Baylor Physics Department Presents Science Thursday Lectures at the Mayborn Museum

Feb. 4, 2015
Science Thursday

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Media contact: Tonya Lewis, (254) 710-4656

WACO, Texas (Feb. 4, 2015) – Baylor University’s Department of Physics in partner with Meera Chandrsekhar, Ph.D., the 2014 Robert Foster Cherry Professor at Baylor, have organized a series of public science talks on Thursday nights at the Mayborn Museum Complex. The talks will take place at 7 p.m. beginning Thursday, Feb. 5, through Thursday, April 30.

“With this series we are trying to present cutting-edge research at a level that the general public can understand,” said Gregory Benesh, Ph.D., Baylor University department of physics chair. “We wanted to do our best to organize this series while Dr. Chandrsekhar was in residence at Baylor. We wanted to broaden the topics beyond physics alone, and so we asked for recommendations from other science department chairs. We think we have assembled an outstanding list of speakers for this first series. “

The talk schedule will be as follows:

• Feb. 5, Stephen Trumble, Ph.D., associate professor and comparative physiologist in the biology department in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, will present, “Whale Earwax? Really?” explaining how a whale’s earplug tells us about the animal’s stress level during development and about exposure to pesticides and heavy metals.

• Feb. 19, Daniel Peppe, assistant professor of geology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, will present, “The Ape in the Trees,” explaining how information from plant and animal fossils are used to better explain the process of evolution in apes and humans.

• March 5, Gerald Cleaver, Ph.D., professor and graduate program director in the department of physics in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, will present, “Life on the Landscape,” considering the place of the earth’s universe and the possibility of non-atomic-based (intelligent) life forms outside of it.

• March 19, Kenichi Hatakeyama, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, will present, “Exploring the Subatomic World,” about the experiments taking place within the world’s highest energy particle collider.

• April 16, Meera Chandrasekhar, Ph.D., Curators’ Teaching Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri and 2014-15 Robert Foster Cherry Professor at Baylor, will present, “Bouncing Photons off Squeezed Materials,” discussing how diamond anvil cells are used to create pressures close to that of the interior of the earth, and what happens when the colors and properties of materials are altered.

• April 30, Kevin Pinney, Ph.D., professor of chemistry in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, will present, “From Forests and Oceans Arise Molecules that Battle Cancer,” discussing natural products that function by selectively damaging the blood vessels that feed tumors.

Chandrasekhar was named the 2014 Robert Foster Cherry for Great Teaching Award Recipient in January 2014. The Cherry Award program is designed to honor great teachers, to stimulate discussion in the academy about the value of teaching and to encourage departments and institutions to value their own great teachers. Chandrasekhar is teaching in-residence at Baylor during the spring 2015 semester.

The talks are free and open to the public. A coffee and cookies reception will precede each talk at 6:30 p.m.

The Mayborn Museum Complex is located at 1300 S. University Parks Drive in Waco.

For more information, contact Dr. Greg Benesh

by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


Located on the Baylor University campus, the Mayborn Museum Complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas with walk-in dioramas, including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. In addition, 17 themed discovery rooms encourage hands-on learning for all ages.

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