Arizona Science Lecture Series

College of Science Lecture Series

Surprise Twists That Transformed Science | 2024 Lecture Series

We look forward to welcoming audiences back to Centennial Hall for the College of Science Lecture Series! Opening night of the Surprise Twists That Transformed Science series is Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 7:00pm with subsequent talks February 14, 21 and 28.

Talks are free and open to the public. See information below on this year's four speakers and topics.

All talks will be livestreamed and recorded on the UAZScience YouTube channel.

Click Here to RSVP for the Lecture Series


Sam Gralla

February 7, 2024 | Sam Gralla

Surprised By Gravity: Black Holes and Their Shocking Implications

For most of history, humans conceptualized the cosmos as calm and orderly. When the first cracks in this viewpoint emerged in the early 20th century, nobody could imagine the wild extremes that would be discovered over the next hundred years. Join Dr. Gralla as he tells the story of black holes: bizarre objects just barely conceivable – and still challenging physics today which nevertheless populate our universe in untold numbers, underlying some of the most spectacular astronomical displays. Click here for a recording of Dr. Gralla's lecture.


Charlotte Pearson

February 14, 2024 | Charlotte Pearson

Put A Ring On It: Dating Trees, Volcanoes, and the Sun

When tree-ring scientists 'put a ring on it' they apply an exact calendar date to a band of tree growth. This band can be unpacked and used as a dated time-capsule through history where we can explore past events and make future predictions. Explore the inside of a tree with Dr. Pearson of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and discover the surprising twists that emerged from the development of tree-ring science at the University of Arizona. Click here for a recording of Dr. Pearson's lecture.


Sarah Moran

February 21, 2024 | Sarah Moran

Strange New Worlds: Steamy Planets, Crystal Clouds, and the Seeds of Life

Since the first discovery of extrasolar planets in the 1990s, we have learned that the eight worlds of our solar system are just a few drops in a vast ocean of thousands of planets. Dr. Moran will discuss some of the strangest worlds out in the galaxy, and the bizarre materials that make up their atmospheres. With over a year of James Webb Space Telescope observations, we now know more than ever before about what makes these planets tick. Click here to watch live on YouTube.


Jeff Pyun

February 28, 2024 | Jeff Pyun

From Fossil Fuels Refining to Sustainable Plastics: A Surprising New Chemistry Twist

Will we ever change the way we make plastics? While plastics are ubiquitous in every day life, nearly a century has past with the same processes and materials, which are now accumulating and polluting the world around us. In this talk, Dr. Pyun will discuss his recent invention utilizing alternative waste feed stocks from the petroleum refining industry to create a wholly new class of advanced plastics. This process was invented at the University of Arizona and has quickly changed the way companies and academics think about plastic production.

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History of the College of Science Lecture Series

In spring 2006, the UArizona College of Science launched its first public lecture series on the topic of Evolution. Bringing together educators and researchers from inside the College, this inaugural series was received by audiences that have grown in size and passion ever since. Since that time, the College of Science has provided an annual lecture series on a wide range of science topics that impact our community. Topics have included cosmology, neuroscience, transformative science, life science, evolution and climate change. 

Spring 2023: Myth Busting Science

Spring 2022: Minerals

Spring 2021: Water

Spring 2020: Catalysts of Change

Spring 2019: Searching for Certainty

Spring 2018: Humans, Data and Machines

Spring 2017: Rethinking Reality

Spring 2016: Earth Transformed

Spring 2015: Life in the Universe

Spring 2014: The Evolving Brain

Spring 2013: Genomics Now

Spring 2012: Living Beyond 100

Spring 2011: Cosmic Origins

Spring 2010: Mind and Brain

Spring 2009: Science that Transforms

Spring 2008: The Edges of Life

Fall 2006: Global Climate Change

Spring 2006: Evolution