About Carl Safina’s TED Talk
Ecologist Carl Safina says humans aren’t the only ones who love, grieve, or think. He argues if animals are more complex then we once thought, shouldn’t we reconsider the ethics of how we treat them? Carl Safina is an ecologist and conservationist who studies the relationship between humans and the natural world, specifically, how humans can better care for animal and plant life. He is the Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, and he is also the founding president of The Safina Center at Stony Brook University. He is the author of several books including Beyond Words: What Animals Think And Feel and Song For The Blue Ocean. His writing has won several awards including a MacAurthur “genius” prize, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, as well as the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He was also the host of the 10-part PBS series Saving The Ocean With Carl Safina.
Michael Bernstein, the new interim president of Stony Brook University, came by TBR News Media’s office for an exclusive interview where he spoke on his new role, challenges the school faces and his thoughts on the future. Here is what he had to say.
It looks like improving water quality for Long Island bays, harbors, rivers and inlets, based on a weekly sampling of 29 locations. Of the shore locations sampled, 10 got “good” ratings, meaning clear water, no or low levels of algae and/or bacteria from human or animal waste, and hospitable conditions for fish and shellfish. Eighteen were rated fair, and just one, poor. That’s after four poor locations last week, and six, two weeks before that. That’s according to the Long Island Water Quality Report, a weekly score card issued from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It’s created by Chris Gobler, professor of marine science at Stony Brook University and director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology, and his team of more than 20 students and scientists
Dr. Sharon Nachman, division chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, said she is glad to have this level of protection for all children in Suffolk County. “Just as seat belts protect all kids, even those that don’t like them or feel they are too confining, vaccines will now protect all of our children,” the division chief said. “There is abundant data that shows that when we vaccinate all kids, we not only protect them, but also their parents and grandparents. The vaccine law is not specific to measles and includes all vaccines appropriate for school-aged children.”
Forty-three years ago in this very room at Stony Brook University, Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, a distinguished professor in Physics, came up with a theory called supergravity. “On this desk, yes,” said van Nieuwenhuizen.
As a child growing up in Korea, Dr. Samuel Ryu found a small stick and started injecting it, like a syringe, into his mother’s arm. At least that’s the story that she relayed to him years later. Dr. Ryu, the deputy director for Clinical Affairs for the Stony Brook University Cancer Center and designated director of the Phillips Family Cancer Center in Southampton, remembers making the decision to pursue a career in medicine while in high school. “Caring for human life appeared to be quite fascinating, and I felt that developing things to help mankind would be rewarding,” he says. “I have a big heart for helping people.”
Stony Brook Professor writes in this op-ed, “Endangered species come on lists. But lists obscure relationships. What can it mean that a few mussels, some snails we’ve never heard of, obscure crayfish in marginal headwaters and some island-confined songbirds are vanishing? Some 1,650 species of animals and plants in the United States are listed under federal law as endangered or threatened. But when they are reduced to a line item on a list, their multimillion-year existences and roles in the complex living communities that include humans become invisible. Each minor species, whispering its testimony quietly from its corner, cannot make the larger class-action case, which is that, everywhere, trouble finds them.”
Physicist Peter van Nieuwenhuizen of Stony Brook University and two collaborators will share the most lucrative award in science — a $3 million Breakthrough Prize — for developing the highly influential theory of “supergravity. The recognition arrives 43 years after van Nieuwenhuizen and his colleagues formulated the theory, which has had a powerful impact on physics, including how theories advanced by Albert Einstein are understood. Van Nieuwenhuizen will share the prize with theoretical physicists Daniel Z. Freedman of MIT and Stanford University, and Sergio Ferrara of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN. “I can truthfully say I didn’t expect it at all,” said van Nieuwenhuizen, who holds the title of distinguished professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook.
Environmental advocates applauded the plan, which is currently undergoing a detailed environmental review by the county Council on Environmental Quality. A 30-day public comment period is set to open Aug. 14, and public hearings are planned for Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. in eastern Suffolk County and Thursday, Sept. 5, at 3 p.m. in western Suffolk, a health department spokesperson said. The locations are still being finalized and will be published within two weeks on the Suffolk County Council on Environmental Quality website. “While I have spent my career documenting the degradation of Long Island’s fisheries and aquatic habitats, it is inspiring to finally see a plan designed and implemented that will reverse course on decades of negative trajectories,” said Christopher Gobler, chair of coastal ecology and conservation at Stony Brook University.
Stony Brook University welcomed its 49th class of medical students to the recently renamed Renaissance School of Medicine on Sunday with a white-coat ceremony recognizing students’ accomplishments thus far and preparing them for the years ahead. One hundred and thirty-six students — chosen from an application pool of more than 5,000 — shrugged on white physician’s jackets and received stethoscopes to kick off their first week of medical school, which begins Monday.