Nobel laureate among presenters for UTA Science Week

A young student researcher mixes liquids in a chemical lab.

The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Science will present Science Week, an online series featuring panel discussions by renowned scientists and a student research symposium, from April 18 to 24.

The theme of Science Week is climate change and its impact on the planet.

“There is no single more important challenge that we collectively face than figuring out how to slow the terrible damage being done to the environment by our use of fossil fuels and other harmful substances,” said College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi. “Several of our events this year will focus on this critical issue.”

Daily discussions led by experts in the fields of climate studies, theoretical physics, evolutionary biology and ecology will explore the topic of global climate change and the human-earth system.

“Scientific evidence indicates we may be at a critical point in human history,” said David Nygren, presidential distinguished professor of physics. “Global change, with climate impacts visible now, increasingly motivates us to contribute positively to our communities and society as a whole. Our aim is to extend this discussion across the entire university and into the community.”

On Earth Day, which is April 22, Steven Weinberg—Nobel laureate, theoretical physicist, and the Josey Regental Chair in Science at The University of Texas at Austin—will provide insight into the interactions between environmental change and human societies. He is a winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in physics for his contribution to the theory of unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles and is the recipient of numerous other awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society. In 2020, he became the sixth recipient of the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

The week’s schedule is available here. All events are open to the public. Other presenters include:

  • Sean Jones, assistant director and head of the National Science Foundation Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate
  • John Nielsen-Gammon, climatologist and director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies
  • Simon Levin, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University and director of the Center for BioComplexity in the Princeton Environmental Institute
  • Drew Harvell, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, who will be the College of Science Distinguished Women in Science speaker

“We are proud to offer a fantastic lineup of guest speakers this year,” Khaledi said. “They are all accomplished experts in their fields and have made significant impact in advancing science. We think our students will benefit tremendously by hearing from these scientists and by being able to ask them questions directly.”

The campus-wide discussion series coincides with Discover, a student research symposium that culminates in a virtual award ceremony on April 23. Winning students will present original research and give a behind-the-scenes view of their process of discovery.

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