By Kyle Casey
Research Unplugged Intern
The first signs of spring mark the return of the Research Unplugged discussion series to downtown State College. Research Unplugged is a nontraditional lecture series where experts from varying fields lead conversations with community members. All six Research Unplugged talks will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, at the Penn State Downtown Theatre on Allen Street. For more information, see http://www.rps.psu.edu.
The events are free to the public, Irving’s coffee and bagels are on the house, and attendees will have the chance to enter a drawing for a Research Unplugged mug and a $10 Irving’s gift card.
The Spring 2011 season kicked off on Wednesday, March 16, with Steven Schiff, director of the Penn State Center for Neural Engineering. Schiff’s lecture was titled “Untangling an African Medical Mystery: Engineering Solutions to Infant Brain Infections.”
The series continues with the following schedule:
- On March 23 join sociology professor Sam Richards and colleague Danna Jayne Seballos of the “World in Conversation Project” to find out “Why Race Still Matters: Creating Conversations in 21st Century Classrooms.”
- The Beatles were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands the world has ever seen. On March 30 Ken Womack, professor of English and integrative arts, leads a discussion on the Beatles’ rise to greatness from humble origins with “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles.”
- There is a short list of people who have ever seen a supernova exploding live. John Nousek, professor of astronomy and astrophysics, will share his experiences during “The Swiftest Satellite: Searching for the Brightest Lights in the Universe” on April 6.
- Batting fifth, kinesiology professor Mark Dyreson talks baseball — the sport’s history and political impact. “A Baseball Empire: The National Pastime and U.S. Foreign Policy” is slated for April 13.
- Although nothing lasts forever, some species’ time on earth has been particularly fleeting. Molecular biologist Beth Shapiro wraps up this season on April 20 with “Where Have All the Dodos Gone? The Role of Climate and Humans in Mass Extinctions.”