October 14, 2016

Phi Beta Kappa Asks Biology Professor Greta Binford to Shine a Light on Spiders

On October 19, the national Phi Beta Kappa Society launches its (En)Lightning Talks series with Associate Professor of Biology Greta Binford, who’ll illuminate the value of spiders. The talk kicks off Phi Beta Kappa’s designation of Portland as an Arts and Sciences City of Distinction.

On October 19 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, five speakers will each be given just five minutes to engage the audience on their chosen topic. One of these panelists will be Lewis & Clark’s own acclaimed arachnologist Associate Professor of Biology Greta Binford, who will draw the audience into her world with her talk, “Along Came a Spider: The Value of a Single Arachnid.”

A recipient of the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award and one of three undergraduate professors honored by Lewis & Clark this year with a Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, Binford has been featured in The New Yorker, PBS’ Nova, OPB’s Think Out Loud, and on NPR’s Science Friday. Joining Binford will be professors and artists from colleges and universities in the region, speaking on issues from the validity of U.S. law enforcement to coral reef decline in our current geological age.

This event will take place as part of Phi Beta Kappa’s Arts and Sciences Cities of Distinction event series. Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society, is recognizing cities around the nation that have made significant contributions to the arts and sciences and is awarding $5,000 to four local organizations who have successfully engaged broader audiences in these fields.

One of the Portland initiatives to be honored is Lewis & Clark’s Community Engagement and Leadership in Science Program, which will be recognized for “strengthening pathways… into math and science education for students from underrepresented backgrounds while preparing Lewis & Clark College of Arts and Sciences’ students to pursue careers as future educators in a diverse and changing society.”

“Portland is a national model for what can happen when citizens, nonprofit groups, colleges and universities, businesses, and local governments support and invest in cultural institutions,” says Phi Beta Kappa Secretary/CEO Frederick M. Lawrence. “In particular, we applaud the region for its commitment to ensuring broad public access to arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences.

Emceed by Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Dave Miller, “En(Lightning) Talks Portland” is free and open to the public. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at OMSI’s Empirical Theater. Reservations can be made here.  

Biology Department