Research Unplugged kicks off 14th season

March 16, 2010

By Erin Dugan
Research/Penn State

Research Unplugged, Penn State’s town-and-gown discussion series, is back for the spring semester starting Wednesday, March 17, at the Penn State Downtown Theatre on Allen Street in State College.

For six consecutive Wednesdays from noon-1 p.m., attendees will learn about and discuss intriguing and timely topics with Penn State researchers. Speakers are not on stage or behind a lectern. Instead, they interact with attendees who have the opportunity to chime in with their own questions and opinions throughout the discussion. As in past years, each event is free and includes coffee and bagels.

Following is a brief summary of the semester's schedule.

March 17 will feature a special St. Patrick’s Day event titled, “Music of the Emerald Isle: A Talk with Lisa Jenkins, Musicology Department and Performance by Members of Callanish, a Celtic band”. Attendees will be introduced to the origins of Celtic music and hear live Celtic music from members of a local band.

On March 24, Research Unplugged presents, “Fair Game or Foul Play? Media Coverage of Women in Sports”, a conversation with Marie Hardin, associate professor and associate director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism.

Science buffs should mark their calendars on March 31 and April 7 for, “Mammoth Discovery: Decoding the Secrets of Ice Age DNA”; and “Fossil Rainforests of Patagonia: Ancient Biodiversity and Living Legacy”, hosted by Stephan Schuster, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and by Peter Wilf, associate professor of geosciences, respectively.

The April 14 event will appeal to fans of comic books and blockbuster movies with, “Superheroes at the Box Office: How Comic Books Changed Hollywood”, a conversation led by Matt McAllister, professor of communications.

The spring season concludes on April 21 with the final event, “The Twenty-First Century Student: Can American Colleges Deliver?” This discussion is hosted by Donald Heller, professor of education and director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education.

For more information about past events or to view the schedule online visit:

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Last Updated November 18, 2010