Who are we?
Student Pugwash USA has a storied association with the University of Michigan. After the organisation's founding in San Diego in 1979, SPUSA held it's third international conference on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. Since that time the local chapter has experienced long periods of drought punctuated by hurried attempts at re-organising, re-founding, and re-energising.
The most recent overhaul began in the fall of 2000 as paperwork was filed with the Michigan Student Assembly and funds deposited with Student Organisation Accounts Service. After the coercion of a number of individuals to become signatories, SPUSA-UMich was accepted into full membership of the Michigan Student Assembly.
Several future members of SPUSA-UMich attended a university-sponsored lecture by Nobel laureate Harold Varmus on "Regulation of Ethically Sensitive Science," on 11 October, 2000.
The first meeting was held on 26 October, 2000. The meeting claimed to be a gathering point for "all students interested in topics related to science and social responsibility." Approximately 10 people attended this seminal meeting, and plans were made for future events. An email group was established for intergroup communication.
15 November, 2000, witnessed a brief organisational meeting.
On 29 November, 2000, in the intimate setting of the Michigan League, an informal, but informative, exchange was held on the topic of "Does the Future Need Us? Future Technologies", with a focus on nanotechnology and nanomedicine. The scene was reminiscent of fin de siecle Vienna. Several new members were lured by this night.
The new year opened with a kaffeeklatsch in a coffee house, Espresso Royale, on 21 January, 2001. This was quickly followed by a screening of "GATTACA" on 08 February, 2001. In keeping with the theme of genetically altered events, members were encouraged to attend (and did!) a presentation by Eduardo Kac on 16 February, 2001. Mr. Kac's talk was entitled,"Telepresence, Biotelematics, and Transgenic Art," and included an update on his recombinant green fluorescent protein rabbit (GFP-bunny, Alma).
A planning meeting was hurriedly organised and sparsely attended on 15 March, 2001. The Michigan Student Assembly's award of $80 to our group for the spring semester was ridiculed, but welcomed, and planning begun on several top-secret future initiatives.