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Frontiers of Science Lecture Series

The Frontiers of Science lecture series brings eminent scientists from around the world to the University of Utah and the Salt Lake City community. Lectures start at 6 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Aline Wilmot Skaggs Building, Room 220 (map)

Check this page often for updates on speakers, lectures, and more information!

All Frontiers of Science Lectures are recorded. View them on the College of Science's YouTube Channel.

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Tickets are not required for this event. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive early.

For more information contact Paige Berg by email at berg@science.utah.edu.

Next Lecture:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sustainability Realized or “How” Sustainability Is Realized

Francis R. McAllister, Sustainability and Mining Advocate

The concept of Sustainability as outlined in the 1987 United Nations “Brundtland Report” defines sustainability as sustainable development; and sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Thus, Sustainability is the anticipated continuing result generation to generation.

Three Pillars of Sustainability were subsequently fashioned as an instrument for outlining a picture of sustainability. The three pillars include economic, social, and environmental sustainability elements. If any one pillar is weak then the system as a whole is unsustainable. 

In this approach sustainability is examined by "What" it is, or “What” it looks like. However, one might conclude that “What” Sustainability is, or “What” it looks like, differs from “How” Sustainability is to be attained.

In considering “How” sustainability is to be attained, focus shifts to a proposition encompassing six essentials (or pillars) that include: 1. People, 2. Natural Resources, 3. Innovation, 4. Human Accord, Peace, Getting Along, 5. Leadership, and 6. Integrity.

A Case for “How Sustainability will be attained” will examine these six essentials. It is apparent that two of the six essentials are paramount to those in the College of Science – Natural Resources and Innovation. The examination will detail why all six essentials are paramount.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Story of Earth: How Life and Rocks Co-evolved

Dr. Robert Hazen, Senior Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory & Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University

The story of Earth is a 4.5-billion-year saga of dramatic transformations, driven by physical, chemical, and—based on a fascinating growing body of evidence—biological processes. The co-evolution of life and rocks, the new paradigm that frames this lecture, unfolds in an irreversible sequence of evolutionary stages. Each stage re-sculpted our planet’s surface, each introduced new planetary processes and phenomena, and each inexorably paved the way for the next. This grand and intertwined tale of Earth’s living and non-living spheres is only now coming into focus.


 

Thursday, Febuary 1, 2018

TBA


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Safeguarding Heritage Sites in the Middle East

Dr. Blythe McCarthy, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Scientist, Department of Conservation and Scientific Research of Freer & Sackler. The Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art 

Damage to archaeological and historic sites is ongoing on a grand scale in the Middle East due to the current conflicts in the region.  Ranging from ISIL’s full-scale destruction of Palmyra to looting of artifacts at archaeological sites, every instance of damage results in lost opportunities to learn about previous cultures.  Loss of cultural heritage also has societal and economic implications as heritage can be used as a peacebuilding tool to bring together those of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds and act as a resource for cultural tourism.  World-wide, people are working to do what they can to preserve what remains and discourage further destruction.  Activities underway include efforts to document buildings and sites and their destruction, to carry out protective measures such as sandbagging mosaics for stabilization, and to train Iraqis in conservation techniques to help them take an active role in the preservation and restoration of their heritage.   In this lecture, Blythe McCarthy of the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler will discuss these and other aspects of programs to protect and preserve cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria that she worked on during her recent experience as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of State's Cultural Heritage Center.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Charting New Territory in Neurodegeneration

Ryan J. Watts, PhD
CEO, Denali Therapeutics

Neurodegeneration is one of the largest medical challenges of our time. Recent human genetic and cell biological insights into the causes and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases is offering new territory for the discovery and development of effective medicines. At Denali Therapeutics, Dr. Watts is leading a team of scientists and clinicians focused on inventing disease-modifying therapies to halt neurodegeneration. Denali is elucidating the biological mechanisms of four pathways with direct links to neurodegeneration. Understanding these pathways is leading to the discovery of biomarkers and therapies to treat disease. Nevertheless, a major barrier to developing neurological disease medicines has been the body’s own defense mechanism, known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which has evolved to protect the brain from toxins. In addition to pursing new targets, Denali is engineering medicines to cross the BBB and access disease targets in the brain.

 
Last Updated: 10/11/17