Conversations in Science Series
for K-12 Educators

A program conceived and organized by the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with the collaboration of the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Edgewood Sonderegger Science Center

Past Series

2008-2009 Series

“Self-Organization - Nature’s Intelligent Design”
Prof. Clint Sprott, Dept of Physics
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“Biology of Sleep”
Prof. Ruth Benca, UW Psychiatric Institute & Clinics
View a UW news update about Prof. Benca's work

“Babies, Testosterone, and Type 2 Diabetes and Infertility”
Prof. David Abbott, Dept of Ob/Gyn & National Primate Research Center
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“Building the Next Generation of Biofuels”
Prof. Tim Donohue, Great Lakes Bioenergy Resource Center
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“Burning Questions About Forest Fires in the West”
Prof. Monica Turner, Dept of Zoology
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“Thoracoscopic and Robotic Thoracic Surgery at UW: Technically More Difficult, but Easier for the Patient”
Prof. Tracey Weigel, Chief, Thoracic Surgery, UW Hospitals
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“Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Photochemistry”
Prof. Frank Keutch, Dept of Chemistry
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“Science in Theatre”
Prof. Norma Saldivar, Director, Arts Institute
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2007-2008 Series

“Science in Space: Wisconsin’s 100 year Journey to the Hubble Space Telescope”
Evan Richards, UW Space Science and Engineering Center

“The Rebirth of Nuclear Power”
Prof. Michael Corradini, Department of Engineering Physics

“The Science of Love”
Prof. John Delamater, Department of Sociology

“Across Biological Kingdoms: From Potatoes to Polio”
Prof. Molly Jahn, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

“Climate Change and Waters of Wisconsin”
Prof. John Magnuson, Center for Limnology

“Biominerals, the Toughest Structures of Life”
Prof. Pupa Gilbert, Department of Physics

“Evolution and its Enemies”
Prof. Ronald Numbers, Department of Medical History and Ethics

“Faults and Earthquakes: Up Close and Personal”
Prof. Cliff Thurber, Department of Geology

2006-2007 Series

“Reporting on Science and Technology”
Ron Seely, Lecturer, Life Sciences Communication

“Calories, Cancer, and Aging”
Prof. Richard Weindruch, Medicine

“Walking Through Walls – The Art & Science of Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Challenges”
Prof. Frances Westley, Environmental Studies

“Performance Enhancement: Beyond the Work, Sweat, and Tears”
Prof. David Bernhardt, Sports Medicine

“Making Hydrogen, Liquid Fuels, and Plastics from Biomass-derived Carbohydrates”
Prof. James Dumesic, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

“The Radium Girls and the Firecracker Boys”
Dr. Catherine Middlecamp, Director, Chemistry Learning Center

“Transforming Health Care: A Vision for the Future”
Prof. Susan Goelzer, Anesthesiology and Internal Medicine

“Bacterial Conversations: Translating and Expanding the Dialog with Organic Chemistry”
Prof. Helen Blackwell, Chemistry

2005-2006 Series

“What's So Special About Science?”

Dr. Rodney Schreiner, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation of Primates: The Endangered Muriqui Monkeys of Brazil”

Karen B. Strier, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Language Learning in Infancy”
Jenny Saffran, Professor of Psychology , University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Current Thinking about Skin Cancer and Sun Screen”
George Reizner, Professor of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The Wildlife Resources of Wisconsin and the Challenges of Management”
Scott Craven, Professor of Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Fruits and Vegetables Aren't Nutritious Until Somebody Eats Them”
Susan Nitzke, Professor of Nutrition, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Look Who is at the Front Door Now- The Ever-changing Insect Invasions in Wisconsin”
Phil Pellitteri, Entomology Distinguished Faculty Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The Number Theory of Partitions: the Legacy of Freeman Dyson and Srinivasa Ramanujan, and Beyond.”
Ken Ono, Professor of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2004-2005 Series

“Managing Urban Storm Water"

Kenneth Potter, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Ethanol: The Dose, Effects, and Side Effects of the World's Second Most Popular Drug”

Kevin T. Strang, Lecturer in the Physiology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Proteins and Protein-Like Molecules: Extrapolating from Nature”

Sam Gellman, Department of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Exploring the Nanoworld: Manipulating and Testing Materials at the Nanoscale”

Wendy Crone, Department of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“From Geophysics to Environmental Justice”

Herbert F. Wang, Associate Dean for the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The Other End of the Leash”

Patricia McConnell, Department of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Basic Science Applications in Forensics

Michael Stier, Department of Pathology, UW-Medical School

“Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression”

Lyn Abramson, Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

2003–2004 Series

“Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy: What's Hot and What's Not”
Molly Carnes, Professor of Medicine, UW Center for Women’s Health and Women’s Health Research

“Nanoscale science and the nano-bio interfac”
Robert Hamers, Professor of Chemistry and Material Science, UW-Madison

“Optimal Resource Allocation for Critical Infrastructure Protection”
Vicki Bier, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Physics, UW-Madison

“Tales of the Cloth Mother: A Story of Science, Love, Primate Research and One of the Most Unlikely Revolutions in Psychology”
Deborah Blum, Professor of Journalism, UW-Madison

“Single Molecule Approaches for the “New Biology”
David C. Schwartz, Professor of Chemistry and Genetics , UW-Madison

“Men Are from Earth, Women Are from Earth: Science vs. the Media on Psychological Gender Differences”
Janet Hyde, Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies, UW-Madison

“Molecular-scale bioelectronic interfaces: How will microelectronics and molecular-scale biology converge?”
Daniel W. van der Weide, Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, UW-Madison

2002–2003 Series

“Fast Plants and Bottle Biology”
Paul H. Williams, Emeritus Professor, Department of Plant Pathology

“Using Emerging Technology to Enhance the Ability of People Experiencing Functional Limitations”
Gregg C. Vanderheiden, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

“Modern Drug Discovery to Combat Bacterial Infection”
Richard Burgess, Professor of Oncology, UW-Madison Medical School

“Clinical Trial and Drug Development: A Long Complicated Journey from the Bench to the Bedside”
David L. Demets, Professor and Chair, Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics

“Toward an Environmentally Friendly Chemical Industry”
Shannon S. Stahl, Professor of Chemistry

“Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Policies and Trade”
Lydia Zepeda, Professor of Consumer Science and Chair of Developmental Studies

“A Trip Though a New Frontier: Microbiology of Soil”
Jo Handelsman, Professor of Plant Pathology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor

“Theatrical Lighting Design from Page to Stage (and the Science in Between)”
Linda Essig. Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre and Drama

2001–2002 Series

“Understanding and Predicting the Weather and Climate Using Satellite Observations”
Steve Ackerman, Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Director of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies

“Solar Energy and Fuel Cell Systems”
S.A. Klein, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Solar Energy Laboratory

“Environmental Science: The Study of Wetlands, a Vital Component of the Biosphere”
Cal DeWitt, Professor of Environmental Studies

“Astronomy: Galactic Evolution and Star Formation”
Eric Wilcots, Associate Professor of Astronomy

“The Biology of Sleep”
Ruth Benca, Professor of Psychiatry

“Engineering New and Extreme Materials”
Roderic Lakes, Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Engineering Physics

“Isoprene Emission from Plants: What It Does for the Plants and What It Does to the Air”
Thomas D. Sharkey, Professor of Botany and Director of the Biotron

“Light: From Quantum Mechanics to the Most Sophisticated Current Applications”
John C. Wright, Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department

2000–2001 Series

“The Study of Slow Things from Far Away: The slow and almost invisible changes to Wisconsin lakes and potential effects of climate change”
John J. Magnuson, Emeritus Professor of Zoology and retired director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Drug Addiction and the Brain: New Perspectives from Neuroscience”
Professor Ann Kelley, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, Chair, Neuroscience Training Program

“The Amanda South Pole Neutrino Telescope: First Light”
Physics Professor Francis Halzen, principal investigator of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

“The Emotional Brain: New Brain Imaging Methods Probe the Functioning of the Brain During Emotion and Disorders of Emotion”
Richard J. Davidson, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and MacArthur Fellow

“Engineering in the 21st. Century”
Paul Peercy, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering

“DNA Computing on Surfaces: Using Molecular Biology to Solve Difficult Mathematical Problems”
Lloyd M. Smith, Professor of Chemistry

“Copenhagen, discussion of an award-winning play based on a 1942 meeting between Danish physicist Neils Bohr and German physicist Werner Heisenberg;
Phillip Certain, Dean of the University of Wisconsin College of Letters and Science and Professor of Chemistry

“Creating and Visualizing Nanoscale Structures: Atoms, Islands, Nanotubes and Quantum Dots”
Max G. Lagally, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering