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Upcoming Science on the Edge lectures explore commercialization of ideas and understanding cultural differences at RMSC

    ROCHESTER, NY— Attendees at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) Richard C. Shultz Science on the Edge lecture series experience science of all kinds, including tiny products that save massive amounts of energy and understanding how anthropologists represent unfamiliar customs. The Fall 2017 series continues Nov. 8 and Dec. 6.

    Science on the Edge lectures have provided insight and understanding about current research in a broad array of topics for a general audience for more than 30 years. Science on the Edge sparks intelligent conversations throughout the community and appeals to a broad audience, whether it’s with the technical side of science or the general wonders of our planet and beyond. The relaxed atmosphere allows adult learners to comfortably expand their knowledge as well as have a unique after-hours opportunity to explore the Museum’s three floors filled with 200 hands-on exhibits. The remaining Fall 2017 season includes:

    Power Up!; Jen Indovina, CEO, Tenrehte Technologies; Wednesday, Nov. 8 , 7:30 p.m.

    Jen Indovina is a clean technology entrepreneur and TED Fellow, who is currently working to spread energy efficiency initiatives worldwide. Jen is the CEO of Tenrehte Technologies, an electronics company making products that save massive amounts of energy. Tenrehte’s first award winning product was the PICOwatt Smart Plug, an outlet adapter that gives users remote control over the power their devices consume. As a TED Fellow and inventor, Jen collaborates with projects all over the world from electrical energy disruptors, to art installations, and even tiny trackers being used to text elephants in East Africa. Jen is going to talk about turning ideas into actions and actions in products that can affect positive change. Bring your questions and curiosity about the commercialization of ideas! Let’s power up.

    Anthropologists Reflect on Ripley’s Believe It or Not!; Kristin Doughty, Robert J. Foster, and Hirokazu Miyazaki; Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7:30p.m.

    How do anthropologists understand cultural difference in today’s world?  What sort of considerations and responsibilities go into representing unfamiliar people and things to the general public?  In this symposium, three anthropologists address these questions by drawing upon their research in Africa (Rwanda), Asia (Japan) and the Pacific Islands (Papua New Guinea)—all places that have been and continue to be rendered exotic for American audiences.

    Kristin Doughty is assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rochester. She has been conducting ethnographic research in Rwanda since 2002 into issues of reconciliation, law, and more recently, electrification. Her book, Remediation in Rwanda: Grassroots Legal Forums (2016, University of Pennsylvania Press, Ethnography of Political Violence Series) examines how Rwandans navigated the combination of harmony and punishment in local courts purportedly designed to rebuild the social fabric in the wake of the 1994 genocide. She is currently conducting ongoing ethnographic research on the cultural politics of energy and unity in post-genocide Rwanda, with a focus on methane extraction in Lake Kivu, funded by the National Science Foundation and Wenner Gren Foundation. 

    Robert J. Foster is Professor of Anthropology and Visual & Cultural Studies and Richard L. Turner Professor of Humanities at the University of Rochester.  His research interests include globalization, corporations, commercial media, museums, and material culture.  He is the author of Social Reproduction and History in Melanesia (Cambridge, 1995); Materializing the Nation: Commodities, Consumption and Media in Papua New Guinea (Indiana, 2002); and Coca-Globalization: Following Soft Drinks from New York to New Guinea (Palgrave, 2008).  His current projects include a comparative study of the moral and cultural economy of mobile phones in Papua New Guinea and Fiji funded by the Australian Research Council (with Prof. Heather Horst).

    Hirokazu Miyazaki is Professor of Anthropology, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies, and Director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University.  He has conducted ethnographic field research in Fiji, Japan, and the U.S. and has published extensively on theories of exchange, futurity, and hope. His books include The Economy of Hope (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), Arbitraging Japan: Dreams of Capitalism at the End of Finance (University of  California Press, 2013) and The Method of Hope: Anthropology, Philosophy, and Fijian Knowledge (Stanford University Press, 2004). 

    Tickets to the Richard C. Shultz Science on the Edge lecture series are: $10 for the general public; $8 for RMSC members; $6 for students through grade 12 and college students with ID; $5 for students who are RMSC members; and $2 for RMSC employees, docents, volunteers, and members of the Rochester Engineering Society. The Museum opens at 5:30 p.m., allowing attendees to enjoy Museum exploration, a lecture, and meeting with the speaker(s) in a unique after-hours experience. Seating is limited; pre-registration is encouraged at or by calling 585.697.1942.

    For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Mare Millow, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC, 585.697.1944,

    Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.