Mar 30, 2011    #052
Contact: John Austin

UMKC Cockefair Chair Spring Lecture will focus on the power of social networks

Free lecture to feature noted author, professor, social scientist James Fowler

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) College of Arts and Sciences will present professor, scientist and author James Fowler as the speaker for the 2011 Cockefair Spring Lecture, "Power of Social Networks." Fowler, co-author of "Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives," will give the Cockefair Lecture Thursday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. in Pierson Auditorium, located in the University Center, 5000 Rockhill Rd. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Fowler is a professor in the School of Medicine and the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. He was recently named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and one of "Foreign Policy's" Top 100 Global Thinkers. Fowler's work lies at the intersection of the natural and social sciences. His primary areas of research are social networks, behavioral economics, evolutionary game theory, political participation, cooperation and genopolitics (the study of the genetic basis of political behavior).

He has been interviewed by Stephen Colbert and was named "most original thinker" of the year by The McLaughlin Group. His research on genopolitics with Chris Dawes has been featured in New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas," and his research on social networks with Nicholas Christakis -- co-author of "Connected" -- has been featured in Time's Year in Medicine, and in Harvard Business Review's "Breakthrough Business Ideas." Science magazine dubbed Christakis and Fowler the "dynamic duo."

"Connected" received a Books for a Better Life Award, has been translated into 20 languages, named an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review, and featured in Wired, Oprah's Reading Guide, Business Week's Best Books of the Year, GOOD's 15 Books You Must Read, and was the subject of a cover story in New York Times Magazine.

About the Cockefair Chair

The Cockefair Chair was established in 1966 to honor literature instructor Carolyn Benton Cockefair, who retired from UMKC in 1964. The group continues to bring the best minds of the day -- outstanding scholars and writers such as Carlos Fuentes, Molly Ivins, Tony Kushner and John Updike -- to give free lectures throughout the year.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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