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Tip Sheet for the week of March 24, 2008

RELEASED: March 24, 2008

Story Idea/Campus Experts
Several UW-Eau Claire scientists will share their expertise with the public through a new community event called "Ask a Scientist." The first event — slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at The Acoustic Café in downtown Eau Claire — will feature Dr. Doug Dunham, associate professor of physics and astronomy. Dunham will share information on nanotechnology. The informal talks, planned monthly in March, April and May, will target the educated lay person on topics of current interest. Organizers hope the speaker series will provide a venue for community members and scientists to discuss the enormous changes the sciences bring to an understanding of planet Earth and the universe. For details, contact Dr. Paul Thomas at 715-836-3615 or thomaspj@uwec.edu.

Visiting Expert
The Spanish Business Association will host a presentation by Cuban political activist Ramón Colás from 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in the Presidents Room, Davies Center . Colás is founder of the Cuban Independent Libraries Project and director of the Mississippi Consortium for International Development in Jackson, Miss. Since 1994, he has been a leader in the growing pro-democratic movement in Cuba. In 1998, he founded the Cuban Independent Libraries Project following Fidel Castro's declaration that in Cuba there were no prohibited books. Today, the project includes a network of more than 100 libraries. Colás went into exile in the U.S. in 2001. During his presentation, Colás will explain why he organized Home Family Libraries in Cuba and the consequences he faced as a result. He also will meet with three psychology classes during his visit to campus. Dr. Humberto Vidaillet from Marshfield Clinic will translate for Colás when he speaks in classes. For details the classroom presentations, contact Dr. Juan Carlos Chaves at 715-836-4287 or chavesjc@uwec.edu, or Chase Sova at sovaca@uwec.edu.

Visiting Expert
Dr. Matthew Nisbet, an internationally known social scientist, will present "Consensus and Conflict in Communicating Science" at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in Room 007 of Phillips Science Hall. He studies the ways in which language usage in science can shape the attitudes of the public. In his research, he examines how news coverage reflects and shapes policy, how strategists try to mold public opinion and how citizens make sense of controversies. His message — that science must be "framed" for the public to ensure science-friendly policies — has become a controversy among scientists and science communicators. He has analyzed science-related debates on topics such as stem cell research, global warming and intelligent design-creationism. For more information about Nisbet's visit to campus, contact Dr. Paul Thomas at thomaspj@uwec.edu or 715-836-3615.

Campus Expert
An atmospheric chemist at UW-Eau Claire will discuss current scientific thoughts on global climate change Wednesday, March 26 . Dr. James Boulter's presentation, titled "Climate Change: A Scientist's Perspective," will run from noon-1 p.m. at Sweetwater's Restaurant in Eau Claire. Boulter will challenge some of the public and media's misconceptions about global climate change and discuss his research relating to the global climate. While many people have become interested in and aware of climate change, a lot of misconceptions remain, according to Boulter, an assistant professor of chemistry. In his presentation, he will give the audience the most up-to-date understanding of the climate system and humankind's effects on it. To discuss Boulter's presentation or his research, contact Boulter at 715-836-4175 or boulteje@uwec.edu.

Story/Photo Idea
UW-Eau Claire will host the Northwestern Wisconsin Regional National History Day competition Wednesday, March 26. The event gives middle and high school students a chance to "do" history by researching a topic, and then producing documentaries, exhibits, performances, Web sites or research papers based on the theme "Conflict and Compromise in History." The event will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Davies Center. Area teachers, history students and local dignitaries will judge entries. Awards will be presented at 2 p.m. in Davies Theatre. Organizers expect about 150 students in grades 6-12 to participate. For details, contact Allen Ramsey at ramseyad@uwec.edu.

Visiting Expert
Dr. Gretchen Unger, founder of GeneSegues Inc., will discuss the use of nanoscience in medicine at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in Room 104 of Phillips Science Hall . GeneSegues is a Minneapolis-based biotech firm specializing in developing nucleic acid drugs and delivery systems, particularly in the field of cancer. For details, contact Dr. Kim Pierson, professor of physics and astronomy, at 715-836-5009 or piersokw@uwec.edu.

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