UA presents a free science education, not to mention pizza, beer and movies

2013-09-11T00:00:00Z 2013-09-11T00:25:50Z UA presents a free science education, not to mention pizza, beer and moviesBy Tom Beal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

You won’t get college credit for it, but a full semester of scientific knowledge awaits this fall.

Most of the offerings are free and some provide an opportunity to watch movies, eat pizza, drink beer, or do all three — but you’ll have to buy your own.

The University of Arizona College of Science and its divisions — the Lunar and Planetary Lab, the Institute of the Environment, Steward Observatory and Tumamoc Hill — along with the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, all have evening talks planned for the fall at venues ranging from the Fox Theatre to Magpie’s Gourmet Pizza to Borderlands Brewing Co.

Borderlands, the brewery housed in a former warehouse at 119 E. Toole Ave., hosts the first of four “Carson Scholars” talks at 6 p.m. Thursday. Environmental researchers Ty Taylor and Marielle Smith will talk about climate change and their adventures in the rivers, mountains and rain forest canopy of Brazil.

On Monday, Steward Observatory begins its fall public lecture series with a talk by astronomer Christopher Greer about building a radio telescope for installation at the South Pole.

On Tuesday, this year’s Science Cafe series kicks off at three venues.

The newly remodeled Magpie’s Gourmet Pizza, 605 N. Fourth Ave., hosts talks by scientists in the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior on the third Tuesday of each month. The series begins with a look at how our brains assemble readable pictures from the color and light captured by our eyes, presented by Mary Peterson, UA professor of psychology.

Tuesday also marks the first of three talks at Tumamoc Hill, the neighboring peak to “A” Mountain, where ecosystem research has been conducted since 1902.

A third Science Cafe series will be held at SaddleBrooke beginning in November.

Next Wednesday, the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory hosts the first of its three fall public evenings.

Hear the latest on asteroids from Ed Beshore, who formerly headed the Catalina Sky Survey, world leader in finding potentially dangerous asteroids.

Beshore is now deputy principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx, the UA-led NASA mission to return a sample of an asteroid from space.

The next segment of an occasional series pairing film and science — The Science of Fiction — is Sept. 25 at the Loft Cinema, co-sponsored by the College of Science.

“Europa Report” combines scientific fact with fictional suspense.

Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, is the favorite choice of several UA planetary scientists for finding life in our solar system. One of them, Veronica Bray, will be on hand to introduce the film and answer questions at the end.

In October, a five-part weekly series of lectures from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences examines the subject of “Happiness.”

That series, held at the gorgeously revamped Fox Theatre downtown, begins Oct. 16 with a talk on “Pursuing and Finding Happiness” by sociologist Celestino Fernandez.

All talks are free, but the Loft Cinema will charge regular admission prices for the movie series.

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