Why would Galileo think today's researchers are more sorcerer than scientist? Astronomer Derrick Pitts invites people to explore the cosmos through an entirely new lens, one that will change the way we look at the universe forever, in his lecture "Galileo's Revenge: How the Cell Phone Expanded the Universe."
Pitts, chief astronomer and director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute, and also a NASA Solar System ambassador, is the first speaker in this year's Discover Science Lecture Series at the University of Nevada, Reno Oct. 13.
Pitts serves as the "Astrobiology Ambassador" for the NASA/MIRS/UNCF Special Program Corporation's Astrobiology Partnership Program. He was appointed to the outreach advisory board for the world's largest telescope, the new 30-meter Telescope at Mauna Kea in Hawaii. He appears regularly in the media as a science content expert as well as appearances on the "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central and "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson." Pitts has hosted award-winning astronomy radio programs for Philadelphia's two public radio stations and created signature astronomy television programming for PBS.
Recipient of numerous awards including an honorary Doctor of Science Degree from La Salle University, Pitts serves on the Board of Trustees for his alma mater St. Lawrence University. His twitter handle is @CoolAstronomer and his motto is "Eat, breathe, do science. Sleep later."
He is the first of five lecturers in this year's College of Science sponsored lecture series. Now in its seventh year, the annual Discover Science Lecture Series brings renowned scientists and science lecturers from around the country to share their knowledge with the community.
This year's lecture series includes Eric Scerri, UCLA chemist and author, Nov. 10; Michael Dickinson, University of Washington professor, fly bioengineer and neuroscientist, Feb. 16; Carolyn Porco, the leader of the Cassini Saturn mission imaging science team, March 16; and Harry Greene, Cornell University professor and leading snake expert and "re-wilding" proponent, May 9.
The lecture will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13 in the Redfield Auditorium in the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center on the University campus. Parking is reserved for the event on the top level of the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex on North Virginia Street. Admission is free. For more information, call 775-784-4591 or visit the College of Science website at www.unr.edu/science.