'Searching for Certainty' is Theme of UA Science Lecture Series

Dec. 19, 2018

'Searching for Certainty' is Theme of UA Science Lecture Series

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona College of Science's popular annual lecture series will mark its 14th year in 2019 with a series of presentations that provide insight into how the scientific community works together to establish scientific truth that grows and evolves over time. 

The six-week series kicks off on Jan. 15 and is themed "Searching for Certainty." It will address the debates and discoveries that are defining science today. 

"Scientists play a critical role in our society as truth seekers and knowledge keepers," said UA College of Science Dean Joaquin Ruiz. "This year's College of Science lecture series will bring together some of the UA's brightest researchers, across a range of disciplines, to talk about the biggest debates in science today and what they mean for us and our understanding of the world."

The free lectures will be held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., on the UA campus. Parking is available for a fee in the Tyndall Avenue Garage, 880 E. Fourth St.

Each lecture will be livestreamed by Arizona Public Media and will be available as a podcast or video on iTunes U, YouTube and Arizona Public Media approximately one week after the lecture date. 

Here is the six-week lineup. Additional information is available on the UA Science Lecture Series website.

Jan. 15: "There Is No Certainty"
Joanna Masel, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in the College of Science, will explore scientists' gold standard tool – the randomized experiment – in contrast with mining big data, and our human discomfort with uncertainty.

Jan. 22: "Understanding the Unseen Universe"
Feryal Özel, professor of astronomy and physics in the College of Science, will discuss how astronomers gather knowledge about the diverse range of astronomical objects and phenomena that can't be directly observed.

Jan. 29: "Climate and the Deep Blue Sea"
Joellen Russell, Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair in Integrative Science and associate professor of geosciences in the College of Science, will speak about how her work as an oceanographer with floating robots and sensors is transforming how scientists measure and forecast changes in Earth's climate.

Feb. 12: "The Microbes Shaping Our Lives"
Donata Vercelli, professor of cellular and molecular medicine in the UA College of Medicine, will discuss how microbes, which have traditionally been seen as foes, are actually essential for human health.

Feb. 19: "The Mind-Body Dialogue"
Katalin Gothard, professor of physiology and neuroscience in the College of Medicine, will discuss how changes in the body influence the mind, and how health and disease can be better understood via the exchange of biological signals between the brain and body.

Feb. 26: "Can Intelligence Be Measured?"
Anna Dornhaus, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in the College of Science, will explore a core debate: whether intelligence should be seen as a set of decentralized, independent problem-solving modules, or a singular, generalized skill of innovation.

Funding for the 2019 lecture series is provided by its title sponsors – the UA Office for Research, Discovery and Innovation, and Tucson Electric Power – as well as its underwriters, the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, the Arizona Daily Star, Canyon Ranch, Cox Communications, the Galileo Circle, Godat Design, Holualoa Companies, the Marshall Foundation, Nguyen & Tarbet Patent Law, Raytheon, the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, Tech Launch Arizona, the UA Honors College and Visit Tucson.

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Media contact:
Richard Neter
UA College of Science
520-838-6136
rneter@email.arizona.edu
Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $606 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.