Learning Community Speaker Series

All are welcome and encouraged to attend

 Sunday, January 21

"Mapping the Heavens"

Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor, Departments of Astronomy & Physic, Yale University

12:30pm in the Auditorium; lunch at 12:15pm (suggested donation $5)

Our cosmic view has been rapidly evolving. Until 1914, we believed that we were alone in the universe and unique. In addition to demonstrating the existing of other galaxies, the astronomer Edwin Hubble in the 1920s also discovered that our cosmos was in motion. Starting with this disorienting finding that our universe, unmoored and no longer stagnant, we have been rapidly uncovering many other features of our cosmos - the existence of dark matter, black holes, dark energy, extra-solar planets - that have fundamentally transformed our current understanding of the cosmos and our place in it. Professor Natarajan will focus on two of these radical ideas - dark matter and black holes - and examine how despite being deeply contested, they were eventually accepted. The arc of their acceptance reveals not only our shifting conceptions of the cosmos, but also demonstrates the power of the confluence of ideas and instruments. Mapping the seen and the unseen elements in the universe continues to help us refine our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it.

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Sunday, February 18

"Daring Democracy, My Journey"

Frances Moore Lappé, author of the multimillion-selling Diet for a Small Planet and seventeen other books, is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, the “Alternative Nobel.”

12:30pm in the Auditorium; lunch at 12:15pm (suggested donation $5) Book sale and signing to follow.

Frances Moore Lappé's new book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, co-authored with Adam Eichen, focuses on the roots of the US democracy crisis and how Americans are creatively responding to the challenge. This book is the Unitarian Universalist Association's pick as the "Common Read" for UU congregations for 2018, and is slated for discussion here at FCB after church on March 18. Daring Democracy opens with an essential truth: It’s not the magnitude of a challenge that crushes the human spirit. It’s feeling powerless—in this case, fearing that to stand up for democracy is futile. It’s not, Lappé and Eichen argue. With riveting stories and little-known evidence, they demystify how we got here, exposing the well-orchestrated effort that has robbed Americans of their rightful power. But at the heart of this unique book are solutions. Even in this divisive time, Americans are uniting across causes and ideologies to create a “canopy of hope” the authors call the Democracy Movement. In this invigorating “movement of movements,” millions of Americans are leaving despair behind as they push for and achieve historic change. The movement and democracy itself are vital to us as citizens and fulfill human needs—for power, meaning, and connection—essential to our thriving. In this timely and necessary book, Lappé and Eichen offer proof that courage