The next Saturday Morning Science (SMS) talk is this Saturday, September 12, 2015, 10:30 am: Astronomy and Culture in Aboriginal Australia by Duane Hamacher, Nura Gili, University of New South Wales, Australia. For over 60,000 years, the Aboriginal people of Australia have been developing complex knowledge systems about the sun, moon, and stars. Learn how the world’s oldest living cultures understand and utilize the night sky, see videos of traditional dances, and learn about Australia’s very own Stonehenge.

Remember to arrive early (from 10 am) if you want donuts, bagels, juice, and/or coffee. SMS talks are held on most Saturdays through the semester, and they always start at 10:30 am. Since no food or drink is allowed in the auditorium, allow time to finish eating before the talk.

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Below is the schedule for the rest of the semester. Check the SMS link above or the calendar for updates on the TBA talks.

September 19
New Discoveries from the Age of Fishes including the Origin of Limbed Vertebrates
Ted Daeschler, Associate Professor of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental ScienceTed Daeschler will describe exploration and discovery of a wide variety of Devonian-age fossils from Pennsylvania and high above the Arctic Circle in the Nunavut Territory of Arctic Canada. Among those discoveries is Tiktaalik roseae, an animal that lived 375 million years ago and is widely recognized as the best evolutionary intermediate between finned and limbed vertebrates.

September 26
Last of the World’s Isolated Tribes
Robert Walker, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Amazingly, there are over 50 isolated indigenous societies across Amazonia with limited contact with the outside world. Despite a history of displacements, epidemics, and hostile interactions with outsiders, such tribes still manage to survive. How can we ensure the well-being of humanity’s last known isolated peoples under such enormous and mounting pressure from external threats?

October 3
Seeing Worlds in the Thermal Infrared
Michael Ramsey, Professor of Geology & Planetary Science
The thermal infrared wavelengths are commonly used to detect heat but they can also provide important chemical and geological information on everything from human health to erupting volcanoes to discoveries on the surface of Mars. We will explore many different aspects and examples of thermal infrared imaging including live demonstrations in order to ???see??? these other worlds.

October 17
Harrison Knoll, Founder and CEO, Aerial Agriculture

October 24
We All Have Skin in the Game
Jon A. Dyer, M.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology
Come learn about the human body’s largest and most versatile organ. We will discuss the biology of skin, things that can go wrong with it, and what things we can do to protect it.

October 31
Everything Is Toxic: You Don’t Have To Be A Superhero (But You Can Dress Up As One) To Survive In A Toxic World
Tim J. Evans (a.k.a. The Antidote), Associate Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology
Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hoenheim, or simply Paracelsus, is considered the “Father of Modern Toxicology.” Paracelsus is credited with the observation that the dose makes the poison”, so EVERYTHING is potentially toxic. It’s Halloween, so dress up as your favorite superhero or supervillain and learn how to “talk toxic” and interpret whether “toxic” news is fact or fiction.

November 7
Seeing Slow Lorises in a New Light
Rachael A. Munds, PhD Candidate, Department Anthropology
Stating “I discovered a species” gives the illusion of seeing a new animal that was never seen before, when in fact this is rarely the case. Come learn the process of how new species are actually “discovered” in the scientific world. It is not about tromping in the jungle to find a cute primate, but in fact is about seeing something that has always been there in a new light.

November 14
Mike Urban, Associate Professor and Chair of Geography

December 5
Cover Crops, Compost, and No-Till: A Formula for Soil Health
Timothy M. Reinbott, Superintendent, Bradford Research Center
Can a soil get sick? What makes it healthy? Come learn about what makes a healthy soil and how soil health affects us. We will also talk a little bit about the research projects to improve soil health at Bradford farms, including MU’s comprehensive composting program.

December 12
Trying to Breathe with ALS
Nicole Nichols, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Humans breathe all day, everyday, for their entire life; however, sometimes disease gets in the way. ALS is a devastating disease, leading to paralysis and death from respiratory failure. Come learn how we breathe and efforts to preserve and restore breathing function in ALS to ultimately extend and improve life for ALS patients.

Saturday Morning Science is a wonderful, public-friendly talk by researchers on topics of general interest, and includes information on their own research. SMS is for all ages! Note: If younger children can have quiet drawing/coloring-type activities, even they can often sit through the talks. The talks last about an hour with Q&A time at the end. The series is offered on the MU campus in Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center, on most Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters. Parking is free in the MU parking garages. Virginia Avenue Garage is the closest, and generally the best place to park. If there is a home football game or lots of other events happening at the same time, University Avenue Garage is the best alternative.

If you miss a talk, they are recorded, so you do not have to miss out. Talks from previous semesters are in the Multimedia section of the Saturday Morning Science page. Alternately, many talks are available for free on iTunes.

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See all the events, and details, by viewing the calendar in the right column.

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