Wednesday Water Cooler Talks

Join members of the College of Science virtually on Wednesdays listed below from 3-3:30pm for a chance to connect and find out how your colleagues stay Healthy, Safe, and Well. The next two topics are included below, but we need your help to fill out the following Wednesdays. Submit your ideas here or during a Wednesday Water Cooler Talk.

July 14, 3pm - An Introduction to Google Analytics

Matt Crawley will lead the session where you will learn how to pull relevant web stats using Google Analytics. See where your users are coming from, what content they are viewing, and how they found you. Join us to learn more or RSVP for a calendar invite.


August 4, 3pm - Please join us or RSVP for our first discussion of books loosely related to the subject areas within the College. We’ll discuss our favorite tales from “The Disappearing Spoon” by Sam Kean. Pick your favorite element and/or read it in its entirety.

From the publisher’s description of “The Disappearing Spoon”: 

Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?

The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. The Disappearing Spoon masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery -- from the Big Bang through the end of time.

Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.

Local resources for obtaining this book:

Marriott Library has 1 copy.

SLC Public Library has 7 copies.

King’s English has 1 copy.

Weller Book Works can order copies.

Recent talks

May 26, Parks in Utah

With summer upon us, parks are a great way to get away from the daily grind, explore and rejuvenate. We discussed a southern road trip to hit the National Parks, highlighted some of the less crowded state parks along the way, and pointed out some of our favorite local parks and activities. Find resources for your road trip here.

May 12 - David Thomas led us in a discussion of hiking and biking.

Hiking and biking are fantastic ways to spend time in nature, get exercise, calm the mind and restore the soul. Here in Salt Lake, we are incredibly fortunate to have a plethora of both biking and hiking trails right outside our doors. In this Wednesday Water Cooler Talk, David highlighted hikes by geographical locations: The City, The Foothills, The Wasatch Mtns. and Beyond. Check out this link for more resources.

April 14, 2021 - Working up a head of STEAM

One aspect of wellness for many of us is having a creative life. This involves engaging in what’s been called the creatives industry: art, humanities, culture (including design, cuisine and architecture) as either a participant or an observer—or both. David Pace led the discussion of the opportunities we have in the Beehive State to get our creative juices flowing,  how creativity is a part of STEM, and some favorites from College of Science members. Click here for resources.


Do you have an idea for a future talk? Use this form to let us know.