Can We Talk Science?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The university will take a close look at two moments in science history that have changed society and the world forever as it celebrates the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first look through a telescope and Darwin’s 200th birthday and the publication of “On the Origins of Species.”

UWG and the Department of Physics will celebrate the 2009 International Year of Astronomy beginning with guest lecturer and UWG alum Steve Bieger, class of ‘79.

The global celebration commemorates the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observations made through a telescope by Galileo. A celebration of all the contributions that astronomy has made to the world including Kepler's publication of Astronomia Nova containing his first two laws of planetary motion will be observed.

The first commemorative lecture, “Galileo's Wonderful Universe - The Scientific Revolution and the Birth of Modern Astronomy,” will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10, in the Crider Lecture Hall.

Bieger serves as a volunteer at Fernbank Science Center and authored the script for the planetarium show to commemorate Galileo's accomplishments.

The physics department will also participate in the global celebration by a presentation of an Observatory Picture of the Week on its website and with a series of astronomical lecture events throughout the year. For more information, call     678-839-4087.

In commemoration of the bicentennial of Darwin's birthday and the 150th anniversary of “On the Origin of Species," Dr. Phil Novack-Gottshall, assistant professor of geosciences, and United Methodist Campus Minister Rev. Karen Kagiyama will present a lecture event and forum on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Callaway Building, Room 145.

The first presentation presented by Novack-Gottshall, "Evolution: Two centuries since Darwin," will highlight Darwin's ideas on natural selection and discuss advances in evolutionary studies including the Human Genome Project and developmental genetics.

Kagiyama will discuss the relationship between science and religion in her presentation, “How to stop arguing with science and embrace and care for the creation.”  A question and answer forum, time for discussion and snacks will follow. For more information, call 678-839-4061.