ASMSA offering Science Café lectures

From Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts:

HOT SPRINGS - The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts will offer a Science Café lecture series in May beginning this week.

The Science Café lecture series will feature ASMSA Science Department faculty members discussing various topics, including nuclear power, Hot Springs' thermal waters, neurobiology and cancer. The lectures will be held each week on Friday. The first lecture, "Radiation and Nuclear Power: Myths and Facts" by Dr. Brian Monson, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday in the new library in ASMSA's Student Center. Monson is a physics instructor and serves as the Science Department chair at ASMSA.

The lecture series for adults follows a format that has become popular for scientific lectures in recent years. Each lecture will begin with a 20-minute presentation on a topic by one of the scientists at ASMSA. The presentation will be followed by an informal discussion on the topic designed to involve the audience in a relaxed atmosphere.

Dr. Lindsey Waddell, a geosciences instructor at ASMSA, said the Science Department has long been interested in doing a lecture series for adults. She said the faculty members are excited about the lectures and the topics.

"I know [Monson] has specifically wanted to speak on this topic since the tsunami in Japan," she said. "I think my topic [about the area's thermal waters] is of significant local interest. ... The school's faculty has a lot of special academic interests that they could share with the community."

Waddell said the Science Café will offer community members the opportunity to discuss scientific topics of interest with an expert.

The ASMSA Science Café is sponsored by a grant from the Elisabeth D. Wagner Foundation. The lecture series will include:

• May 3: Dr. Brian Monson, "Radiation and Nuclear Power: Myths and Facts,"
• May 10: Dr. Lindsey Waddell, geosciences instructor, "Ensuring the Future of Our Thermal Waters,"
• May 17: Dr. Jon Ruehle, biology instructor, "Neurobiology and the Future of Mind Science,"
• and May 24: Dr. Patrycja Krakowiak, biology instructor, "Why Are Some Cancers So Hard to Treat?"


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