From curing cancer to improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, the Oxford Science Café covered a number of intriguing topics for the local community this year. The monthly, public science forums were organized by the Department of Physics and Astronomy with support from the National Science Foundation and Office of the Provost. The popular evening events at Lusa Pastry Café featured 30-minute talks by scientists followed by questions and conversation.
- Josh Gladden, associate professor of physics, presented “Airplanes to Turbulence to Dark Energy: How does an airplane fly? A tour of the physics that explains it and how it relates to some questions we are still trying to understand.”
- Jocelyn Read, physics postdoctoral research associate, examined “The Intense Life of Stars after Death: How does a star die? What happens to its remains? Everything about neutron stars and black holes.”
- Maurice Eftink, professor of chemistry, discussed “Access to STEM Education in Mississippi: Status and Goals” with an overview of current successful programs at UM and what science educators can do to prepare future generations in STEM fields.
- Randy Wadkins, chemistry professor, examined “How Cancer Drugs Work.”
- Tracy Brooks, assistant professor of pharmacology, discussed “Cancer — Where is the Cure?”
- Amber Stuver, a postdoctoral student from California Institute of Technology, discussed “Multi-messenger Astronomy: Expanding Astronomy’s Senses” and how astronomy revolutionized the way we see the universe.