Faculty experts give free science talks to boost research awareness

Contact: Deanne Puca

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—If physical movement stimulates the nervous system, does exercise make you smarter? Will studying the mathematical theories behind the game of tic-tac-toe give you a better chance of winning? Why and what cause explosions in space?

These and other scientific puzzles are explored during engaging monthly public talks on the campus of Western Michigan University starting Saturday, Sept. 14. Various WMU faculty members will speak and answer questions from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Room 1104 Rood Hall on a variety of topics that are relevant and open to all ages.

The Saturday Morning Science lectures were launched by Dr. Michael Famiano, WMU professor of physics and one of the speakers, to engage young people and the community in exciting research conducted at the University.

"We've had some outreach over the years, and we noticed many people think all we do is teach. There is certainly a lot of cool research going on here, and we love to talk about it and show people research is fun," he says.

Photo of Dr. John Spitsbergen.

Dr. John Spitsbergen

That includes relevant topics such as electric cars and other transportation, the importance of preserving the migration of monarch butterflies and clean water.

"We just like talking about what we do, and all of our speakers are specialists in their field," Famiano adds.

The talks are free and open, and no registration is required. Free parking is available at Rood Hall. Refreshments will be provided.


  • Sept. 14, Dr. John Spitsbergen, professor of biology, "Keep Moving! A Discussion of the Health Benefits of Physical Activity"
  • Oct. 26, Dr. Carla Koretsky, dean of College of Arts and Sciences, "Invisible Salt and Urban Dead Seas"
  • Nov. 9, Dr. Lisa Baker, professor of psychology, "Brain Health"
  • Dec. 7, Dr. Stephen Malcolm, professor of biological sciences, "Monarch Butterflies, Migration and Human Impact"
  • Jan. 11, Dr. Paul Pancella, chair of the Department of Physics, "The Science of Electrified Transportation"
  • Feb. 8, Dr. Andrzej Dudek, professor of mathematics, "From 'Complete' Disorder to the Tic-Tac-Toe Game"
  • March 14, Dr. Gellert Mezei, professor of chemistry, "Extraction of Toxic Anion Contaminants From Water"
  • April 11, Dr. Michael Famiano, professor of physics, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Supernova Explosions"

Find more information on Facebook or Twitter.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.