An informal meal in which everyone pays his share or brings his own dish. The French piquer means to pick at food; nique means something small of no value. From the informal picnic, the outdoor feast developed. In Victorian Britain picnics may not have been as formal as country-house dinners, but they were often elaborate affairs. Weekend shooting parties and sporting events were occasions for grand picnics, with extensive menus and elaborate presentation.
---Larousse Gastronomique , [Clarkson Potter: New York] 2001 (p. 883)
"thin linen or cotton cloth," early 15c., from Laon, city in northern France, center of linen manufacture.
Born in Bogotà, Colombia, Ignacio was Deputy Director of Colombia's Environmental Agency and Latin American Coordinator for Environmental Education at CIFCA/UNEP in Madrid. He now teaches at California College of the Arts in San Francisco from which he has expanded his long-term interest in aesthetics, philosophy, culture and media studies, on top of his life-long experience in environmental and social sciences and pedagogy. This in turn led him to EcoDomics and the Aesthetic(s) of the Common(s), a conceptual/ social practice synthesis he is developing along the lines of biopolitical production.
An assistant professor in the Environmental Science Department who garnered international press when he spoke out against a Novartis deal at Berkeley and his published paper in Nature that found transgenic matter in nontransgienic corn in Mexico. He is an Advisory Board member for The Sunshine Project, an organization promoting citizens' concerns with biosafety and biowarfe
Abena's research interests include the history of scientific knowledge, popular culture, and natural resource management, with an emphasis on experiences in Africa and the disjuncture between elite and popular understandings of health, technology, and the environment in different historical periods, with an eye towards how history might inform public policy today. Her current research focus is the history of bioprospecting in tropical West Africa. Using the case of Ghana, the project addresses the ways in which patents, databases, and chemical formulas have been used to alienate everyday people from rights to medicinal plants. It places the history of drug discovery in an international framework to better understand the global pharmaceutical industry.
In her first book, Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press), she addresses the history of drug prospecting in Africa. Her book examines how healers, rural communities, scientists, and drug companies have sought to profit from pharmaceuticals made from six plants found in African countries. She is also conducting research for a new project on the history of nuclear energy and radiation protection services in Ghana.
Jake Kosek is coauthor of Race, Nature, and the Politics of Difference (Duke University Press, 2003), which explores the intersections of critical theories of race and nature; and author of Understories: The Political Life of Forests in Northern New Mexico (Duke University Press, 2006), an ethnography that examines the cultural politics of nature, race, and nation amid violent struggles over forests in northern New Mexico.
He received his doctorate in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master's degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Jake held the Lang Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University and was also a lecturer there in the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology. Subsequently, he received the Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellowship in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as an assistant professor in the departments of American Studies and Anthropology at the University of New Mexico before returning to the Department of Geography at Berkeley.
Jake also has a long history of applied and engaged political work outside of the academy, spending more than eight years working for nonprofits and doing applied research on human rights, environmental justice, and poverty in the U.S., Africa, and Latin America. His diverse teaching experiences – in university settings such as Berkeley, Stanford, and the University of New Mexico, as well as non-university settings such as San Quentin State Prison and rural community workshops in rural West Virginia, Peru, and Bolivia – have helped him develop a wide variety of approaches to pedagogy. His teaching combines a dedication to conceptual rigor with an applied sensibility, encouraging students to make connections between abstract concepts and engaged political thought and action.
Walton A. Green is a Connecticut Yankee who has assiduously avoided acquiring marketable skills during almost two decades spent collecting degrees on two continents. He is currently a postdoc in the Harvard Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, working on the physiology of an extinct group of plants called arborescent lycopsids. In addition to plant paleoecology, his research interests include leaf architecture, the graphical display of quantitative information, evolutionary theory, Mesopotamian archeobotany, and R. Don't ask him what R is unless you have several free hours. His pedagogical duties are currently dominated by attempts to teach his seven-month-old daughter to walk before she can crawl.
Escaping an unhappy childhood, Art spent long hours walking alone in the woods and fields northwest of Philadelphia and in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, where he became fascinated with natural history. By the fifth grade, he had narrowed his focus to insects, especially Lepidoptera. While in junior high school, he read Evolution: The Modern Synthesis by Julian Huxley and was hooked. He participated in science fairs and eventually was a winner in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. At the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in biology, he worked with ecologist Robert MacArthur. He received his Ph.D. in entomology from Cornell University in 1970. Forced by the Vietnam draft to decline a Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, he accepted a teaching position at Richmond College of the City University of New York, where he taught ecology and field biology. In 1971, he began teaching in the Department of Zoology at the University of California, Davis. In 1977, he initiated a long-term project in the Andes and Patagonia and has "commuted" to South America as circumstances have allowed. His nonbiological interests include meteorology and journalism. He is interested in the history and philosophy of science, and has written and lectured often on the interfaces of science with religion and politics. He is author of about 300 research papers and the Field Guide to the Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions (University of California Press, 2007) and currently serves on the Editorial Committee of the University of California Press.
Ananya Roy teaches in the fields of urban studies and international development. She holds the Distinguished Chair in Global Poverty and Practice and is the founder of a new undergraduate program at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. Ananya's research and teaching are concerned with the global circuits of finance capital, formations of urban poverty, and new horizons of urban politics. She is the author of City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (University of Minnesota Press, 2003) and coeditor of Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America (Lexington Books, 2004). Her book Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010) received the 2011 Davidoff Book Award, which recognizes research that advances social justice. Her most recent book is the coedited volume Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).
Sara Seager's planetary science research focuses on theory, computation, and data analysis of exoplanets. Her research has introduced many new ideas to the field of exoplanet characterization, including work that led to the first detection of an exoplanet atmosphere. Her space instrumentation group is developing a prototype nanosatellite capable of high-precision pointing, with the scientific goal of detecting small transiting exoplanets as they orbit bright, sun-like stars. The prototype is intended to be the first of a planned fleet of nanosatellites and is also intended to demonstrate the graduated growth of a constellation as a new paradigm for space science missions. In addition to being the principal investigator of ExoplanetSat, she is co-leading CommCube, a platform for demonstrating novel small satellite space communication technology. She is involved in leading the MIT-Harvard REXIS instrument on NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.
Before joining MIT in 2007, Sara spent four years on the senior research staff at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, preceded by three years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is on the advisory board for Arykd Astronautics and the Rosalind Franklin Society, and is the 2007 recipient of the American Astronomical Society's Helen B. Warner Prize.
Kenneth Brecher is professor of astronomy and physics and director of the Science and Mathematics Education Center at Boston University. He completed his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was also on the faculty from 1972 to 1979. He has been awarded fellowships in support of his research and educational activities from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. His astrophysical research interests have centered on a range of topics in theoretical high-energy astrophysics including neutron stars, pulsars, x-ray binary sources, supernovae, and gamma-ray bursters.
He is currently engaged in several materials, software, hardware, and curriculum development projects for use in K-12, undergraduate, and informal science education. He is the principal investigator on Project LITE: Light Inquiry Through Experiments, which is developing materials about light, optics, color, and perception. He is co-initiator and project scientist on the MicroObservatory Project, which has developed a network of automated astronomical telescopes for student use. His books include High Energy Astrophysics and Its Relation to Elementary Particle Physics (MIT Press, 1974) and Astronomy of the Ancients (MIT Press, 1981).
Peter Galison's work explores the complex interactions between the three principal subcultures of physics – experimentation, instrumentation, and theory – focusing on the materiality of science. Among his books are How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic (1997), Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps (2003), and Objectivity (2007; with Lorraine Daston). His coedited volumes include The Architecture of Science; Picturing Science, Producing Art; Scientific Authorship; and Einstein for the 21st Century. To explore the relation of scientific work with larger issues of politics, he has made two documentary films: Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma (2000); and, with Robb Moss, Secrecy (about national security secrecy and democracy), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. At present, he is completing a book, Building Crashing Thinking (on technologies that re-form the self), and has just begun a new documentary film project on the long-term storage of nuclear waste, Nuclear Underground. He is currently collaborating with William Kentridge on a project, "The Refusal of Time," for Documenta 13.