Wooster Science Café series resumes Feb. 24

Wooster Science Café series resumes Feb. 24

In its eighth season, Wooster Science Café will resume on Zoom on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. Sponsored by The College of Wooster and the Ohio State University, the monthly series brings together those interested in science in the community to talk about and experience science.

“We feel that now more than ever the importance of effective science communication and respectful dialogue is essential. We also hope that these events bring some joy and normalcy to our community,” said Laura Sirot, one of the co-founders and co-coordinators of the Science Café and associate professor of biology at Wooster.

Sirot said when the events took place in the fall, organizers were excited to have many participants join from out of town, thanks to the digital format. If local health conditions allow, Sirot said they hope to hold an open house in May to celebrate being outdoors again and sharing science in person with the community.

The first event will feature Jennifer Faust, assistant professor of chemistry at Wooster, who will discuss “Chemicals, Clouds and Climate.” How do chemicals enter the air? What happens when these chemicals are transported into the atmosphere? More specifically, how do chemicals affect clouds, and how do clouds affect climate? Faust will lead a discussion of how chemicals move between soil, water and air, and the conversation will explore how cloud chemistry complicates people’s understanding of climate change.

On March 24 Uttara Samarkoon, assistant professor of greenhouse and nursery management at the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will speak on the topic, “Do you have hydroponic produce on your plate?”

What is hydroponics? Where and how are these crops produced? This presentation will explore these questions and the contribution of hydroponics to food availability, urban farming and maintaining the produce quality. This presentation also will outline the opportunities to make hydroponic technologies more sustainable.

On April 28 Luis Cañas, associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will address “Biological control, a 21st century technique to grow healthy plants.”

Ohio is one of the leading states in the production of plants in controlled environments. To successfully produce food crops that are healthy, techniques include integrated pest management. This means the use of different tactics to successfully prevent and control pests. One of those tactics is the use of biological control, which is the use of beneficial organisms that do not impact plants or humans to manage pests. At the same time, the use of biological control reduces reliance on insecticides. Canas will explain how biological control works, how it is used to keep plants healthy in the greenhouse and how this can be used at home.

On May 19 Laura Burch, associate professor of French and francophone studies at The College of Wooster, will cover the topic, “Are You Serious? Women and Science in France and Europe Before 1800.”

What counts as “serious” scientific research? What assumptions do people have about who can do “serious” science? What’s gender have to do with it? This talk explores the connections between how people think about the answers to these questions now and how people thought about them during the era in which modern understandings of science were born.

Those interested should visit https://news.wooster.edu/uncategorized/2021/02/wooster-science-cafe-resumes-this-spring-beginning-feb-24/ and click the link provided for access.

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