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.
The Microbes We Live With: More Friends than Foes
Craig Franklin, Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri
Millions of microbes (tiny single-celled organisms) occupy different parts of our body and environment. While a few of these agents can be detrimental to health, most are beneficial, aiding in food digestion, immune system development and protection against disease-causing agents. This seminar will discuss our relationship with microbes and the explosion of research into the fascinating realm of the microbiome.
Finding Meaning in the Broken: What Fossil Shells Reveal about Past Predators and Parasites
John Warren Huntley, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Missouri
Sea shells are items of beauty that have enticed humans for thousands of years. While many shellers seek perfect specimens for their collections, it is the broken and ugly specimens that speak of their living occupant’s struggle for life dealing with the predators and parasites. This story has been preserved in the fossil record and is of great utility for evolutionary paleoecologists.
Why don’t you get it? Talking about Science in an Unreasonable Age
Jack C. Schultz, Director, Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri
Most people aren’t stupid, badly informed, or ‘anti-science’. Yet scientists fail to convince people about issues like the risks of vaccination, the reality of evolution, and the certainty of climate change. Why is this? We’ll look for answers in how our brains work to make us a successful but unreasonable species. It’s all in our heads!
What does the Bottom of the Missouri River Look like?
Caroline Elliott, Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey Columbia Environmental Research Center
Have you ever looked at the Missouri River and wondered what the bottom of the “Big Muddy” river looks like? Using high-resolution sonar tools we’ll explore the world beneath the surface and learn more about one of the longest and largest rivers in North America, a river that flows just a few miles from Columbia.
Dialect Patterns in Missouri: More than “Pop” vs. “Soda”
Matthew Gordon, Associate Professor of English and Chair of Linguistics, University of Missouri
Travelling across our state we hear differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. Some of this variation reflects historical patterns of settlement, but our language is always changing, and many innovations have entered Missouri speech in recent decades. In this session, we’ll talk about the current linguistic state of the state as viewed through research in dialectology and sociolinguistics.
Big Challenges and Bigger Opportunities: Confronting Climate Change
Richard Alley, Professor, Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University
Each degree of warming costs us more than the previous degree. We have already experienced the first degree, and have committed to much or all of the second. Fortunately, we have the technologies to build a sustainable energy system. Adapting to the committed warming and avoiding further warming can be done in ways that improve the economy as well as the environment.
Zombies, Sports and Cola: Implications For Weather and Climate Communication
Marshall Shepherd, Director, Program in Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Geography, University of Georgia
Weather and climate discussions are as common in hallways, social media, and civic clubs as they are in scientific conferences. Unfortunately, they are often “clouded” by myths, perceptions, and misinforma-tion. Let’s look at the challenges of communicating climate, and offer some pathways forward.
Mosquito-borne Viruses Affecting Humans – What’s the Buzz?
Alexander Franz, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri
In many regions of the world, mosquito-borne viruses pose an increasing threat to human health as conventional control efforts are failing. We will discuss what mosquito-borne viruses are, where they come from and how mosquitoes transmit them to vertebrates. We will then explore novel control strategies and look at newly emerging mosquito-borne viruses.
Health Promotion: The Role of Art and Empathy
Lise Saffran, Director, MU Master of Public Health Program
What is most likely to make you sick now and what will that be in the future? How is our health as Americans connected to the world? Lise Saffran argues that empathy, among both the general public and health professionals, has a crucial role to play in answering those questions and presents way to apply it to important health issues.
Of Flies, Fish and Men: Understanding Human Biology using Model Organisms
Anand Chandrasekhar, Professor, Division of Biological Sciences and Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri
Over the past century, scientists have obtained profound insights into human physiology and associated diseases. Many of these insights have come from the experiments in less complex “model” organisms like mice, fish, flies, worms, and even yeast cells! We will explore specific examples to illustrate why model organism research is essential for understanding and bettering human health.