Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

‘Take a Journey in Science’ lecture to address nanoscience

Some people think science is composed of complicated equations that only academics can understand. Scientists at The University of Alabama are trying to change these preconceived notions with their new Take a Journey in Science lightning talks.

This journey takes the form of a series of mini lectures held each Thursday during the month of February at 2 p.m. at Rodgers Library. The lectures discuss popular topics in the different fields of science. Talks last about 10 minutes, with a brief Q-and-A period following. John Sandy, head librarian at Rodgers, came up with the idea and ran with it.

“We are still in the experimental stages of this program, but it has gone well so far,” Sandy said. “This idea was to reach out to faculty, staff and students and to get them informed.”

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The first lightning talk was held Thursday, Feb. 6, and the speaker was Jeffrey Lozier, assistant professor in the biological sciences department. About eight students showed up to hear Lozier’s lightning talk last week, and organizers are hoping for a good turnout this week.

“We measure by the interest in the topics, not by the turnout,” Sandy said.

Gregory Szulczewski, associate professor in the chemistry department, is giving a talk on nanoscience this Thursday. He has been working on his research for about 25 years and is excited to present some of it to students.

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“It is important to get this information out now because it will play a vital role in producing and storing energy over the next 50 years,” Szulczewski said. “I want to let people know that there are already nano-scale materials in commercial products.”

Products like tennis rackets, cosmetics, suntan lotion and even some socks have nano-scale materials in them. Some of these products, Szulczewski said, might shock people.

Sandy said that if enough interest is sparked, he would like to continue holding lightning talks every semester.

“If we are successful, which I hope we will be, we hope to have it on going and picking one month a semester to have it,” Sandy said. “Anything we can do to attract more attention to the science, engineering and nursing departments here at the University is always one of our goals.”

Sandy said one of his biggest goals is to get attention from other parts of campus and from people that normally never pay attention to these departments.

“We really have two main goals with these talks,” Sandy said. “One is to highlight our faculty and to show that they really work hard and that our faculty is some of the best out there, but also for us to reach other across campus. We want people to learn about science and to show them it is interesting and fun.”

(See also “Rodgers library to open lecture series with climate, bee talk“)


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