Crossroads announces new season of lectures

The 2011-2012 Orcas Crossroads Lecture Series will delve into cosmology, America as an empire, the Human Genome Project, the future of news reporting and print media, and the first amendment and the internet.

All lectures are held at Orcas Center, followed by a question and answer period and a public reception with the speaker.

The season opens on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., with a lecture entitled "The New Universe and the Human Future."

Speakers Nancy Ellen Abrams and Joel R. Primack, who co-authored "The New Universe and the Human Future:  How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World," address such questions as “What kind of a universe are we living in?",  "Do we matter in the universe? " and "What practical use is this knowledge?”

On Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m., Dmitry Orlov presents "The Fall of the American Empire." An eyewitness to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and author of the book "Reinventing Collapse," Orlov suggests that by examining maladaptive parts of our common cultural baggage, we can survive, thrive, and discover more fulfilling and meaningful lives, in spite of deteriorating circumstances in the U.S.

Steve Olson presents "Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past Through Our Genes," on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m.  Olson describes a profound insight gleaned from the Human Genome Project: "the remarkable unity of the human species at the genetic level." This lecture offers new ways of thinking about race, ethnicity, ancestry and language.

Lectures scheduled for early 2012 include "The Future of News Reporting Worldwide" by Nancy K. Rivenburgh on Feb. 26, "Books and Bits: The Future of Publishing" by Steve Kobrin on March 18, and "The First Amendment and the Internet: Current Dilemmas" by David Skover on April 1.

Members of the Associates Circle receive free admission to the entire 2011-12 season. Both season and individual tickets are available in early September at, Darvill’s Bookstore and the Orcas Island Library. Complimentary tickets are available in advance through the library and senior center.

The Orcas Crossroads Lecture Series is supported by the Crossroads Associates Circle, the Orcas Island Public Library, the Friends of Orcas Island Library, the Daniel and Margaret Carper Foundation and Individual Contributors. More information is available at

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