Alison Bechdel, Dan Ariely and Jeanne Gang Headline 2010-2011 Gannett Project

RIT’s Caroline Werner Gannett Project presents Visionaries in Motion IV

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RIT’s Caroline Werner Gannett Project was created in 2006 and seeks to explore the connections between the sciences, technologies, arts and humanities.

Award-winning graphic artist Alison Bechdel, best-selling behavioral economist Dan Ariely and prominent architect Jeanne Gang will headline the Caroline Werner Gannett Project’s “Visionaries in Motion IV,” a unique speaker series hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology, featuring lectures, exhibitions, symposia and workshops by leading artists, thinkers and scholars in the arts, sciences and technologies.

“Visionaries in Motion” explores new connections across technologies, social sciences and humanities, increasing opportunities for interdisciplinary understanding and collaboration both on campus and in the Greater Rochester community. In 2010, the series was selected as City newspaper’s Critics’ Pick for “Best Lecture Series in Rochester.”

“Again this year we continue to push the creative edge in bringing many diverse and talented speakers to RIT, among them Tedsters, MacArthur award-winners and best-selling authors,” says Mary Lynn Broe, the Caroline Werner Gannett Professor of Humanities and founder of the Gannett Project.

Bechdel is best known for her groundbreaking comic Dykes to Watch Out For, a nationally syndicated comic strip, running from 1983 to 2008, which was one of the first ongoing representations of lesbians in popular culture. Her graphic memoir Fun Home, published in 2006, became a New York Times bestseller and was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by Time magazine.

Capstone speaker Dan Ariely holds multiple appointments at Duke University in psychology and behavioral economics, business, cognitive neuroscience and medicine. His bestselling book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, uses simple experiments from daily behavior to study the amusing, informative and often profound ways people actually behave.

Gang is the founder and lead architect of Studio Gang Architects. She is the designer of Chicago’s Aqua Tower and the Hoboken Island September 11th Memorial, which is currently under construction. Gang’s work has been featured at the Venice Biennial and in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Building Museum. She won an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006.

Additional speakers for 2010-2011 include: political philosopher and master mechanic Mathew Crawford; experimentalist engineer in audio visual performance and interactive art Golan Levin; Rochester composer David Liptak; author-storyteller Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; and popular science writer David Bainbridge. For dates and times of all events, plus links to past year’s talks, visit All Gannett events are free and open to the public.

The Caroline Werner Gannett Project was created in 2006 and is chaired by Broe with the interdisciplinary Gannett Working Group. Previous series speakers include cognitive scientist/philosopher Daniel Dennett; graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister; photographer Edward Burtynsky; visual artist and computer scientist John Maeda; dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Streb; inventor and futurist, Ray Kurzweil; and molecular biotechnologist and genomics expert, Leroy Hood.