Discovery Lecture Series History
The Discovery Lecture Series is made possible by The Lilly Endowment as a mechanism for Purdue University and Discovery Park to bring to campus the latest thinking about science and technology and other broad areas of public interest. The Discovery Lecture Series allows Purdue to bring scientific expertise to campus for our faculty and students; the Series is also a mechanism to engage our many community, state, and national partners as well as our regional citizens with experts on current issues.
The Discovery Lecture Series began in February 2006 with an inaugural panel of scientists presenting on the latest work in nanotechnology. Mihail ?Mike? Roco, U.S. National Science and Technology Council?s Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology and the Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation spoke on ?National Nanotechnology Initiative Vision and Outcomes?. He chaired the forum of nine panelists. The day?s events also included a media panel to discuss science writing and press coverage of innovations in science.
In fall 2006, Dr. John H. Marburger, III. Science Adviser to the President and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy gave a Discovery Lecture keynote address to a packed auditorium. His keynote was titled: ?Committed to Being the Best: The American Competitiveness Initiative.?
In spring 2007, two Discovery Lecture Series events were held. On April 16, in a partnership with Honeywell, Dr. John L. Hall, Nobel Laureate met with students, had lunch with faculty members, made a technical presentation, and gave a keynote speech. His address, ?Making a Big Deal out of the Small Decimal Digits: The Remarkable Utility of Precision Measurement? was followed by an arm chair conversation with President Martin Jischke on ?What?s Next in Science??
On April 23, the Discovery Lecture Series partnered with the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering to present two keynote speakers. Stephen Shortell, Ph.D. and Dean, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley spoke on ?Marriage of Medicine and Management: Sustaining Improvement in Delivery, Quality, Cost and Outcomes.? Karen Davis, Ph.D., and President of The Commonwealth Fund discussed ?Achieving the Best: The Road to Improving National Performance of Healthcare Delivery.?
Fall 2007 added another two Discovery Lecture Series Events. On October 15th, a partnership with the College of Consumer and Family Sciences, the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, and the Indiana Office of the Governor was formed. The Governor?s Office sponsored a Healthcare Summit at Purdue, INShapeIndiana. The Discovery Lecture Series sponsored one of the day?s keynote speakers, Dr. Dee Edington, Director of the Health Management Research Center at the University of Michigan, whose presentation was titled, ?Health Management Programs as a Serious Business Strategy.?
The Discovery Lecture Series is a tool for key partnerships. On November 8th, a partnership between the Kauffman Foundation, Biocrossroads, and the Discovery Lecture Series sponsored a day-long event. The morning featured a Kauffman Campuses Initiative Workshop with two key speakers: Dr. Ted Ashburn, Senior Director of Corporate Development at Genzyme Corporation on ?Skills for Business Development,? and Dr. Michael Kurek, Partner, Biotechnology Business Consultants, LLC, on ?Skills for Successful Entrepreneurs.?
Beginning with lunch, Biocrossroads and the Discovery Lecture Series featured an afternoon of activities. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., a luncheon provided the context for a keynote speech by Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill and Company, speaking on ?Biotech 2007: A Global Transformation.? The moderator for this session was Dr. William Miller, Provost Emeritus from Stanford University. President France Córdova , Purdue?s 11th president, followed. She discussed ?Technology Commercialization and Purdue University.? Following these presentations, a panel was moderated by David Johnson, President and CEO of Biocrossroads. Dr. Johnson opened with ?Translating Indiana Ideas into Global Successes.? Dr. Ted Ashburn, Senior Director of Corporate Development at Genzyme Corporation described the ?Importance of Intellectual Property,? and Dr. Roger Newton, Co-Founder , Esperion Therapeutics, discussed ?Considering Global Competition when Developing IP in a Startup Environment.?
In January 2008, the Discovery Lecture Series presented Dr. Robert S. Langer, Draper Award Winner and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 2007 National Medal of Science Recipient; and Member of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. Dr. Langer spoke on ?Advances in Drug Delivery Tissue Engineering? to an overflow crowd of Purdue faculty and students.
The Discovery Lecture Series brings a variety of audiences/speakers together. In June 2008, Dr. C. N. R. Rao, National Research Professor and Chairman of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister Government of India, was a featured speaker. Dr. Rao?s talk, ?Today?s Scientific Scenario and Tomorrow?s Challenges: The Case for India,? attracted faculty, administrators and members of the corporate community. In addition to Dr. Rao?s presentation, Dr. Gail Cassell, Vice President, Scientific Affairs, and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar for Infectious Disease, Eli Lilly and Company, made a presentation on ?Rising Above the Gathering Storm.?
This truly international opportunity was capped with a presentation by Dr. Arabinda Mitra, Executive Director, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum, who spoke on ?Funding Opportunities for Bilateral Activities between USA and India.? The afternoon presentations provided a wonderful context to initiate new and exciting partnerships between Purdue University/Discovery Park and India.
The Discovery Lecture Series sometimes features distinguished speakers whose competence in technical areas is unique. In September 2008, Dr. Phillip Sharp, Nobel Laureate, spoke to a packed auditorium of students, staff, and faculty on ?The Roles of Short RNA in Cancer and Biology.? During his time on the Purdue campus, Dr. Sharp met with senior administrators to discuss strategies for interdisciplinary research initiatives and met with numerous faculty and students. Dr. Phillip Low was the host for Dr. Sharp and introduced him to Purdue?s leadership and key faculty researchers in this area. His revolutionary work on understanding how RNA molecules act as switches to turn genes on and off provided stimulating conversations with Purdue researchers.
Fall 2008 was a busy time for the Discovery Lecture Series. Sustainability is a topic of great importance and the Discovery Lecture Series provided a venue in October 2008 for speakers and discussion in this area. Dr. James A. MacMahon, Trustee Professor of Biology and Director of the Ecology Center at Utah State University, and Dr. Theo Colborn, Professor of Zoology at the University of Florida, Gainesville and President of the Endocrine Disruption Exchange, spoke on ?A World of Uncertainty: Thresholds and Dilemmas in Ecology.? Their remarks were responded to by: Dr. David Neale, University of California, Davis; Dr. John Avise, University of California, Irvine; and Dr. David Hillis, University of Texas.
In early 2009, Dr. Mark R. Pinto, Applied Materials, Inc. spoke on the topic of renewable solar energy to a group of faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Pinto led the formation of Energy and Environmental Solutions to extend the company?s new nanomanufacturing technologies into new markets, including its rapidly growing solar business. He is a former Bell Labs Fellow, a Fellow of the IEEE, and the recipient of the 2008 J.J. Ebers Award from the IEEE Electron Devices Society for his contributions to semiconductor technology. While on Purdue?s campus, Dr. Pinto met with top administrators and allowed Purdue to explore a new University-Industry relationship to grow our research enterprise.
Based upon the meetings at Purdue during Dr. Pinto?s visit, Purdue launched the Network for Photovoltaic Technology (NPT). The NPT is a unique venue for industry-directed, university research. Broadly applicable, technology agnostic solutions will be created by solving technology-specific problems. The goal is to embed the understanding gained in such research in end-to-end modeling capabilities that include process, device, characterization, reliability, and systems.
The NPT is becoming an international center for photovoltaic research to connect islands of excellence that engage physicists, chemists, materials scientists, and electrical engineers in industry and universities. NPT will also provide a global forum for industry-university dialog, and it will provide an exceptional, industry-relevant experience for students. The NPT includes seven member companies: Applied Materials; First Solar; IBM; Nexans; ABB; Bosch; and Tokyo Electron.
One of the goals of Purdue?s Strategic Plan is ?Meeting Global Challenges.? The Discovery Lecture Series was a backdrop for two individuals whose expertise contributes uniquely to Purdue?s strengths. As part of the fourth annual symposium with the Korean Institute of Science and Technology, Purdue University hosted Dr. Ken Bradley who is a partner at ARCH Venture in Chicago, Illinois to discuss ?Transformation of Science into Products.? The following day, Dr. Roderic I. Pettigrew, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, addressed Purdue?s guests from Korea as well as an audience of Purdue faculty and students. His talk, ?Bionanotechnology in 21st Century Healthcare? is an important topic for a large number of Purdue researchers.
Internationally renowned physicist, Sir John Pendry, known for his research into refractive indexes and creation of the first practical ?invisibility cloak? delivered a keynote address November 2009. His talk, ?Transformation Optics at Optical Frequency? filled the Burton Morgan Center auditorium with faculty and students. Pendry met with several key administrators during his stay at Purdue, including President Córdova, while collaborating with the Birck Nanotechnology staff.
In April 2010, the Discovery Lecture Series sponsored a keynote address in conjunction with the dedication for the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research.
Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, spoke as part of the activities to commemorate the occasion. Dr. Sullivan also met with top administrators while on campus. She is currently located in Columbus, OH at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Ohio State University, where her passion for igniting others to the wonder and importance of science, math, and technology is focused at The Battle Center for Math and Science Education Policy.
The 2010-11 academic year began with a Discovery Lecture Series panel as part of Purdue University?s Green Week activities. On October 7, 2010, Professor Steve Wereley, from Purdue?s department of Mechanical Engineering, discussed his experiences following the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. His research on the size of this oil spill immediately gained national attention as federal experts and BP executives developed strategies to stop the spill. Following his remarks, Dr. Ana Unruh Cohen, Deputy Staff Director of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, spoke on ?Oil and Oversight: Congress? role in responding to the BP disaster.? Finally, Deborah L. Grubbe, P.E., Operations and Safety Solutions, LLC, presented information on ?How to Avoid Turning One Tragedy into Another.? The panelists responded to questions before a full house in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship in Purdue?s Discovery Park.
In November 2010, The Discovery Lecture Series partnered again with Honeywell to bring a Nobel Laureate to our campus. Dr. Aaron Ciechanover who was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004, visited Purdue on November 10th and 11th for two full days of activities. On November 10th, Dr. Ciechanover gave a public presentation on ?Drug Development in the 21st century: Are We Going to Cure All Diseases?? On November 11th, Dr. Ciechanover gave a scientific talk, ?Why Our Proteins Have to Die So We Shall Live.? Additionally, Dr. Ciechanover met with faculty members and with graduate and undergraduate students while on campus.
Richard Harris, Science Correspondent with NPR News, gave a Discovery Lecture Series talk on February 3, 2011: ?How BIG was the BP Oil Spill? Getting the Truth.? This Discovery Lecture Series presentation was a partnership with the College of Liberal Arts, Purdue?s Global Sustainability Initiative, the Center for the Environment, the Purdue Oil Spill Community, the Purdue Water Community, and Purdue?s Office of Marketing and Media. Richard spoke to an overflow crowd in Pfendler Hall. He also visited classes and met with faculty. A Purdue staff member videotaped an interview with Richard during his stay at Purdue that was placed on the Discovery Park website.
Fall 2011 began with a Discovery Lecture Series presentation in conjunction with Purdue University?s Green Week and the China-U.S. 2011 Joint Sustainability Symposium. Ed Begley, Jr., celebrated environmentalist, spoke to a packed house on his recent book, Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live. Ed?s presentation on September 26th, 2011 was opened by President France C?rdova and concluded with several questions from students. The presentation was free and open to the public with several community members in the audience. During his visit to Purdue, Ed had lunch with students from the Purdue Energy Club and the Student Sustainability Council. The students accompanied him on a tour of the West Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant where the city owns a ?digester? that converts waste materials to energy. Ed attended part of the research presentations at the U.S. China 2011 Joint Sustainability Symposium.
In November 2011, Purdue hosted two Discovery Lecture Series speakers. On November 28, 2011, Mr. Bob McDonald, President and CEO of Procter and Gamble and P&G?s President of the Board, spoke to a standing room only audience of students on ?Values Based Leadership.? During his visit to Purdue, Mr. McDonald met with several administrators and faculty. He also interacted at a reception with invited undergraduate student leaders and met following his talk at a reception with Purdue University deans.
On November 30th, Purdue was host to Dr. Paul Hommert, President and Laboratories Director, Sandia National Laboratories. Dr. Hommert gave a presentation that was open to the public on ?Addressing National Security Challenges of the Twenty-First Century: The Role of the U.S. National Laboratories.? During his visit to Purdue, Dr. Hommert toured the Birck Nanotechnology Center, met with faculty members, and had lunch with two graduate fellows funded by Sandia Laboratories.
The Discovery Lecture Series is administered through Discovery Park and was created through a grant to Discovery Park in 2006 from The Lilly Endowment. The Discovery Lecture Series provided a vehicle to celebrate the many interdisciplinary partnerships at Discovery Park and to highlight the tenth anniversary of Discovery Park. Four Discovery Lecture Series events were held in April 2012 that reflect strong partnerships across the campus as Discovery Park continues its work.
First, on April 16, 2012, Professor Elinor Ostrom, Recipient of the 2009 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, spoke to an overflow crowd on ?Confronting Challenging Collective Action Problems.? Prof. Ostrom?s address was the keynote address for the 2012 Purdue University Workshop on Informal Institutions & Intractable Global Problems. The co-sponsors for this lecture included the College of Liberal Arts, the Global Policy Research Institute, Purdue?s Global Sustainability Initiative, and the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. A large number of students attended this free presentation. Professor Ostrom?s remarks were very well received.
On April 20th, 2012, Discovery Park sponsored a Discovery Lecture Series event to specifically commemorate the tenth anniversary of Discovery Park. The keynote speaker, Frans Johansson, authored The Medici Effect and his presentation was titled, ?The Medici Effect: Groundbreaking Innovation at the Intersection of Disciplines & Cultures.? Frans spoke to a crowd of about 400 persons including faculty, staff, students, and community members. Preceding his lecture, Frans had lunch with fifteen students and faculty from the Professional Writing major in the department of English. The group included both undergraduate and graduate students who asked questions about the writing process, working with publishers, and concepts in his book. Frans Johansson also toured Discovery Park and was shown highlights about the outcomes of interdisciplinary collaboration at Purdue. The night before his presentation, Discovery Park celebrated its tenth anniversary with a dinner including both President Emeritus Martin Jischke and current President France C?rdova as well as all Discovery Park Center Directors and External Advisory Council members.
On April 23rd, 2012, the Discovery Lecture Series was a co-sponsor with Purdue?s Global Sustainability Initiative and the Center for the Environment for a presentation by Dr. John Robinson, Executive Vice President, Conservation and Science Wildlife Conservation Society. Dr. Robinson?s talk, ?Conservation and Sustainability in a Human-Dominated World,? was part of Purdue?s Earth Day Symposium. While he was on campus, Dr. Robinson attended a workshop and met with numerous faculty and students.
The last presentation of this April series was Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Her Discovery Lecture Series presentation, ?A Race to the Future to save the Wild Cheetah,? was co-sponsored with the College of Veterinary Medicine. Her audience included faculty, numerous students, and community members. While she was at Purdue, Dr. Marker met with several faculty and administrators to share ideas for potential collaborations. Her Discovery Lecture Series presentation was very well received and was a terrific way to conclude this four-part series in April highlighting partnerships and ten-year accomplishments.
The first Discovery Lecture Series event for the 2012-2013 academic year was a panel discussion, ?Immigration and the 2012 Election: An Academic Roundtable.? The panelists provided both an academic and professional perspective and included: Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Associate Professor Social and Cultural Studies in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley; Niambi Carter, Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Temple University; Karthick Ramakrishnan, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside; Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, Senior Lecturer at the University of Rochester; and Diane Thomas, President and CEO of the International Center in Indianapolis.
On October 16th, 2012, the Discovery Lecture Series provided the support for a keynote speaker for the annual Ecological Sciences and Engineering Symposium. Dr. John Francis, visiting professor for the Nelson Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, spoke on ?Urban Rise: Footprints of a Global Civilization.?
With a continued focus on environmental issues, the Discovery Lecture Series supported a speaker during Purdue?s Green Week on October 22, 2012. Professor David W. Orr spoke on ?Designing Resilience in a Black Swan World? about how to design communities, regions, and nations to improve resilience and prosperity in the face of ?black swan? events.
March 2013 held two Discovery Lecture Series presentations. On March 5th, 2013, Purdue hosted Vice Admiral James D. Syring, Director of the Missile Defense Agency. Vice Admiral Syring visited some Purdue laboratories, met with Purdue University faculty who conduct research related to the interests of the Missile Defense Agency, and he had lunch with President Mitch Daniels. Vice Admiral Syring was a Discovery Lecture Series speaker in Discovery Park and presented a ?Ballistic Missile Defense Update.? Vice Admiral Syring presented to an overflow crowd of faculty, staff, and students.
On Thursday, March 21, 2013, the Discovery Lecture Series supported a presentation by Dr. James C. Ellenbogen, Chief Scientist, Nanosystems Group and Emerging Technologies, The MITRE Corporation. According to its website, ?The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization chartered to work in the public interest. As a national resource, we apply our expertise in systems engineering, information technology, operational concepts, and enterprise modernization to address our sponsors? critical needs? (see http://www.mitre.org/about/index.html). Dr. Ellenbogen met with several Purdue faculty and administrators including the Director of the Birck Nanotechnology Center. His Discovery Lecture Series presentation, ?Integrated Nanosystems for Ultra-Miniaturized Computers. . . and More? was delivered to a full audience that included several Purdue students.
The Discovery Lecture Series provides Discovery Park with the opportunity to support campus-wide activities. Purdue?s Office of University Sustainability and the Global Sustainability Initiative in Discovery Park planned a number of activities to celebrate Earth Day, including a carnival featuring a number of sustainability efforts. On April 22nd, on Earth Day, the Discovery Lecture Series was a co-sponsor in a presentation by Colonel Mark ?Puck? Mykleby. In 2011, while working for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Mykleby co-authored ?A National Strategic Narrative,? which advocates that the United States should take on sustainability as a national strategic imperative for the 21st century. His talk, ?Sustainability: Our National Strategic Initiative,? was free and open to the public in Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering.
The 2013-14 academic year began with a Discovery Lecture Series speaker to kick off a workshop. John D. McDonald, P.E., a sought-after industry leader, technical expert, educator, and speaker with 38 years of experience in the electric utility industry, spoke to a large group of faculty and graduate students on, ?Smart Grid: Concepts, Standards, Deployments and Lessons Learned.? This presentation was the keynote for a 2-day workshop on ?Building Research Collaborations: Electricity Systems.? The workshop and the keynote were well attended. These activities were an important and exciting way to kick off the academic year and provide Purdue faculty with the opportunity to discuss and consider new research collaborations in the energy sector. Attendees included faculty, staff, and students from several academic colleges.
On September 19th, the Discovery Lecture Series was part of a partnership with Purdue University Libraries, Purdue Convocations, the College of Engineering, and the College of Science to bring Neil DeGrasse Tyson to campus for a free, public lecture. Dr. Tyson?s talk, ?This Just In: Latest Discoveries in the Universe,? was held in the Elliott Hall of Music which holds 6000 people. The room was filled with students, faculty, K-12 students, and community members as Dr. Tyson demysitified current areas of scientific research about the universe. His fun and entertaining message was exceptionally well received. While at Purdue, he also met with a class of Purdue students and had dinner with Purdue administrators, faculty, and guests.
Green Week typically provides a context for great speakers at Purdue. In 2013, Bob Berkebile, FAIA/Principal for BNIM Architects was a Discovery Lecture speaker promoting green building design and a commitment towards restoring social, economic, and environmental vitality to America?s communities through sustainable architecture and planning. His presentation was on October 21st at 7:00 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union and was free and open to the public as well as attracting a large number of Purdue students, staff, and faculty. He spoke to over 150 guests stressing that in the midst of disaster when rebuilding is needed, attention should be given to rebuilding better, rebuilding smarter, and rebuilding greener.
On Thursday of Green Week, October 24, 2013, James E. Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Duke Energy visited Purdue University to meet with faculty and students. His Discovery Lecture Series presentation was at 3:30 p.m. in Fowler Auditorium where he spoke on, ?Shedding Light on America?s Energy Future.? The auditorium was filled with Purdue students and faculty who asked several questions about specific sources of energy and strategic directions for the future.
In the spring 2014 semester, Fred Pearce, awarding-winning journalist and author, spoke on February 27th in Fowler Hall. His topic, ?Panic or Peak?? was addressed to an audience of faculty and students as he discussed strategies to manage the world?s food and water resources given soaring population growth. Both students and faculty were engaged with his presentation and asked several questions. He left the audience with several ideas about ways to conserve and preserve the world?s resources. While he was on campus, he met with several faculty and students. A student reporter from The Exponent interviewed him with a resultant front page story the following week.
On March 27, Perry Chen, Creator and Chairman of Kickstarter, made a presentation at Purdue?s Loeb Playhouse to an audience of approximately 500 to 600 students and faculty. His presentation was co-sponsored by The College of Education?s James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, the Krannert School of Management, and the Discovery Lecture Series in a lecture focused on corporate citizenship and ethics. Thus, while Perry Chen is an entrepreneur who created Kickstarter, his remarks focused on corporate ethics, corporate culture, and making corporate choices that are consistent with the corporate mission and identity. While he was at Purdue, Perry also met with a small group of faculty and participated in a reception with selected, invited students.
Earth Week was noted at Purdue with a Discovery Lecture Series speaker. On April 24th, 2014, Julian Agyeman, Professor, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University spoke to an audience of students and faculty. His talk was titled, ?Just Sustainabilities: Re-Imagining E/Quality, Living within Limits.? This talk was the kick-off for a full-day conference at Purdue the next day. Professor Agyeman participated in the conference interacting with faculty and graduate students. Professor Agyeman was interviewed by the local NPR station, WBAA.
Fall 2014 began with a Discovery Lecture Series presentation on Sept. 11th. In a partnership with the College of Veterinary Medicine, a presentation by Mike Ritland, former Navy Seal and K-9 trainer, was made possible. Mike was also part of an annual conference at the College of Veterinary Medicine; however, he made the time to speak to a public audience via the Discovery Lecture Series. His presentation, ?Trdient K-9 Warriors,? was made in Fowler Hall to an audience of many ROTC students, local police officers and K-9 handlers, and several families from the community. His book was available for sale and Mike spent over an hour signing books following his presentation. He also patiently answered numerous questions at his presentation.
On Thursday, September 25th, a Discovery Lecture Series connected with a conference on campus was offered. Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Alvin Plantinga, spoke on ?Religion, Science and Naturalism: Where the Conflict Really Lies.? Professor Plantinga spoke to an audience of over 300 people in Fowler Hall. He was available also to sign his books. His public presentation was offered in conjunction with a conference at Purdue organized by two Purdue faculty members through a grant from the Templeton Foundation.
The Discovery Lecture Series provides the funds for interdisciplinary partnerships to bring distinguished speakers to campus. For fall 2014, a partnership with the College of Liberal Arts brought three speakers to Purdue?s campus. These speakers bridged points of discussion among colleges. The first speaker on Thursday, October 2nd was Ruth Berggren, Director, Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio. Dr. Berggren spoke on ?The Scientist and the Storyteller? to a packed room of faculty, staff, and students. Her talk attracted both Liberal Arts faculty and faculty from STEM areas. The second speaker took the discussion in a different direction. On October 16, Sean Takats, Associate Professor History and Director of Research of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, spoke on ?Archives without end: the quandary of digital research and scholarly communication.? This topic attracted a different STEM audience and faculty from Liberal Arts. The last speaker in the fall 2014 was James W. Dearing, Professor and Chairperson, Department of Communication, Michigan State University. On Wednesday, October 29th, he provided ?A Social Science Perspective on Translational Research? discussing research that traces the spread of innovations in organizations.
The Discovery Lecture Series provides a mechanism to bring distinguished experts to Purdue?s campus for workshops and partnerships. On October 16th, Sal Golub, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Reactor Technologies in the U.S. Department of Energy, was a speaker in Loeb Playhouse in the evening. He spoke to an audience of over 200 faculty, staff, and students on the topic, ?Nuclear Power: Past, Present and Future.? This presentation was the foundation for a full-day workshop on the following day for Purdue faculty and students to discuss research activities related to nuclear power and to create more collaborative interdisciplinary research projects and partnerships.
On Monday, October 20, the Discovery Lecture Series was a partner to bring Joel Sartore to campus to talk about biodiversity and endangered wildlife for the Office of University Sustainability?s Green Week celebration. Mr. Saratore is a photographer, author, speaker, teacher and National Geographic Fellow. Mr. Saratore?s goal is to bring attention to the more than 12,000 endangered species currently on governmental watch lists. He believes that increased attention for animal conservation will generate funding for scientists, conservation officers, and governments to make the changes necessary to help endangered wildlife. He draws attention to needs such as mandating environmental education, creating community action programs for youth, and engaging youth to be aware of what can change the world. He has self-funded his new project ?photo ark? that takes close up or eye to eye photos of captive wildlife on a black or white background. He believes these photos immortalize these creatures and also anthropomorphizes them so that people begin to care about each creature. As he talks about bringing wildlife back from extinction he reminds us that the California condor was once at the brink and has been brought back and is thriving. Mr. Sartore?s talk was well attended and very well received.
The Discovery Lecture Series serves as a platform for innovative speakers and innovative ideas. Purdue?s Discovery Park benefits from a strong relationship with regional and state organizations that often participate in and attend this series. Purdue?s technologically strong undergraduate and graduate student populations are often included in meetings with our speakers. Faculty are involved in the identification of topics: these topics both reflect the interests of our faculty and are oriented toward a vision of the future. The Discovery Lecture Series affords a unique tool to engage our faculty with our region and our world.