CASPER Seminar: Dr. Joseph Bassi, UT El Paso

DateMarch 16, 2018Time2:30 - 3:30 pm
LocationBaylor Sciences Building, room C.206
Description

Baylor University and CASPER present:
Dr. Joe Bassi
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Economics
College of Arts and Sciences, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Worldwide

"How US Science moved West: Boulder, Colorado and the development of US space sciences in mid-twentieth century America"

Abstract: From being considered a "scientific Siberia" in the 1940s, Boulder, Colorado transitioned into "AstroBoulder" by the early 60s. How does a small town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, then home to only a middling state university, become a world center for atmospheric and space sciences in less than two decades? This development of Boulder as a scientific center represented an important transition of US science as it "moved west" in the 20th century. The answer to this question lies in the complex confluence of individual scientific ambitions relating to sun-earth connection research, the pre and early Cold War context of science in the US, and political machinations at various levels of government. This presentations lays out the early phases of this transition process, and particularly focuses on the efforts of solar astronomer Walter Orr Roberts, Colorado Senator "Big Ed" Johnson, the Boulder chamber of Commerce, and others in bringing sun-earth science to Boulder in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This investigation thereby sheds some light on the process by which scientific/academic centers (or "peaks") were created in the US west in the 20th century.

BIO: Joseph P. Bassi is an (online) adjunct lecturer at the National Security Studies Institute, University of Texas/El Paso and also an adjunct history lecturer at California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo. He retired as an assistant professor of arts and sciences at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University/Worldwide programs in 2017. Dr Bassi completed his PhD in History of Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2009. In addition to the PhD, he has graduate degrees in Meteorology from Penn State, Astrophysics from the University of Colorado, and History from the George Washington University. While at GWU, he was a NASA Space Grant Research Fellow at the Space Policy Institute, Elliot School of International Affairs. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1974 with a BS in Physics (Phi Beta Kappa) and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program.

PublisherCASPER
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