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Science Unshackled with Dr C Renee James

Friday 18th March 2016 - 8:00pm
Topic:  Science Unshackled (Or 'Why You Should Give a Rat's @$& About Pure Science Research
Speaker:  Dr Renee James, Sam Houston State University
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: Why in the world are we paying for all this "basic" research? The answer to this question becomes clear in this romp through the "seemingly useless" world of pure science, where one thing leads to another in ways that result in major scientific advancements.
With a humorous style, Dr. James reveals how obscure studies of natural phenomena—including curved space-time, poisonous cone snails, exploding black holes, and the precise chemical makeup of the Sun—led unexpectedly to WiFi, GPS, genetic sequencing, pain medications, and cancer treatments. Science Unshackled brings both science and scientists to life and shows how simple curiosity can result in life-changing breakthroughs.
Biography: Dr. James has been distracted by shiny objects in the Universe for as long as she can remember. Trained as a stellar spectroscopist at the astronomy department of the University of Texas at Austin, she later abandoned determining the chemical abundances of metal-poor halo stars in favor of exploring astronomy and the history of science with the enthusiasm of a kid playing in the mud after a good rain. She has written extensively for both Astronomy and Sky and Telescope magazines, and was awarded the Popular Science Writing Award by a division of the American Astronomical Society. She is the author of two books - Seven Wonders of the Universe That You Probably Took for Granted, and Science Unshackled: How Obscure, Abstract, Seemingly Useless Scientific Research Turned Out to be the Basis for Modern Life. Meanwhile, she's been teaching introductory astronomy for non-science majors at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, since 1999.

Event Date: 
Friday, 18 March, 2016 - 20:00
Location: 
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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