William Folk led a team of scientists and physicians who conducted pioneering studies of African traditional medicines. The team collaborated with KwaZulu-Natal traditional medical practitioners to research medicines used by South Africans for HIV and tuberculosis infections and other health problems. Folk described study findings and reflected on the scientific and cultural conflicts between traditional and Western medical practices.
Recognized as a national expert on campaign finance policy, Corps of Discovery speaker Jeffrey Milyo discussed the role of money in the political system and its influence on political corruption, public policy and voter engagement. Milyo shared the results of his research, including studies that have shown campaign spending to be less influential in American politics than typically presumed.
Jerry Taylor, heralded as one of the world’s top experts in cattle DNA, presented the Corps of Discovery Lecture on Sept. 16, 2013. He discussed the impact of humans on the shaping of the bovine genome since cattle were domesticated 10,000 years ago. Taylor specializes in the sequencing and analysis of genomes, a branch of molecular and population genetics.
One of the nation’s top experts in criminal justice policy, Frank O. Bowman III gave his Corps of Discovery Lecture on March 12, 2013. He incorporated storytelling and focused on the social and legal history of the Civil War period in Boone County, Mo., sharing observations drawn from his study of murders tried in the area from 1850 to 1875.
Carol V. Ward delivered the eighth annual Corps of Discovery Lecture on Sept. 6, 2011. Ward, an internationally recognized scientist and prolific author, discussed how fossils provide a more complete and nuanced picture of our evolutionary past. Her research focuses on the evolution of humans, apes and monkeys, using fossils from East and South Africa that add to our knowledge about anatomy.
Kennon M. Sheldon is a top scholar in the area of psychological well-being and happiness. One of the most productive researchers in the field of positive psychology with more than 130 publications to his credit, Sheldon delivered the Corps of Discovery Lecture on Sept. 1, 2010. He discussed scientific research related to factors that inhibit or help people become sustainably happier.
A. Mark Smith gave the Corps of Discovery address on Sept. 23, 2009. Smith, who has devoted his career to studying the history of science in European culture, focused on how the invention of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century “democratized” reading and transformed the way texts were read and assimilated in fundamental ways. Smith is a specialist in visual theory and optics.
An expert in consumer behavior and materialism, Marsha Richins delivered the Corps of Discovery Lecture on Sept. 23, 2008. Richins discussed how acquiring material items affects our lives and examined the environmental, social and political impact of this "quest for more" on the world at large. Richins is an esteemed scholar in the study of consumer values.
Randall S. Prather, who specializes in reproductive biotechnology, delivered the Corps of Discovery Lecture on Oct. 2, 2007. His work and a greater understanding of molecular biology and the genome, have led to precise genetic modifications of pigs. This breakthrough may result in disease-resistant pigs, new pharmaceuticals and a more nutritious pork chop.
Glen Cameron, who delivered the Corps of Discovery Lecture on Sept. 18, 2006, has spent his professional life observing and analyzing the ways in which different organizations clash while communicating with one another. Cameron focused his lecture on the role of media and strategic communication as forces in escalating or resolving global conflict.
Recognized internationally as a pioneer in the study of time, the human perception of time and how it affects our lives, Allen C. Bluedorn delivered the second Corps of Discovery Lecture on Oct. 20, 2005. He discussed how time is ever-changing, varying from place to place and from era to era. What people believe and value about time are key elements that affect all human behavior.
An expert on oral traditions, John Miles Foley delivered the inaugural 21st Century Corps of Discovery Lecture on Sept. 8, 2004. During his talk he explored the rediscovery of our oldest form of communication — the spoken word — and highlighted similarities with the Internet in transmitting human art and knowledge. Foley has been recognized as one of the most original American professors of the humanities.