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The future of self-driving vehicles is topic for Friday, April 21

Bill Malkes, CEO and co-founder of Gridsmart Technologies will present “Your Future in Self-Driving Vehicles – Utopia or Hell?” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, April 21.

Malkes will explain how Gridsmart and other roadway technologies fit into the revolutionary world of self-driving (autonomous) vehicles. He will delve into the future and explore social issues created by an autonomous vehicle society, such as  privacy matters. Finally, he will venture even further to investigate if autonomous vehicles will play the role of hero or villain in the quest for a better society.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, April 21 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

No meeting April 14 – UT Spring Recess

We will not meet Friday, April 14 due to the UT Spring Recess break. The university will be closed.

We will resume our weekly meetings Friday, April 21 with Bill Malkes, who will present “Your Future in Self-Driving Vehicles – Utopia or Hell?” in the Tompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

If you need a parking permit, please contact Amanda Womac.

Professor Mark Littmann to present “Totality: The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017” Friday, April 7

 

Mark Littmann, professor and the Hill Chair of Excellence in Science Writing in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, will present “Totality: The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017” Friday, April 7.

On August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the Sun will trace a narrow path across the United States, passing very close to Knoxville. Only one in 100,000 people has seen a total solar eclipse.  It has been 38 years since a total eclipse has visited the mainland of America. Through stories and photographs, Professor Littmann will explore how to observe a total eclipse of the Sun, the most amazing of all celestial sights.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, April 7 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

 

Carbon dioxide into ethanol as a waste-to-fuel technology is the topic for the next UT Science Forum Friday, March 31

Adam J. Rondinone, senior staff scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, will present “Carbon Dioxide into Ethanol: Waste-to-Fuel Technology” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, March 31.

Rondinone and his colleagues at ORNL have discovered tiny metallic particles that turn carbon dioxide (a gas that is causing the Earth to warm) into ethanol (a highly useful fuel). These microscopic particles thus remove a highly polluting gas from the air while allowing cars and trucks to continue to operate. The ethanol created in this reaction could also be stored and used to generate electricity whenever needed. Rondinone and his colleagues are now working to scale up their discovery for use in society.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, March 31 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Freeberg to present “Do Even the Birds and the Bees Benefit from Diversity?” Friday, March 24

Todd Freeberg, professor and associate head of the Department of Psychology will present “Do Even the Birds and the Bees Benefit from Diversity?” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, March 24.

Diversity has been in the news quite a bit recently. Studies of human groups indicate that increased diversity can bring benefits to group members. Is the same true for non-human animals? In his presentation, Professor Freeberg will explore the recent work in birds and bees that tests this possibility.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, March 24 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Science Forum on Spring Break March 10 and March 17; resumes March 24

It’s Spring Break at UT, which means we will not meet Friday, March 10 or March 17.

We will resume Friday, March 24 with Todd Freeberg, professor and associate head of the Department of Psychology, who will present “Do Even the Birds and Bees Benefit from Diversity?”

We hope you make plans to join us again Friday, March 24 at 12 p.m. in the Thompson Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D.

Jennifer DeBruyn to discuss “Microbial Ecology of Human Decomposition” Friday, March 3

Jennifer DeBruyn, associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering Systems & Soil Sciences will present “Life After Death:  Microbial Ecology of Human Decomposition” at the next UT Science Forum Friday, March 3.

What happens to us after we die? A decomposing corpse becomes its own mini-ecosystem, hosting insects, scavengers, and multitudes of microbes that blend together and work to recycle tissues back to their constituents. Professor Jennifer DeBruyn will discuss the fascinating process of human decomposition and how scientists are using that information to inform forensic science, livestock mortality management, and processes of fossilization.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, March 3 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Jeffrey Moersch will discuss the use of drones in studying Mars-like landscapes on Earth Friday, February 24

Jeffrey Moersch, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will present “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Studies of Mars-like Landscapes on Earth” Friday, February 24.

Terrestrial analogs are places on Earth that share one or more important geologic or astrobiologic characteristics with features found on other planets. In-depth studies of such relatively-accessible locations are useful because they provide a better understanding of the processes that may have been active on other planets and help to refine exploration strategies for future planetary missions. Professor Moersch has worked on terrestrial analog studies related to Mars for the past 20 years using traditional geologic field techniques. He recently added the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) to his approach. During his presentation, Moersch will discuss the added value that UAVs bring to this type of work and share examples from terrestrial analog sites in the high Arctic, the Atacama Desert and Altiplano of Chile, the Mojave Desert, and Iceland.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 24 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Professor Shpak presents “The Truth About GMOs” Friday, February 17

Elena Shpak, associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology, will present “The Truth About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)” Friday, February 17.

The safety of GMOs has been a controversial topic since they hit the stores in 1994. Professor Shpak will discuss techniques used to generate GMOs, the reasons behind their creation, and their safety for human health and environment.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 17 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

Henri Grissino-Mayer to discuss the Gatlinburg fires and what Mother Nature is telling us Feb. 10

 

Henri Grissino-Mayer, professor in the Department of Geography, will present “The Gatlinburg Fires – What Mother Nature Is Telling Us” Friday, February 10.

Could the fire that ravaged Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in November 2016 be a harbinger of future wildfires here in the Southeastern United States? Geography Professor Henri Grissino-Mayer will speak about the unusual and not-so-unusual conditions that led to the catastrophe in Gatlinburg and will discuss ways that the community can lessen the risk of future wildfires occurring in what is a very fire-prone forest.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Rooms C-D.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Additionally, this year, we have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. Please email Amanda Womac for more details.

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