Chandler Public Library presents new Science Matters speaker series for adults and teens

Jan. 30, 2019
Autonomous Vehicle Testing in Chandler

The global Science Café movement is coming to Chandler in February when the Chandler Public Library introduces its new Science Matters @ CPL series of monthly talks exploring the latest research or knowledge on various scientific topics. The purpose of the series is to reveal the direct connections of science (in current research or in current practice) in our everyday lives, while inspiring wonder and a greater understanding of the world and space around us.

The talks, led by a scientist or researcher, are open to everyone and intended to foster open, easy-to-understand conversation. Science Matters @ CPL programs will generally run for an hour, with the speaker talking for only 20-30 minutes, so there is time for audience questions and discussion about the science that affects us all.

The first lecture, “The Present and Future of Autonomous Vehicles,” is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Chandler Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St. The topic is timely and locally relevant, with Chandler and the Phoenix metropolitan area serving as living labs for early experiments with self-driving cars. The discussion will focus on how autonomous vehicles might impact our communities – for better or for worse – and how cities and citizens can work together to ensure that self-driving cars help to create a better, safer and more sustainable future.

Science Matters @ CPL follows the popular Science Café model of lectures that creates a dynamic, two-way interaction between a scientist and the public. According to ScienceCafes.org, these types of events “take place in casual settings such as pubs, coffeehouses and libraries, are open to everyone and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic. In this way, the public feels empowered to learn, and the scientist speaker gains valuable perspective on his or her own work.” Just as with Science Cafés, the Science Matters @ CPL series welcomes people who may or may not typically get involved with scientific discussions, but they are intended to “foster an informal atmosphere where all participants feel encouraged to participate.”

The Science Matters @ CPL lecture schedule is as follows:

 

  • Science Matters @ CPL: “The Present and Future of Autonomous Vehicles”

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, 11 a.m.
Chandler Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St.

Chandler and the Phoenix metropolitan area are the living labs for early experiments with the self-driving car. What are we learning from these ongoing experiments? How will autonomous vehicles affect our lives and our cities? Join Thaddeus Miller, Co-Director for the Arizona State University Center for Smart Cities for a discussion on how autonomous vehicles might impact our communities – for better or for worse – and how cities and citizens can work together to ensure that self-driving cars help to create a better, safer and more sustainable future. Thaddeus Miller is the Co-Director of the Center for Smart Cities and Regions and an Assistant Professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University.

  • Science Matters @ CPL: “Science of Star Wars – A Technological Tour de Force for 40+ Years”

Saturday, March 23, 2019, 11 a.m.
Chandler Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road

The original series of Star Wars movies in the 1970s and ‘80s set the stage for so many (at that time) fictional technologies which are now pervasive and entrenched in our society and daily lives; examples range from space ships and stations, to powerful energy weapons, to intelligent robotics, to human prosthetics. University of Arizona Physicist Wolfgang Fink will touch upon and jointly explore these and additional areas, and paint the landscape of where we stand currently and where we might be going in the (not so) distant future "in a galaxy far, far away…."

  • Science Matters @ CPL: “Mo’ Plastics, Mo’ Problems”

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Chandler Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road

Biologist Charlie Rolsky shares his passion for keeping the oceans clean and seafood edible. Learn about the real threat of seafood becoming extinct in years to come. Rolsky will share his thoughts and gives insight into the plastic pollution epidemic, specifically in the world's oceans; how plastics got there, how they behave in the environment, and what we can do as a society to prevent it. From plastic bags to micro plastics, and impacting ocean life from crabs to whales, plastic pollution is everywhere!

  • Science Matters @ CPL: “Can the Zombie Apocalypse Really Happen?”

Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Chandler Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St.

Bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are all around us - and most of them are harmless or even beneficial. But occasionally these microbes become pathogens and wage infectious disease battles on other living creatures. Often times these diseases look like colds and flus, but sometimes it's more insidious ... sometimes it looks exactly like a zombie apocalypse. Join Epidemiologist Dave Engelthaler for this intriguing discussion.

  • Science Matters @ CPL: “Exploring the Moon Today”

Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Chandler Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St.

Experts from the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration will share some of the latest findings about our Moon and Solar System, through images gathered from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), currently on board NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The orbiter is in its third extended science mission, called the Cornerstone Mission, which explores fundamental geologic processes recorded on the Moon that also shape our Solar System. Operating from ASU since June 2009, LROC has captured more than one million images of the lunar surface.