systems

Recent events have turned the spotlight on the issue of race in modern America, and the current cultural climate calls out for more research, education, dialogue, and understanding. "Race and Social Change: A Quest, A Study, A Call to Action" focuses on a provocative social science experiment with the potential to address these needs.

Author Max Klau explains how his own quest for insight into these matters led to the empirical study at the heart of this book, and he presents the results of years of research that integrate findings at the individual, group, and whole system levels of analysis.

From train derailments and massive oil spills to bankruptcies and medical errors, system failures are all too common - and they’re becoming more frequent. At first glance, these failures seem to stem from very different problems.

But in their new book, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik reveal that surprisingly these events have a shared DNA. "Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It" is a take on how complexity causes failures in all kinds of modern systems - from social media to air travel - and reveals how we can prevent meltdowns in business and our daily lives.

Clearfield is a former derivatives trader and licensed commercial pilot, and Tilcsik holds the Canada Research Chair in Strategy, Organizations, and Society at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Chris Clearfield joins us.

Helen Czerski, physicist and BBC television personality, is the author of the new book Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life, which explores the science of popcorn, coffee stains and other ordinary phenomena and links them to more complex issues including climate change, the energy crisis, and medical innovations.

She will be at UAlbany on February 9 in two events presented by The New York State Writer's Institute.