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Philosopher Cailin O'Connor to speak at SOU

Philosopher to lecture at SOU on misinformation and false beliefs

Cailin O’Connor – mathematician, philosopher, author, evolutionary game theorist and associate professor of logic and philosophy of science at the University of California, Irvine – will speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Room 151 of the Southern Oregon University Science Building.

O’Connor’s free lecture is part of SOU’s “Campus Theme” lecture series. Each year’s lectures follow a theme, and this year it’s “uncertainty.” The first lecture in the series was by Stanley Crawford, who talked about his legal fight against a large garlic importing company. To continue with the theme, O’Connor will discuss the spread of misinformation and the inherent uncertainty of our beliefs.

That topic is also the focus of O’Connor’s 2018 book, “The Misinformation Age,” in which she and co-author James Owen Weatherall use models of social networks to show the social spread of false beliefs. O’Connor also wrote the 2019 book, “The Origins of Unfairness – a monograph on social categories’ influence over cooperation and the distribution of resources.

“The Misinformation Age” was selected last January for both the New York Times’ Editor’s Choice Reading List and Scientific American’s Recommended Reading List.

O’Connor has been a member of the UC-Irvine faculty since 2013. She received her bachelor’s degree in visual and environmental studies from Harvard College in 2006 and her doctorate from UC-Irvine in 2013.

SOU faculty members are asked to encourage their students to attend Campus Theme presentations.

The themed lectures are presented by the Oregon Center for the Arts in partnership with the Office of the Provost and the Division of Humanities and Culture.

Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer