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Lunar astronaut, vaccine developer and more, slated for UNR’s science lecture series


The University of Nevada, Reno this week announced the lineup for its Discover Science Lecture Series, which includes a scientist who walked on the moon and a COVID-19 vaccine developer. The series includes four lectures—one virtual and three in-person—with the first planned for Sept. 9.

The lecture series was launched in 2010 by the university’s College of Science to share knowledge, research and wisdom with the community by bringing the country’s top scientists to the community.

“Science encompasses a wonderfully diverse collection of explorations into the unknown. We invite science lovers and the science-curious to join us and experience the extent of the science universe as the best scientists on the planet visit the University of Nevada, Reno for our Discover Science Lecture Series,” said Jeff Thompson, acting vice president and provost and founder of the Discover Science Lecture Series.

In addition to the lecture series, the College of Science has also created the Discover Science podcast featuring in-depth conversations between the visiting lecturers, faculty and students. The podcast is available on most podcast listening services.

Discover Science Lecture Series speakers and schedule

Sept. 9, Doug Smith, project leader for the Wolf Restoration Project in Yellowstone National Park

The talk will cover population dynamics, wolf-prey interactions, disease ecology, genetics and impacts on the ecosystem – as well as the constant controversy and politics swirling around wolves. Due to updated travel restrictions for government employees, Smith’s lecture was transitioned to a virtual format and will be presented on Zoom.

Oct. 10, Harrison Schmitt, retired NASA astronaut

Schmitt will share his experience as the last man to have stepped foot on the moon. A retired NASA astronaut and a trained geologist, he is also the only scientist to have landed on the lunar surface. Schmitt will speak with Professor and Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering and member of the Mars Exploration Rover team Wendy Calvin for Schmitt’s episode of the Discover Science podcast.

March 10, Ken Ono, associate producer and mathematical consultant on the movie “The Man Who Knew Infinity”

Ono’s talk will cover the life and successes of Srinivasa Ramanujan, renowned Indian mathematician and the subject of the film, as well as Ono’s experience working on set. To mathematicians and scientists, Ramanujan symbolizes pure inspiration, the sort of creative flights more often associated with musicians or artists. To contemporary India, he is a national hero, a household name. Furthermore, the story of Ramanujan provides a modern archetype, the rise from humble conditions to the world’s center-stage that modern-day India itself exemplifies.

April 28, Kizzmekia Corbett, leading developer of the Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

After the release of the novel vaccine, Corbett has continued on to be a public figure in the fight against vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. Corbett will present on all that went into the development of the vaccine as well as the progress made toward fighting the global pandemic – a topic that is ever evolving as her lecture date approaches. Corbett’s lecture is designated as the Milton Glick Visiting Discover Science Lecture.

Registration is open for Doug Smith’s lecture on Zoom. All lectures begin at 7 p.m. More information can be found on the Discover Science website.

Source: University of Nevada, Reno

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