Rhett Talks

Some of the best learning can take place outside of a lecture.

Rhett Talks is BU’s version of the popular TEDx talks. Listen to some of our University’s best faculty give brief, innovative, and engaging presentations outside of the classroom.

Three 15 minute presentations will occur at each event, all surrounding a particular topic: football, Ebola, religion and more. Attendees will have a brief opportunity to ask questions on each presentation. And yes, refreshments are included.

The Faculty-in-Residence program sponsors Rhett Talks, with assistance from the Dean of Students Office and Residence Life.

Upcoming Talks
Previous Talks
What They’re Saying About Rhett Talks

Upcoming Talks

Fall 2016 Rhett Talks

7 pm, Tuesday, September 20 – Rich Hall: Cinema Room and Lobby

  • A Dissolvable Hydrogel Burn Dressing, Professor Mark Grinstaff
  • Children of Incarcerated Parents: Who Are They, and Why Do They Matter?, Professor Megan Sullivan
  • A Culture of Corruption, Professor Raymond Fisman

7 pm, Thursday, September 29 – 10 Buick Street: Student Atrium

  • The Problem with Democracy, Professor Jay Samons
  • Spiritual but not Religious – Is Religion Disappearing from American Life?, Professor Nancy Ammerman
  • Language Memory and Attrition in a Mobile, Multilingual World, Professor Charles Chang

For those audience members interested in Remote CART/speech to text services, please join us at the following link from your personal device: https://www.streamtext.net/player?event=CFI-BU

7 pm, Thursday, October 6 – Warren Towers: Multipurpose Room

  • The Healthiest Goldfish, Dean Sandro Galea
  • American Politics in the Age of Trump, Professor Doug Kriner
  • Should we prevent preventable deaths?, Professor Christopher Gill

To request disability related accommodations or communication access for any Rhett Talks (ASL Interpreters or CART), please contact access@bu.edu or call 617.353.3658.


Previous Talks

Fall 2016

Monday, September 12 – Metcalf Hall, George Sherman Union

Fall 2015

Fall 2015 talks are available on YouTube

Monday, September 7, 2015, 7-8 p.m., Rich Hall Cinema Room

  • Prof. Binyomin Abrams, Senior Lecturer, Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences
    Ninety Years of Quantum Mechanics: Why Are We Still Teaching the Bohr Atom?
  • Prof. Jillian Goldfarb, Research Assistant Professor, College of Engineering
    Sustainability, Challenged: The Water-Energy-Food Nexus
  • Prof. Teddy Hickman-Maynard, Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Theology
    On Babies and Black Choirs: A reflection on racism and hope

Thursday, September 17, 2015, 7-8 p.m.,  Warren Towers

  • Dean Hardin Coleman, Dean, School of Education
    Cultural Identity and Minority Student Achievement
  • Prof. Andrew Shenton, Associate Professor, Musicology, College of Fine Arts
    Music and transcendence: or how to be happy and healthy for free (and with very little effort)
  • Prof. Deborah Jaramillo, Associate Professor, Film & Television, College of Communication
    Why are we (still) ashamed of TV?

Monday, September 21, 2015, 7-8 p.m., Kilachand Hall

  • Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff, A William Fairfield Warren Professor, Economics, College of Arts & Sciences
    Is the United States Bankrupt?
  • Prof. Bayla Ostrach, Assistant Professor, Medical Anthropology, School of Medicine
    Syndemics – An Interdisciplinary Concept in BioSocial Health
  • Prof. Pamela Lightsey, Associate Dean for Community Life & Lifelong Learning, School of Theology
    Talk title to be announced

Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 7-8 p.m., 10 Buick Street

  • Prof. Muhammad Zaman, Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
    Saving lives through safer drugs
  • Prof. Paul Lipton, Director of Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program/Research Associate Professor, Neuroscience, College of Arts & Sciences
    To Pond Scum: Thanks for the Memories
  • Prof. Phillipe Copeland, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
    BlackMindsMatter: Mass Incarceration and Mental Health

2014-15 Talks

September 8, 2014

September 16, 2014

September 22, 2014

September 30, 2014

November 20, 2014

January 19, 2015

Special MLK Day edition: The Problem of Poverty

2013 Talks

What They’re Saying About Rhett Talks


BU Today, September 8, 2014


BU Today, September 9, 2013
Daily Free Press, September 10, 2013
Daily Free Press , September 17, 2013
BU Quad, September 25, 2013
BU Quad, October 2, 2013