Nationally syndicated NPR radio host Ira Flatow of “Science Friday” spent more than an hour on Tuesday explaining to a packed Chesapeake Room how “science is the new sexy.” His entertaining, well-received remarks were part of the university’s 150th Anniversary Visiting Scholars Speaker Series.
Presented by the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, Flatow peppered his lecture with video clips on fracking, global warming and physics from popular television shows such as “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Simpsons,” “Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson” and “The Jon Stewart Show.” He also veered into discussions on science in politics and the portrayal of women in scientific fields, cracking plenty of jokes along the way. Flatow also answered questions for about 30 minutes after the talk as well.
Flatow talked about how science has hit the popular zeitgeist in a big way, with a confluence of new television shows, movies and social media memes and videos showing how cool it is to be smart. He even joked about how much money it has cost to bring Matt Damon back from distant places in movies like Titan AE (Earth evacuation spaceship), Elysium (space station security deployment and damages), Interstellar (interstellar spaceship) and now The Martian (Mars mission).
The Albert S. Cook Library will host the next segment of the Visiting Scholar Speaker Series. Christine A. Ogren, associate professor for Schools, Culture and Society at the University of Iowa, will speak on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. in room 507 of the Cook Library. All are welcome to attend.