Geschke Lecture Series

Each summer, the Atheneum presents a diverse roster of speakers who address the issues of the day as part of our Geschke Lecture Series. Tickets will be on sale beginning July and are available at the library or on the website.

2016 Geschke Lecture Series

David Mindell, Our Robots, Our Selves
July 14    8 p.m.
Great Harbor Yacht Club
Admission: $25, $20 for students

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and author, David Mindell received engineering and literature degrees from Yale University and a Ph.D. from MIT.  His 2015 book Our Robots, Ourselves, offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of robotics today, debunking commonly held myths and exploring the rapidly changing relationships between humans and machines.

Prior to teaching at MIT, he worked as a staff engineer in the Deep Submergence Laboratory of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he now serves as a visiting scientist. Mindell heads MIT’s ‘DeepArch’ research group in Deep Sea archaeology. The author of five books, his research interests include the history of automation in the military, the history of electronics and computing, theories of engineering systems, deep ocean robotic archaeology, and the history of space exploration.

There will be a book signing following the lecture.

Jay Famiglietti, Water & Climate Change
July 27    8 p.m.
Great Harbor Yacht Club
Admission: $25, $20 for students

Jay Famiglietti is a hydrologist, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. He is also a member of the California State Water Board and founding firector of the UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling at UC Irvine.

Prior to joing UCI, Famiglietti taught at the University of Texas at Austin and helped launch a climate program and the UT Environmental Science Institute .

Famiglietti and his team have been researching water and climate change for over 25 years.   He has appeared the documentary Last Call at the Oasis and in CBS News 60 Minutes.  He is a regular contributor to National Geographic Water Currents and to Huffington Post.  He is currently working on his first book on the disappearance of groundwater resources the world over.

Robin Wright, The Middle East
August 3   8 p.m.
Great Harbor Yacht Club
Admission: $25, $20 for students

Robin Wright has reported from more than a 140 countries on six continents for The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Foreign Affairs and is also a frequent television commentator.

Her foreign tours include the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Wright has been a fellow at Yale, Duke, Stanford, Brookings, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the U.S. Institute of Peace. She has written four books and received the U.N. Correspondents Gold Medal, the National Magazine Award, and an Overseas Press Club Award.

Dr. Wayne Shreffler, Food Allergies
Aug. 8    8 p.m.
Great Harbor Yacht Club
Admission: $25, $20 for students

Dr. Wayne G. Shreffler, is the Director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Shreffler received his MD and PhD degrees from New York University and his Pediatrics training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In 2009, he joined MGH as the Director of the Food Allergy Center and in 2011 became the Section Chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. He sits on the editorial board for the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the FDA Food Advisory Committee and the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Medical Advisory Board. He is the author of Understanding Your Food Allergies and Intolerances: A Guide to Management and Treatment (2012).

Previous Geschke Lecture Series have included:

  • 2015: Susan Glasser, POLITICO Editor; Ajay Royan, Mithril Capital Management co-founder; Roz Chast, New Yorker cartoonist; Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, Alzheimer’s disease research.
  • 2014: Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard University nutritionist; Esther Dyson,chairman of EDventure Holdings andfounder of HICcup; Joe Klein, author and TIME Magazine columnist; And, Peter Baker, New York Times White House correspondent. (view 2014 lectures)
  • 2013: David Owen, a New Yorker author ; John Donoghue, a Brown University neuroscientist ); Harvard University astronomer Dr. Robert Kirshner ; Maureen Orth, Vanity Fair special correspondent, and Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News; and United Nations prosecutor Richard Goldstone. (view 2013 lectures)
  • 2012: Jill Abramson, Executive Editor of the New York Times; Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University Ethics professor and author of Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress; Panel Discussion on the Economy, moderated by David Gregory, NBC News with Jack Welch, General Electric, Louis V Gerstner, Jr., IBM and Bob Wright, NBC; And, Louis Susman, United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James.
  • 2011:Ian Frazier, author and New Yorker staff writer; David Gregory NBC moderator of “Meet The Press”; Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of 11 books; And, Joseph Nye, Jr., Dean Emeritus of the Kennedy School, Harvard University
  • 2010: Computer technology innovators Chuck Geschke (Adobe) and Bob Metcalfe (3Com); New York Times Columnist and Author Thomas Friedman; Washington Post Columnist and MSNBC Commentator Eugene Robinson; and President of Pew Research Center Andrew Kohut
  • 2009: Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin; Presidential Advisor David Gergen; CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl; and Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian.
  • 2008: Print and television journalist Mike Barnicle; former Delaware Governor Pete du Pont; NPR journalist Mara Liasson; Washington Post journalist Robin Wright; PBS journalist Gwen Ifill.
  • 2007: Committee for Economic Development, Charles Kolb; MIT President Dr. Susan Hockfield; Natural Resources Defense Council, Frances Beinecke; Presidential Advisor David Gergen; Project HOPE Dr. John Howe III; Business Week columnists Jack and Suzy Welch.
  • 2006: National Review journalist Jay Nordlinger; NPR President Kevin Klose; New York Times editor Jill Abramson; Jay Rosen of New York University; CBS News journalist Katie Couric; CBS News anchor Lesley Stahl; NBC News anchor Tim Russert; PBS television host David Brancaccio; Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Henninger; Concord Monitor photographer Daniel Habib.
  • 2005: Authors Patricia Ebrey, Nancy Berliner, Jerome Silbergeld, Andrea and Lynde McCormick, Neil Baldwin, David McCullough, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Father Robert Drinan, and U.S. Senator Bill Frist.