College of Science talks Diversity, Space, Superstrings, HIV

Discover Science Lecture Series begins its seventh year at Nevada

Davidson Math and Science Center at University of Nevada, Reno, where the lecture series will be held.

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9/5/2017 | By: Patrick Hardin |

RENO, Nev. - The College of Science is celebrating seven years of the Discover Science Lecture Series, bringing world renowned scientists, professors and researchers to Reno to present their work and research to the public. This year's series proves to be one of the most wide-ranging series yet, with topics ranging from diversity to space, treating HIV to supergravity theory.

The first speaker this year is Scott E. Page, a popular professor and speaker who studies how social, political and economic systems work. He is the Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science and Economics at the University of Michigan, where he also directs the Center for the Study of Complex Systems. His current work examines the role diversity plays in complex systems. His lecture, "The Diversity Bonus," where one plus one could equal three, is on Thursday, Oct.12.

He has published articles on an eclectic selection of topics, from public good provision, electoral competition, segregation and city formation to culture, standing ovations, chain stores, exurban sprawl and the benefits of diversity. In 2011, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


The second lecture will serve as a homecoming of sorts, as Julie Robinson, who earned a doctorate in ecology from the University in 1996 returns to speak about her research in analytical chemistry, statistics and field biology. Robinson is the chief scientist for the International Space Station at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. She received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2011. Her lecture, "Off the Earth, for the Earth: How research on the International Space Station is changing our lives here on Earth and our future in space" takes place on Thursday, Nov. 9.

The parade of award-winning researchers continues as "super" theoretical physicist Sylvester James Gates Jr. comes to the University on Thursday, March 8, 2018. The "super" moniker is well deserved, considering his work on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory led to President Obama awarding him the National Medal of Science in 2013. Gates currently works as the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. Gates' lecture is "An Inchoate Epoch: Possibility of Evolution in Mathematics Laws of The Universe."

Concluding the series is Nevada's own Mick Hitchcock, whose 30 years in the biopharmaceutical industry has led to easier-to-manage treatment of HIV. With his colleague, John Martin, their biopharmaceutical company, Gilead, developed two drugs: Viread and Atripla. The latter was approved by the FDA as the first single-tablet regimen for treatment of HIV. He is a University of Nevada, Reno Foundation Trustee and has been recognized for his philanthropy in the University's Honor Court. His lecture, "Finding treatments and cures for diseases caused by viruses like HIV and hepatitis," will be held on Thursday, April 5, 2018.

The Discover Science Lecture Series was founded by the University's College of Science and brings the country's top scientists to the University to share their knowledge, research and wisdom with the community.

Past speakers in the series include astrophysicists Michio Kaku and Neil deGrasse Tyson; Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic; and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Discover Science Lectures are always free to the public. They are held at 7 p.m. in the Redfield Auditorium inside the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Free parking for the event is available on the top level of the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex on North Virginia Street, next to the E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center. For more information, call 775-784-4591 or visit the Discover Science Lecture Series website.

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