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UW-Eau Claire Scientists to Share Expertise During 'Ask a Scientist' Events at Acoustic Café

RELEASED: March 6, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — Several University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire scientists will share their expertise with the Chippewa Valley through a new community event called "Ask a Scientist."

The first "Ask a Scientist" event — slated for 7 p.m. March 25 at The Acoustic Café — will feature Dr. Doug Dunham, associate professor of physics and astronomy. Dunham will give a 30-minute presentation on nanotechnology and then take questions from the audience.

Sandy Hartmann, manager of The Acoustic Café, said she and owner Lois Heymans were excited when physics and astronomy professor Dr. Paul Thomas approached them with the idea.

"We both thought it sounded like a great community event and really interesting — definitely something different to do," said Hartmann, noting that she particularly liked the kind of informal presentations Thomas and his colleagues suggested.

All the "Ask a Scientist" talks, planned monthly in March, April and May, will be geared toward the educated lay person on topics of current interest. For example, the April 8 event will feature Dr. Jim Phillips, professor of chemistry, speaking on global climate change.

"People can relax, have some coffee and learn something new while enjoying the casual, non-classroom atmosphere away from UW-Eau Claire's campus," Hartmann said. "I think it has the potential to attract a variety of ages, from high school students on up to senior citizens."

Thomas said they would try sessions this spring, and if people liked the program and seemed to respond positively, they will bring the event back in the fall.

"We hope the 'Ask a Scientist' speaker series will provide a venue for members of the Chippewa Valley community and scientists to open a broad, inclusive conversation on the enormous changes that the sciences are bringing to our understanding of our planet Earth, our universe and our lives," said Thomas.

For more information, contact Thomas at 715-836-3615 or thomaspj@uwec.edu.

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NW

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