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01-08-2015

Clarkson University Sets Science Cafes for Spring in Potsdam & Canton

Local scientists and university professors will again take to the stage starting Tuesday, February 17, for the "Science Cafe."

SCience Cafe logoScience Cafes bring together local university and college professors and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

All Canton Science Cafes will take place Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. in the Park View Common Room, above the Blackbird Café, 107 Main St. in Canton, N.Y.

All Potsdam Science Cafes will take place Wednesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. in the Potsdam Civic Center Community Room, 2 Park St. in Potsdam, N.Y.

Here's a rundown of this spring's topics and speakers:

Designing Nanobiomaterials for Cancer Therapeutic Delivery
February 17: Canton
February 18: Potsdam

Chemotherapy and gene therapy are immensely valuable for cancer treatment. But how do the therapeutic agents reach the tumor sites and not act on healthy tissue? Join Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science He Dong for a vivid discussion of her research on designing "smart" nanocarriers that specifically target our cancers, not us.

Are Mosquitoes More Attracted to Beer Drinkers?
March 10: Canton
March 11: Potsdam

If more mosquitoes are attracted to beer drinkers than water drinkers in an experiment, how can we tell if the difference is “significant”? The standard answer involves the p-value, a tricky concept. St. Lawrence University Professors of Mathematics Patti Frazer Lock and Robin H. Lock tackle such questions through an inspired use of computer technology and modern simulation techniques. Join them for a friendlier, more intuitive understanding of how to make sense of statistical data.

Stopping Global Warming with Advanced Porous Materials
March 24: Canton
March 25: Potsdam

With the annual release of billions of tons of CO2 to our atmosphere, the threat of global warming is real. Using “green” energy sources such as hydrogen-fuel cells, our cars would emit just pure water! We need advanced porous materials to store these alternative fuels and also to capture CO2 from our atmosphere. Join Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Chemistry Mario Wriedt as he describes his lab’s research into porous materials design and their characterization through X-ray methods.

The Architecture of Madness: The St. Lawrence State Hospital
April 7: Canton
April 8: Potsdam

The St. Lawrence State Hospital in Ogdensburg opened in 1890 and remained in use until 1995 when it was largely abandoned. Designed to accommodate the “cutting-edge” treatment technology of the late 19th century, the architecture outlived its purpose as mental health treatment evolved. Join SUNY Potsdam Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology Jennifer L. Campbell as she describes how architecture and medical practice converged in the late 1890s and how we engage with these relics today.

Proteins Rock!
April 21: Canton
April 22: Potsdam

Proteins are the nanomachines that support all life processes. Constructed from the instructions encoded by genes, there are thousands of different proteins found in all living organisms. But because they are so small, they are hard to catch in the act! Studying the motion of these tiny machines gives us insights on how they do their work. Join American Physical Society (APS) Blewett award winner researcher Monique Tirion for a fascinating tour of these amazing biomolecules.

Find out more about Clarkson's Science Cafe at http://www.clarkson.edu/sciencecafe .

E-mail Daniel ben-Avraham at ScienceCafe@clarkson.edu with any comments, questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Find out more about Science Cafes in general at http://www.sciencecafes.org .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/sciencecafe-logo2.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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