Scott Knickelbine, author of “The Great Peshtigo Fire: Stories and Science from America’s Deadliest Fire”, shares the history and relevance of the Great Peshtigo fire. The forestry and agriculture in Peshtigo, together with unusual environmental factors in 1817, come together to create this Wisconsin disaster.
David Hart, hydrogeologist and geophysicist for the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, explores Wisconsin’s relatively small sinkholes; how they form, why they occur and how to deal with them.
Brain Pfleger, UW-Madison Associate Professor of Biological and Chemical Engineering investigates sustainable synthetic alternatives for petrochemicals. He touches on identifying, understanding and engineering chemical building blocks to convert organic compounds into a sustainable energy source.
Greg Richards, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, UW-Parkside, discusses the countless ways microbes help us thrive and survive. Beneficial microorganisms ferment foods such as cheese and yogurt, help with the digestive system by synthesizing vitamins and helping with the absorption of nutrients, and aid our immune systems to fight off diseases.
Adam Schrager, author of " The Sixteenth Rail: The Evidence, The Scientist, and the Lindbergh Kidnapping," tells the story of Arthur Koehler, a forensic scientist with the Wisconsin Forest Product’s Lab. Koehler helped to solve the mystery of the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s son by examining the ladder used to enter the home.
Louis Uccellini, Director, National Weather Service, explores the urgency of becoming a weather-ready nation in the wake of the 2012 Superstorm Sandy. Uccellini discusses ways to empower people from community managers and first responders to the general public to make fast, smart decisions in weather emergencies.
Clark Miller, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Arizona State University, and co-author of “Nanotechnology, the Brain and the Future,“ discusses medical advances in neurotechnology and its ability to ‘fix’ human flaws or to enhance human abilities. Miller points out pitfalls in current public policy.
Philipp Simon, Professor, Department of Horticulture, UW-Madison, explores the genetics and biochemistry that drive the culinary and nutritive factors in carrots and garlic. Simon discusses ways that terpenoids and sugars flavor and protect these two leading root crops.
Britt Lundgren, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, explains how quasars can be used as probes in the vast intergalactic distances they cross. Lundgren explores how astronomers use this information to map the “cosmic web” of matter that shapes our visible universe.
Clint Sprott, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, UW-Madison, explains that although we believe that complex patterns must have a complex cause, patterns may spontaneously arise. This self-organization which occurs in nature can be described with simple computer models that replicate the features of the patterns.