UCSC Media Theater.


3. The third lecture was presented by Professor Emeritus of Literature, Michael Warren. Free public lecture sponsored by the Emeriti Association entitled "The Life of Shakespeare: A Winter´s Tale or What You Will." His focus was what we do and do not know about the life of Shakespeare and how some of the many recent biographies construct the narrative of his life and his career as poet, playwright, and businessman. The talk was held on Wednesday May 11, 2005 in Stevenson College, at the UCSC campus.




4. The fourth lecture was given by John Dizikes, Professor Emeritus of American Studies. This lecture, on December 8, 2005, was held in the UCSC Media Theater. The presentation, included opera music. Dizikes´ talk, titled "Nation and Homeland in Nineteenth Century Italian Opera," was about the response of Italian opera composers to the rise of nationalism in 19th-century Italy. The major theme of aspiring to create a unified homeland, found throughout Italian history and opera, was his focus.


5. Michael Nauenberg, Professor Emeritus of physics, delivered the fifth Emeriti Lecture on Thursday, April 6, 2006, entitled "The Nature of Science and the Science of Nature: An Historical Perspective." The lecture was held in the Media Theater at UCSC.

Nauenberg's lecture examined some of the fundamental concepts of natural science through the work of Robert Hooke, the most prolific participant in the 17th-century scientific revolution. Shortly after his death, Hooke was almost completely forgotten, partly due to professional intrigues. But recent historical research has restored his earlier towering reputation. Now, half a dozen new books describe his numerous achievements, and he is being hailed as the "Leonardo of London." In 2004, Hooke finally was honored with a memorial in Westminster Abbey, where his lifelong nemesis, Isaac Newton, is buried. See video.




6. The sixth lecture was given on November 2, 2006, by the late Professor Emeritus of Physics Stanley M. Flatté. His topic challenged his audience on the subject of "World Energy and Power: Facts to Inform Your Thinking." This event was free and open to the public in the Music Center Recital Hall. See video.


7. The seventh lecture was offered on April 9, 2007, by Professor Emeritus Physics Bruce Rosenblum on "Quantum Enigma: Has Physics Encountered Consciousness?" Quantum mechanics is the most battle-tested theory in all of science. One third of our modern economy depends on products designed with quantum mechanics. Cosmological theories such as string theory or that of the Big Bang all start with quantum mechanics. Since its inception eight decades ago, quantum mechanics has mysteriously involved observer-created reality. Describing the archetypal quantum demonstration, Rosenblum displayed the boundary where physics encounters the conscious observer. Media Theater. See video.




8. David Cope gave the eightth lecture on November 14, 2007, at the Music Recital Hall. Cope, a Professor Emeritus of Music, spoke on "Why Experiments in Musical Intelligence?" He is the author of five books on computer generated music, and explains why he created his program Experiments in Musical Intelligence, why this program works as it does, and why he used this software to create over 6,000 music compositions. He also discussed why he has turned to quite different but related research and no longer composes using Experiments in Musical Intelligence. The program included a musical Turing test, an on-the-spot computer composition, live performances, and the world premiere of a new work. See video.

Professor Cope´s awards include National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, ASCAP standard Panel Awards, Composers´ Forum (New York City) award, Houston Composers Symposium Award, and numerous university grants. His over seventy published compositions have received thousands of performances throughout the U.S. and abroad.


9. The ninth lecture on April 9, 2008 was presented by G. William Domhoff, is Research Professor Emeritus, Psychology and Sociology, and served a term as Chair of the UCSC Academic Senate Committee on Emeriti Relations. The subject of his Emeriti Lecture, "The Awesome Lawfulness of our Nightly Dreams." Fascinated by dreams for nearly 50 years, Domhoff will highlight his work with DreamBank, a search engine and database of 16,000 dreams.

"Dreams are far more lawful, consistent over time, and psychologically meaningful than popular myths and our foggy morning recall allow us to realize--but not in the ways Freud and Jung claimed," said Domhoff, a popular lecturer and the author of three books about dreams: The Mystique of Dreams, Finding Meaning in Dreams, and The Scientific Study of Dreams.

A founding member of the UCSC faculty, Domhoff is also an accomplished sociologist and the author of several books on political power, including Who Rules America?, The Higher Circles, The Powers That Be, and Diversity in the Power Elite.

This Emeriti Faculty Lecture was sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor with support this year from the Division of Social Sciences and the Departments of Psychology and Sociology. Video




10. Research Professor David Deamer, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Biomolecular Engineering presented a lecture on "What is Life? What was Life? What will Life Be?" in the Music Recital Hall, Nov 13, 2008. Click on the lecture title for an abstract and biographical information. To view the lecture click video.


11. Research Professor Thomas Pettigrew, Social Psychology, "Post Racism? Putting President Obama's Victory in Perspective" in the Music Recital Hall, 7pm Thur April 9, 2009. Click on title for abstract and biographical information. This Emeriti Faculty Lecture was sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor. During his introduction, Chair Wipke presented to Professor Pettigrew his certificate and a check for the 2009 Constantine Panunzio Prestigous Emeriti Award. This is the third Panunzio award UCSC has received. You may view the video.




12. Professor Emeritus Ralph H. Abraham, Mathematics, "Bolts from the Blue:
Startling Episodes from the Coevolution of Mathematics and Art
" in the Music Recital Hall, Nov 4, 2009. Video


13. Professor Emeritus Todd Newberry, Biology, "Some Dilemmas for Birdwatchers " in the Music Recital Hall, April 8, 2010. See the video.




14. Professor Emeritus Dominic Massaro, Psychology, "Universal Literacy: The Digital Age Engages the Learning Brain" in the Music Recital Hall, Nov 3, 2010. Massaro proposed a system for teaching reading to very young children using a pair of glasses that can display text and which supports a small microphone and video camera. An iPhone performs voice recognition and displays the text on the eye glasses. The goal is to teach reading at the time the child's brain is at its peak development. He demonstrated working prototypes. See video.


15. Professor Emeritus Harry Berger, Jr. , Literature, "Caterpillage: Small-scale Violence in 17th Century Dutch Still-Life Painting" in the Music Recital Hall, April 21, 2011. See the video.




16. Professor Emeritus Eliott Aronson , Psychology, "The Psychology of Self-Persuasion: Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts" in the Music Recital Hall, Oct. 27, 2011. See video.


17. Professor Emeritus Peter Kenez, History, "The Coming of the Holocaust" in the Music Recital Hall, March 15, 2012. See the video.




18. Professor Emeritus Bill Friedland, Community Studies and Sociology, "Trampling Out Advantage: Political Economy of California Wine and Grapes" in the Music Recital Hall, March 4, 2013. See video.




19. Emeritus Dean of Humanities and Professor of Literature Helene Moglen, “From Frankenstein to Facebook: Reflections on the Dissolution of the Humanities” in the Music Recital Hall, October 29, 2013. Video


20. Emeritus History Professor Edmund “Terry” Burke III, “Models of Mediterranean Modernity: The Perspective from the Longue Durée,” in the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, Thursday, April 17, 2014. Video




21. Emeritus Professor of Biology Lincoln Taiz, "Agriculture, Population Growth, and the Challenge of Climate Change",  in the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, Thursday, November 19, 2014. Video

22. Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences Jim Gill, "Volcanism as the re-creation of Earth", May 11, 2015, Video




23. Emeritus Professor of Psychology Pavel Machotka, "Psychology and Art, and the case of Cezanne," November 10, 7:30pm, Music Recital Hall as part of the UCSC 50th Anniversary events. Professor Machotka had just received the prestigious Panunzio award so the reception afterwards was also a celebration of the award. See video.


24. Emeritus Professor of History of Consciousness James Clifford, "Discovering the UC Santa Cruz Campus with James Clifford," March 8, 7:30pm, Music Recital Hall as part of the UCSC 50th Anniversary events. The lecture, based on years of walking the rugged site, used color photography and historical research to explore the interaction of architecture and ecology. It traced UCSC´s experience of environmental design through changing times and pondered its continued significance. See video.




25. Emeritus Professor of Art Lewis Watts, "Migration Then and Now," November 29, 8:00pm, Music Recital Hall. Professor Watts received the Dickson Emeritus Professorship to perform this work. Video


26. Professor Emeritus of MCD Biology Harry Noller, "The Ribosome: Mother Ship of Life," April 4, 7:00pm, Music Recital Hall. Professor Noller recently received The Breakthrough Award with a $3 million stipend. Emeriti Lecture Video
YouTube Videos for background:
Breakthrough Prize Winner
Noller Comments on Interests and UCSC.




27. Professor Emeritus Earth & Planetary Systems Robert Coe, "Geomagnetic Polarity Reversals: Deciphering the Magnetic Archive Preserved in Rocks," November 7, 7:00pm, Music Recital Hall. See video.


28. Professor Emeritus Film & Digital Media Chip Lord, ""Miami Beach Elegy and Other Projects"," April 10, 7:00pm, Music Recital Hall. See video.




29. Professor Emerita Anthropology Adrienne Zihlman, "Inside Story of the Apes," November 13, 7:00pm, Music Recital Hall. See video. (Personal background, see video of interview by Leakey Foundation.).


30. Distinguished Research Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Phil Crews, ""Inspirational Biomolecules from Oceania"," April 9, 7:00pm, Music Recital Hall. See video.




31. Professor Emeritus Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Burney LeBoeuf, "Mating Games and Raiding Parties on the Beach," November 12, 7:00pm, Music Recital Hall. See video.


32. Lecture cancelled due to Covid-19 virus pandemic. Rescheduled for Spring 2021.



32. Distinguished Professor Emeritus Physics Joel Primack, "State of the Universe," November 10, 7:00pm, Presented via Zoom. See video.


33. Professor Emeritus Sociology Paul Lubeck, "Nigeria-2050: Mapping the Demographic Transformation of an Emerging Regional Power," April 13, 7:00pm, Presented via Zoom. See video.




34. Professor Emerita, Theater Arts/Dance Ruth Solomon, "Dance: In the Context of Injury Prevention," November 9, 7:00pm, Presented via Zoom. See video.


35. Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Engineering Phokion Kolaitis, "Some Aspects of Computational Social Choice," April 12, 7:00pm, Presented via Zoom. See video.




36. Professor Emerita, Literature Karen Tei Yamashita, "Questions 27 & 28: Loyalty and Japanese American Incarceration," November 8, 7:00pm, Presented at UCSC Hay Barn and by Zoom. See video.


37. Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Sociology John Brown Childs, "Peace Teachers In and From Soledad Prison," April 11, 7:00pm, Hybrid. See video.


Compiled by Todd Wipke, pre-2004 data from Stan Stevens. Last modified by Todd Wipke, Jun 1, 2023.