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If you're thirsty and have always wanted to know about looking for space microbes on Europa, what medieval people really thought about dragons, how to make energy from alternative sources, or what a philosopher has to say about what the heck is actually going on, come to Public Works! It's a free event in the style of Nerd Night but designed just for Ithaca. We're bringing a variety of intellectually-stimulating presentations right to you for your entertainment and educational pleasure at The Downstairs, the bar below The Watershed. Come hear talks given by Cornell and IC graduate students, professors, community experts, and everything in between! Each session will feature one to three accessible talks, followed by a Q&A session where audience participation is highly encouraged but not required!

Bring a friend, make a friend, ask an expert, and drink a beer!

The February 7th Public Works event will feature 2 talks:

a radical librarianship talk:

"Bringing the Library to Prison with the Cornell Prison Education Program"

by Dr. Maddie Reynolds
Outreach and Information Services Librarian for the Cornell Prison Education Program

New York State prisons are low-information environments, where there is no internet access and books and media are subject to strict censorship. How can librarians on the outside respond to incarcerated patrons' need for books and information? The Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) is grappling with these questions as they seek to create research opportunities and expand information access in prison in anticipation of their launch of a Cornell BA inside. In this talk, we'll discuss what it's like to build a library program for incarcerated students, introducing Cornell's world class research materials behind the walls. We'll learn about CPEP and its history, nationwide efforts to bring library resources to incarcerated patrons, and what we're doing at Cornell to provide incarcerated students with more academic resources. We'll also talk about how to get involved in CPEP!

and a robotics talk:

"Will Robots Kill Us?"

by Dr. Hadas Kress-Gazit
Geoffrey S.M. Hedrick Senior Endowed Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

You know the sci fi trope — humanity depends on robots that decide to kill us all until a hero shows up to stop their evil plan. How close is that to reality? Will robots take over the world? Are they dangerous? Will they be? In this talk I'll describe what robots can and cannot do these days and discuss what the future might look like.


Time and Location

First Wednesday of every month, 7 PM.
The Downstairs
121 W. State Street
Ithaca, NY

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Interested in giving a talk?

We want to hear from you! Come talk to us at a Public Works event or send us a message at ithacapublicworks@gmail.com. Are you an academic? Feel free to list your Public Works talk as an outreach event on your CV! Are you not an academic? We still want to hear from you!