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The 2017 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science

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The Quest for One Healthy Planet


"The Quest for One Healthy Planet" is the theme of the 2017 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science.

Join us for a series of six free public lectures on Saturday mornings from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park Campus.

The Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is an annual free public minicourse organized by the Penn State Eberly College of Science as an enjoyable and enlightening learning opportunity for residents of the Central Pennsylvania area and beyond. The speakers are researchers who are expanding the frontiers of scientific knowledge in their fields.

Michael MannHow To Heal Earth’s Climate

January 21, 11 a.m., 100 Thomas Building (map)

Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, Penn State

The rapid warming of our planet, unprecedented weather extremes, and other resulting impacts present a monumental challenge for the sustainiabiliy of human civilization, yet climate expert Michael Mann is cautiously optimistic about what we can do about it. Hear his summary of the latest research and his recommendations for healing Earth’s climate while we still can.


Matt ThomasThe Rise and Fall of Diseases Caused by Insects

January 28, 11 a.m., 100 Thomas Building (map)

Matt Thomas, Professor and Huck Scholar in Ecological Entomology and Director of the Ecology Institute, Penn State

Our changing environment is affecting the ecology and evolution of mosquitos that can infect people with diseases like Zika and malaria. Which diseases are likely to increase and which might we be able to effectively control? Learn about some of the ongoing research from the lab of Matt Thomas that addresses these questions, including development of novel control tools that could assist in the global strategy to eliminate malaria.


Nita BhartiNew Technologies Against Infectious Diseases

February 4, 11 a.m., 100 Thomas Building (map)

Nita Bharti, Assistant Professor of Biology, Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics Research Associate, and Society in Science Branco Weiss Fellow, Penn State

Rapid or gradual changes in population size driven by natural disasters, instability, economics, and other disruptions can drastically impact human health, creating high-risk conditions for infectious diseases and gaps in health care. Hear about new technologies, based on satellite imagery and mobile phones, devised at Penn State to turn these high-risk population shifts into disease-prevention opportunities to serve people beyond the reach of conventional health systems, particularly in low-resource settings.


Peter HudsonOne World . . . One Health

February 11, 11 a.m., 100 Thomas Building (map)

Peter Hudson, Willaman Professor of Biology and Director of the Huck Institutes of Life

Just when we thought we were safe, the new threat and spread of new infectious diseases like Ebola, SARS, and Hendra is increasing and causing much concern to the people of this planet. Issues with global health security range from proteins to pandamics. Where are these new diseases coming from? What are we doing about it? And what should scientists be doing about it now?


Jonathan LynchThe Race to Grow Enough Food for Everyone

February 18, 11 a.m., 100 Thomas Building (map)

Jonathan Lynch, Professor of Plant Nutrition, Penn State

Jonathan Lynch is leading a new wave of food-crop research to provide enough nutritious food with limited use of irrigation and fertilizer. Using traditional breeding techniques, his team has developed a protein-rich bean plant that produces three times the yield of typical varieties on infertile soil. Learn how he did it, and how such stress-tolerant crops are the key to global food security.


Gregory BossartMarine Mammals as Health Sentinels for Oceans and Us

February 25, 11 a.m., 100 Thomas Building (map)

Gregory D. Bossart, Senior Vice President for Animal Health, Research, and Conservation -- Georgia Aquarium

Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees, California sea otters, and other ocean-dwelling mammals that share coastal environments with humans and other land mammals are becoming valuable sentinel species that provide important information on regional environmental and public health issues. Learn how the health of marine mammals is helping us to better understand and potentially manage the negative impacts associated with the oceans on the health of humans and other mammals living on Earth.


The Thomas Building is at the corner of Pollock and Shortledge roads. Parking is available in the HUB Parking Deck on Shortledge Road and in the Eisenhower Parking Deck on Eisenhower Road.

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please call 814-863-4682 or e-mail sci-comm@psu.edu in advance of your participation or visit.

Use the links to the left to access more information about the Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, including archived recordings of previous lectures.

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