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Join us Saturday

Saturday Morning Science is free and open to
the public. No science background is required.
All ages are welcome.

coffee and bagelsBagels, donuts, coffee, and juice are served before the talks, so come early. Talks start at 10:30 a.m. Doors open and refreshments are available about a half-hour beforehand.
Seating is limited to 250.

Directions and parking

Fall 2015

Talks take place on Saturdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center, Corner of Rollins Road and College Avenue.

Download our Fall 2015 brochure here.

Follow us @satsci on Twitter

September 5
New Horizons on Pluto
Angela Speck, Director of Astronomy and Professor of Astrophysics, University of Missouri

Pluto has been capturing our imagination since its discovery 85 years ago. It is nearly a decade since Pluto it lost its planethood, but the space probe New Horizons has just visited that tiny orb and now we know more than ever before about the erstwhile planet. We will see the fabulous new images and learn about the new scientific results and their impact on our understanding of Pluto, planets, the solar system and its formation.

September 12
Astronomy and Culture in Aboriginal Australia
Duane Hamacher, Lecturer, University of New South Wales

For over 60,000 years, the Aboriginal people of Australia have been developing complex knowledge systems about the sun, moon, and stars. Come learn how the world's oldest living cultures understand and utilize the night sky, see videos of traditional dances, and learn about Australia's very own Stonehenge.

September 19
New Discoveries from the Age of Fishes including the Origin of Limbed Vertebrates
Ted Daeschler, Associate Professor of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, Drexel University

Ted Daeschler will describe exploration and discovery of a wide variety of Devonian-age fossils from Pennsylvania and high above the Arctic Circle in the Nunavut Territory of Arctic Canada. Among those discoveries is Tiktaalik roseae, an animal that lived 375 million years ago and is widely recognized as the best evolutionary intermediate between finned and limbed vertebrates.

September 26
Last of the World's Isolated Tribes
Robert Walker, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Missouri

Amazingly, there are over 50 isolated indigenous societies across Amazonia with limited contact with the outside world. Despite a history of displacements, epidemics, and hostile interactions with outsiders, such tribes still manage to survive. How can we ensure the well-being of humanity's last known isolated peoples under such enormous and mounting pressure from external threats?

October 3
Seeing Worlds in the Thermal Infrared
Michael Ramsey, Professor of Geology & Planetary Science, University of Pittsburgh

The thermal infrared wavelengths are commonly used to detect heat but they can also provide important chemical and geological information on everything from human health to erupting volcanoes to discoveries on the surface of Mars. We will explore many different aspects and examples of thermal infrared imaging including live demonstrations in order to "see" these other worlds.

October 17
Giving Farmers an Eye in the Sky
Harrison Knoll, CEO, Aerial Agriculture

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or "drones" are driving a revolution in precision agriculture. This presentation will discuss the field of aerial agriculture, which combines cutting-edge medical imagingcamera technology with UAVs to improve agricultural practices, ensuring sustainable practices for our environment, and reducing the cost for farmers to cultivate their crops.

October 24
We All Have Skin in the Game
Jon A. Dyer, M.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology, University of Missouri

Come learn about the human body's largest and most versatile organ. We will discuss the biology of skin, things that can go wrong with it, and what things we can do to protect it.

October 31
Everything Is Toxic: You Don't Have To Be A Superhero (But You Can Dress Up As One) To Survive In A Toxic World
Tim J. Evans (a.k.a. The Antidote), Associate Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri

Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hoenheim, or simply Paracelsus, is considered the "Father of Modern Toxicology." Paracelsus is credited with the observation that the dose makes the poison", so EVERYTHING is potentially toxic. It's Halloween, so dress up as your favorite superhero or supervillain and learn how to "talk toxic" and interpret whether "toxic" news is fact or fiction.

November 7
Seeing Slow Lorises in a New Light
Rachael A. Munds, PhD Candidate, Department Anthropology, University of Missouri

Stating "I discovered a species" gives the illusion of seeing a new animal that was never seen before, when in fact this is rarely the case. Come learn the process of how new species are actually "discovered" in the scientific world. It is not about tromping in the jungle to find a cute primate, but in fact is about seeing something that has always been there in a new light.

November 14
The Age of Us
Mike Urban, Associate Professor and Chair of Geography, University of Missouri

From climate change to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, news stories are constantly filled with reports of environmental problems. Increasingly, people are seen as important factors in the health and stability of the planet. I’d like to explore some important questions about our changing environment and the human role in these transformations such as: to what extent are people to blame for some of these issues, should we worry, and what can we all do about it?

December 5
Cover Crops, Compost, and No-Till: A Formula for Soil Health
Timothy M. Reinbott, Superintendent, Bradford Research Center, University of Missouri

Can a soil get sick? What makes it healthy? Come learn about what makes a healthy soil and how soil health affects us. We will also talk a little bit about the research projects to improve soil health at Bradford farms, including MU's comprehensive composting program.

December 12
Trying to Breathe with ALS
Nicole Nichols, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri

Humans breathe all day, everyday, for their entire life; however, sometimes disease gets in the way. ALS is a devastating disease, leading to paralysis and death from respiratory failure. Come learn how we breathe and efforts to preserve and restore breathing function in ALS to ultimately extend and improve life for ALS patients.

View previously scheduled SMS talks

Saturday Morning Science is run by volunteers with financial donations from

MU Office of ResearchChristopher S. Bond Life Sciences CenterThe Mizzou StoreMonsanto