Conversations at Keeton

Conversations at Keeton

Conversations at Keeton with Bob Sternberg (September 2015)

Following some of the House Dinners on Wednesdays at 7:15pm, Keeton's House Professor hosts informal conversation hour in their apartment (G70). On these occasions, a special guest from around campus/the world is invited to share a conversation on a topic of their choice. These conversation are open to the public and allow students to explore different fields and passions. Find out who our next speaker is by signing up to receive our weekly Keeton Courier, or by our ad in The Cornell Daily Sun!


Past speakers have included the following:



  • Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development; "How the Western Conception of Intelligence Is Taking Down Humanity"
  • Vida Maralani, Associate Professor of Sociology; "Inequality in America: How it Works and How Much is Too Much?"
  • Cynthia Wade, Documentary Filmmaker and Nannina Gilderl, Researcher and Screenwriter; "The Art of the Documentary"
  • Ifeoma Ajunwa, Assistant Professor of Law, Labor Relations and History, ILR; "AI at Work: Are Algorithms Better than Humans at Hiring and Managing Workers?"
  • Vivek Ashok, Presidential Post-Doctural Fellow, Department of Government; "Support for Redistribution in an Age of Rising Economic Inequality: a Puzzle and Some Explanations"
  • Aaron King, Keeton House Assistant Dean; "U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and Life)"


  • Gerard Aching, Professor of Africana and Romance Studies; "Sweetness: How Sugar Built the Modern World"
  • John Rickford, J.E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Linguistics and Humanities, Stanford University and A.D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University; "Setbacks, Screw-ups, and Failures"
  • Gerald Torres, Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law and Keeton House Fellow; "Tribal Nations and the Construction of America"
  • Kirstin Petersen, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; "Designing Robot Collectives"
  • Tarleton Gillespie, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research - New England; "Social Media, Free Speech, and the Politics of Platforms"
  • Martha Pollack, President, Cornell University; "The Future of the University"
  • Jenny Goldstein, Assistant Professor of Development Sociology; "Would You Get Rich Quick? Big Impacts of Small-Scale Gold Mining in Indonesia"
  • Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi, Senior Lecturer in Romance Studies; "DAMNED LOVERS!"
  • Mitch Glass, Visiting Critic, City and Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture and students of LA2020: Landscape Architecture Sophomore Studio; "West Campus 6.0"
  • Chad Popple, Percussionist and Tabla Master; "Tabla Workshop"
  • Steve Ceci and Wendy Williams, Professors of Human Development; "Letters of Recommendation: Does Gender Matter"


  • Bill Keeton, Professor of Forest Ecology and Forestry, University of Vermont; "Bill Keeton and His Legacy"
  • Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development; "Standardized Testing for Graduate and Professional School Admissions: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
  • Sheryl Mauricio, Keeton House Assistant Dean and Steve Jackson, Associate Professor of Information Science and Keeton House Professor-Dean; "Designing a Life"
  • Guy Hoffman, Assistant Professor and Mills Family Faculty Fellow; "Robots with Soul"
  • Peter Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter Jr. Professor of International Studies; "America Confronts the World"
  • Steve Jackson, Associate Professor of Information Science and Keeton House Professor-Dean; "West Campus Read-In, Toni Morrison's The Origin of Others"
  • Felix Litvinsky, Managing Director, Blackstone Launchpad; "From Underground to IPO: Entrepreneurship and You"
  • Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development; "(S)he's Mine! All Mine! Keep your grubby hands to yourself! A Valentine's Day Look at Jelousy, Envy, and Love"
  • Courtney Roby, Associate Professor of Classics; "Did the Ancients Have Science?"
  • Steve Jackson, Associate Professor of Information Science and Keeton House Professor-Dean; "Tweets, Pings, and Ink: Three Supreme Court Rulings and the Future of Computing" 


  • Cliff Kraft, Professor of Natural Resources; "What's Up in the Adirondacks?"
  • Steve Ceci and Wendy Williams, Professors of Human Development; "What's in a Face?"
  • Nicki Dell, Assistant Professor of Information Science; "Chips and Chimps: Building Computing Applications with the Jane Goodall Institute"
  • Bruno Latour, Director of MediaLab, Institute d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and A.D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University; "Climate: Make It Work!"
  • Katja Nowack, Assistant Professor of Physics; "Quantum Mechanics and the Computers of the Future"
  • Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development; "Writing in the Sciences"
  • Lee Humphreys and Jeff Niederdeppe, Associate Professors of Communication; "Understanding Fake News"
  • Kendra Bischoff, Assistant Professor of Sociology; "Education and the Geography of Inequality"
  • Justine Vanden-Heuvel, Associate Professor of Horticulture; "Everything You Need to Know About Wine (but were afraid to ask)"
  • Maureen O'Hara, Robert W. Purcell Professor of Finance; "Ethics and Arbitrage on Wall Street"
  • Iwijn de Vlaminck, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering: "What's In Your Blood?"
  • Jon Kleinberg, Tisch University Professor of Computer Science and Information Science; "Can Algorithms Be Fair?"


  • Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development; "Creativity is a Decision"
  • Charles Midega, Research Scientist, International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology, Kenya (Distinguished Africanist Scholar Award, Cornell); Hunger, Gender, and Climate Change: Building Resilience Through Push-Pull Techniques"
  • Judy Wajcman, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics, “Pressed for Time: Is the Problem Digital Devices or the Way We Design and Use Them?”
  • Jeff Hancock, Professor of Communications, Stanford University; "Is Technology Driving Us Apart?"
  • Beth Lyon, Clinical Professor of Law; “The Farmworkers Legal Assistance Clinic”
  • Steve Wicker, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; “Is Privacy Dead? (and Who Killed It?)
  • Marcel Dicke, Professor of Entomology at Wageningen University, Netherlands and Cornell Rhodes Professor; "Six Legs for Food Security"
  • Katy Payne, Researcher and Founder of the Elephant Listening Project; "The Elephant Listening Project"
  • Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development; "Is It Really Love?"
  • Russell Rickford, Assistant Professor, Department of History; "Turning Ourselves Inside-Out: The Struggle Against Neoliberalism and the Quest for Human Dignity"
  • Panel Discussion with Greg Morrisett, CIS Dean; Philip Lorenz, Associate Professor of English, Richard Kiely, Director of Center for Engaged Learning; "The Future of the University (and How to Stop It)"
  • Justine VandenHeuvel, Associate Professor of Viticulter and Michael Fontaine, Associate Professor of Classics; "Faking Wine and Making Millions"
  • Alex Taylor, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK; "Big Data and You"
  • Katja Nowack, Assistant Professor of Physics; "Your Smartphone - a Physics Lab in Your Pocket"


  • Duncan Watts, Principle Researcher at Microsoft Research, Founding member of MSR-NYC Lab; "Big Data & Ethics"
  • Steve Ceci, Professor of Human Development; “The Psychology of Bad Guys”
  • Ryan Silbert, Oscar-winning Producer, and Austin Bunn, screenwriter and Assistant Professor, Department of Performing and Media Arts; "On Storytelling in Media, Marketing & Technology"
  • Seth Peacock, Ithaca City Judge; "Interested in Law School? - A Conversation about Law School & Becoming a Judge”


  • Jeff Hancock, Professor, Department of Communications, Co-Chair for Department of Information Sciences; "Meet Your House Professor and Learn How to Detect Lies on Facebook"
  • Steve Strogatz, Professor of Applied Mathematics; "Doing Math in Public: From the Columns of the New York Times to the Calculus of Friendship"
  • Michael Wesch, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University, Emerging Explorer by National Geographic; "Recovering Wonder in the Age of Whatever"
  • Ethan Stephenson, Former Assistant Dean of Keeton House, Associate Director of Carol Tatkon Center and North Campus Faculty Programs; "The Meaning of (Residential) Life"
  • Marcel Dicke, Professor of Entomology, Wageningen University, Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor; "Insects as the Meat of the Future"
  • Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network, Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor; "Can Mother Earth Sustain Us?"
  • Robert J. Sternberg, Professor of Human Development, Former President at the University of Wyoming; "How Do You Know Whether It's Love?"


  • Margaret McFall-Ngai, AD White Professor-at-Large; "Squid Pro Quo: The Tit-for-Tat in Symbiosis"
  • Kevin Reilly '84, Chairman of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company, "What Watching TV Means in 2012: The Creative Destruction in the Media and Cultural Landscape Brought About By the Digital Explosion and Age of Inter-connectivity"
  • David Silbey, Associate Director of Cornell-in-Washington, Senior Lecturer, Department of History; "Winning (and Losing) the Election: Shinagawa/ Reed to Obama/ Romney"
  • Austin Bunn, Assistant Professor, Department of Performing and Media Arts; "To Sundance and Beyond"


  • Joel Dinerstein, Associate Professor, James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization, Tulane University; "American Cool: Its Origins and Icons"
  • Jeff Hancock, Associate Professor of Communication; "Lie, Cut, and Paste: How Does Deception (and Trust) Work in a Facebook World?"
  • Judith Peraino, Professor of Musicology; "Keepin' it Real in Rock and Rap: The Question of Authenticity"
  • Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, 2012-Present; "Youth and Politics"
  • Shawkat Toorawa, Associate Professor of Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies; "Everything You Have Always Wanted to Know About Islam but Was Afraid to Ask"
  • Paul McEuen, Goldwin Smith Professor of Physics; "The Future of Small"
  • Roundtable discussion with Stephen Wicker, Professor of Electrical and Computing Engineering; Jeremy Birnholtz, Assistant Professor of Communication; Trevor Pinch, Professor of Science and Technology Studies; "The Legacy of Steve Jobs"
  • John Blume, Professor of Law, Director of Cornell Death Penalty Project; "The Past, Present and (Possible) Future of the American Death Penalty"
  • David W. Wolfe, Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology, Chair of Climate Change Focus Group; "Climate Change: A Review of the Evidence"
  • Lord Robert Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Politcal Economy, University of Warwick, Andrew D White Professor-at-Large; "How Much is Enough? The Economics of the Good Life"


  • Steve Kaplan, Professor of History and Author of Good Bread is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, The Way it is Made, and The People Who Make It; "The Five Senses of Bread"
  • Spencer Wells, Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 Professor, Explorer-In-Residence for the National Geographic Society; "Identity and Ethics in the Era of Personal Genetic Testing"
  • Walter LaFeber, Professor Emeritus, Andrew Tisch and James Tisch Distinguished University Professor, Department of History; "The Illusions of the American Century: Past, Present and Future"
  • Bill Deresiewicz, Author, essayist, critic and contributor writer for The Nation, and contributing editor for The Republic and The American Scholar; "Generation Sell"
  • Valerie Bunce, Professor of Government and International Studies; "Egypt in Context: Diffusion and Democracy in the Middle East"
  • Ross Perlin, Author of Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy; "All Work and No Pay: The Rise of Intern Nation"


  • Joel Dinerstein, Associate Professor, James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization, Tulane University; "The Origins of Being Cool"
  • Bryant Simon, Professor of History, Temple University; "Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks"
  • Osvaldo Sala, AD White Professor at Large, Sloan Lindemann Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University; "Prospects for Global Environmental Policy"
  • Ron Ehrenberg, Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Director of CHERI; "Why the #*%!  Does Higher Education Cost So Much?"
  • Olivia Zaleski, Environmental journalist; "Can Business Really Go Green?"
  • Locksley Edmondson, Professor of Africana Studies; "The Challenge of Haiti, Past and Present"
  • Gary Evans, Professor of Human Ecology; "Environment of Childhood Poverty"
  • Corey Ryan Earle '07, Associate Director of Student Programs, Office of Alumni Affairs; "The Clocktower Pumpkin and Cornell's History of Pranks and Practical Jokes"
  • Patricia Harris, First Deputy Mayor for New York City; "What Does it Take to Run the Big Apple?"
  • Robyn Holliday, Senior Lecturer, University of Leicester; "How Do You Spot a Liar?"


  • William Provine, Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, History, "Implications for Humans that Darwin Found in Evolution"
  • Marcia Pappas, President of the National Organization for Women in New York; "The Women's Movement: What's Next?"
  • Jon Gould, Author of Can't Buy Me Love; "Ladies and Gentleman, The Beatles!"
  • Tom Geoghegan, Labor lawyer and author; "Fighting the Good Fight in World and Deed"
  • Yana Djin, Author of Realm of Doubt, Immortality, and other books of poems
  • Carolyn Peterson, first female Mayor of Ithaca, 2003-2011