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Science at Breakfast introduces leading faculty and research topics in the College of Science to business, community and government leaders.  Check this page often for event details, including lecture topics, speaker information, and topic summaries!

Note: This is an invitation only event.

For more information contact Paige Berg by email at

Next Lecture: 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Genomic Conflicts and the Origins of Species

Nitin Phadnis, Assistant Professor of Biology

Speciation, the process by which one species splits into two, involves the evolution of reproductive barriers such as the sterility or death of hybrids between previously interbreeding populations. Even in his masterpiece “On The Origin of Species”, Darwin could find no satisfactory solution to the apparent paradox of why natural selection would tolerate the onset of genetic barriers such as hybrid sterility and in viability that diminish the prospect of successful reproduction and, therefore, termed this problem the "mystery of mysteries”. Here, I describe the key developments with new genomics and cell biological approaches that are rapidly changing our understanding of the molecular basis of speciation. Our studies of the cellular and developmental anomalies in inter-species hybrids also provide surprising insights into the otherwise hidden evolutionary conflicts that ultimately shape the architecture of our genomes, cells and species.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Crocker Science Center: A Catalyst for New Research and Education in the College of Science

Jordan Gerton, Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education

The historic George Thomas Building, located on President's Circle in the heart of campus, is now being adapted and expanded into the Crocker Science Center, a unique teaching and research facility. The primary mission of the Crocker Science Center's primary mission is to produce the next generations of interdisciplinary scholars, teachers and scientists capable of tackling the complex scientific problems and issues of the future.  The key educational spaces will help centralize students, both major and non-major, in a creative environment where science is on display, and the facility is intended to help students and visitors better appreciate and understand the process and practice of science.  A core philosophy of the building design and operation is to shed light on the various interfaces inherent in the study and practice of science – between formal education and research; between scientific disciplines; between students and faculty; between practitioners and the public – to break down barriers and foster a more inclusive, integrated approach to science education and research.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Role of Synthetic Organic Chemistry in the Discovery of Therapeutics. A Macular Degeneration Case Study

Jon Rainier, Professor of Chemistry

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, especially in the elderly. In this lecture, I will describe that part of our work that is focused on both gaining a better understanding of macular degeneration and developing therapeutics to help stop and reverse the disease. Featured will be both small molecule tools and nanoparticle delivery systems that have been synthesized in our laboratory.

 Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Honeycombs, Foam, and Image Segmentation

Braxton Osting, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Why do bees construct honeycombs using hexagons? How are bubbles arranged within a foam? I’ll discuss these and some related beautiful geometrical questions and then talk about how these ideas can be applied to the important problem of image segmentation. 


Last Updated: 8/1/17