Here are snippets from a few i³ lectures over the past four years. You can see the full presentations – and all of OWU’s i³ lectures – at owu.edu/i3.

Season 1

Laurie Anderson, Professor of Botany-Microbiology

Rainforests, Cloud Formations, and the Flying River of Brazil

“When I see a tree, I just don’t see leaves and branches. I see a cloud fountain that is spouting water into the air. In the Amazon region, the trees, all together, put about 20 billion tons of water back into the air each year, and this falls as rain. … This rain does not just fall on the rainforest. … It brings rain to fields of soybeans, sugar cane, coffee, all kinds of agriculture in southern Brazil and southern South America. The amount of water that’s carried by these wind currents is actually thought to be as great as the discharge of the Amazon River itself into the Atlantic Ocean. … So, the key is, when you save the rainforest, you actually save the rain itself.”


Season 2

Vicki DiLillo, Professor of Psychology

Habits of the Heart

“Frequent, pronounced stress can lead to increases in heart rate and blood pressure and may be accompanied by pronounced changes in stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. Over time, these exaggerated responses can cause wear and tear on the cardiovascular system and may encourage heart disease to develop. … (Also) hostile individuals are less likely to benefit from strong emotional or practical support from people in their lives. After all, we’re not likely to lend a helping hand or listening ear to someone who is angry and antagonistic.”


Season 3

Michael Flamm, Professor of History

Why History Matters

“Statues do not merely commemorate history. They reflect a particular period of time, and they represent a political point of view. Contrary to what some wrongly claim, statues are not some ‘timeless, universal celebration of heritage.’ … History is an essential tool whether the threat to our basic freedoms comes from the communist left or the fascist right. Today, more than ever, history matters because basic freedoms are under assault around the world, and here in the United States. We cannot, and should not, ever take them for granted.”


Season 4

Bob Gitter, Professor of Economics

New Destinations for Mexican Migrants

“Today one out of every 40 people in Delaware County was born in Latin America. In Franklin County with Columbus it’s one out of 20, and in some counties in Ohio it’s one out of 10. … There is a new pattern of migration, and the question is: Is it good or bad? Well, that depends for whom. For the migrants it’s obviously better; if it wasn’t better, they wouldn’t be coming here. For people at the top half of the income distribution, it’s really good. … There’s a lot of help available and it keeps prices down. … But what if you’re an unskilled native-born American? This is a group that actually is worse off. … Is the country better off or not?”


Thinking outside the box and inside the clocks


Return to the Fall 2019 OWU Magazine