Free public science minicourse starts on Jan. 21

Barbara K. Kennedy
January 09, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- "The Quest for One Healthy Planet" is the 2017 theme of the annual Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science -- a free public minicourse that does not require registration or exams. The lectures take place on six consecutive Saturday mornings beginning at 11 a.m. in 100 Thomas Building on the University Park campus. The six speakers are scientists whose research is at the frontiers of knowledge about how the health of the Earth is affecting the health of people and other forms of life on our planet.

The first lecture, "How to Heal Earth's Climate," will be given on Jan. 21 by Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. He will describe how the current warming of our planet and unprecedented weather extremes are presenting challenges for the sustainability of human civilization, and why he is cautiously optimistic about our options for rising up against these challenges. He will present the latest research as well as his recommendations for healing Earth’s climate.

Future lectures in the series are:

-- "The Rise and Fall of Diseases Caused by Insects" on Jan. 28 by Matt Thomas, professor and Huck Scholar in Ecological Entomology and director of the Ecology Institute at Penn State;

-- "New Technologies Against Infectious Diseases" on Feb. 4 by Nita Bharti, assistant professor of biology, research associate in Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, and Society in Science Branco Weiss Fellow at Penn State;

-- "One World . . . One Health" on Feb. 11 by Peter Hudson, Willaman Professor of Biology and director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at Penn State;

-- "The Race to Grow Enough Food for Everyone" on Feb. 18 by Jonathan Lynch, professor of plant nutrition at Penn State; and

-- "Marine Mammals as Health Sentinels for Oceans and Us" on Feb. 25 by Gregory D. Bossart, senior vice president for animal health, research and conservation at the Georgia Aquarium.

The Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is an annual free public minicourse organized and supported by the Penn State Eberly College of Science as an enjoyable and enlightening learning opportunity for eager learners in the Central Pennsylvania area and beyond. After presentation, the lectures are archived online for viewing worldwide. More information about the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, including archived recordings of previous lectures, is online at .

For more information or access assistance, contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Communications by phone at 814-863-4682 or by email at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 10, 2017