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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

Winter 2014

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 Winter 2014 brochure here.

Follow us @satsci on Twitter


February 1
The Common Epigenetic Threads of Cancer in Dogs and Humans
Jeff Bryan, Veterinary Medicine

Companion dogs share our homes, our lives, and our environmental exposures. If we know the shared epigenetic changes in canine and human cancers, we may be able to uncover key signatures of risk and develop better treatments.


February 8
How Do Plants Choose Their Mates?
Bruce McClure, Biochemistry

Plants are as choosy about their mating partners as animals, but they don't have senses like we do. Find out how they recognize a good mate and how cutthroat they can be toward partners that don't measure up.


February 15
Precision Engineering of Plant Genomes: The Science of GMO Crops
David Braun, Biological Sciences

Blue roses, Golden rice, Bt corn, Roundup Ready soybeans... What is a genetically modified organism? How are GMOs different than conventionally bred crops? The science underlying plant genetic engineering will be discussed.


February 22
The Importance of Conserving Biodiversity Outside Protected Areas
Lori Eggert, Biological Sciences

Although protected areas are essential to conservation, they aren't always large enough to include all species. For wide-ranging animals like large mammals, biologists must recognize and address the challenges of conservation in human-dominated habitats as well.


March 1
Called by the Wild Things
Ron Cott, Veterinary Medicine

Man depends on wildlife. Man is a threat to wildlife. Journey with us to South Africa and see how MU veterinary students work to preserve endangered species crucial to the country's economy and learn about the interdependence of man and animal.


March 8
If We Know Exercise is Good For Us, Why Don't We Do It?
Frank Booth, Biomedical Sciences

Some genetically engineered rats love to run, and others prefer to "sit on their couch"- and the difference is in their brains. This is important to humans because when our brain tells us to "sit on the couch," it is also telling us to become sick.


March 15
Special Guest Speaker
Bill Nye, 10:00 AM, JESSE AUDITORIUM

As part of the 2014 Life Sciences & Society Symposium, whose theme this year is "Decoding Science", Bill Nye will discuss the hows and whys of communicating science to the public.


April 5
Hunting Monsters: Birth of the Most Massive Galaxies in the Universe
Danilo Marchesini, Physics & Astronomy, Tufts University

One of the biggest, and most controversial, questions in astrophysics is when and how the most massive galaxies formed. How do new ideas about when the biggest galaxies were formed change how we think about the beginning of the Universe?


April 12
Sleep Apnea
Kevin Cummings, Biomedical Sciences

While your partner may not agree, snoring is the least of your worries! Come and find out why some people stop breathing during sleep, and how it is causing a massive public health burden.


April 19
Amazing Maize: Corn Domestication and Breeding
Paula McSteen, Biological Sciences

Maize was a wild grass less than 10,000 years ago, cultivated by farmers in central Mexico. Hear how maize domestication was discovered through research in anthropology, archaeology, population genetics, and evolutionary developmental biology.


April 26
Decoding Science: Talking Outside the Box
Heidi Appel, Plant Sciences

How can scientists get your attention, make things clear, and help you remember their messages? With a team of Honors College undergraduates, we will use diverse and novel means to engage you in science. Come see what works!


May 3
Evolution of Lens Eyes: Complexity and Imperfection
Johannes Schul, Biological Sciences

The vertebrate eye impresses with its complexity and performance, yet it is also amazingly imperfect. Our current knowledge of eye evolution explains why this imperfection occurs and how natural selection can result in highly complex traits.

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