Get your science fix: Wisconsin Science Festival runs Thursday – Sunday

The 2015 Wisconsin Science Festival starts on Thursday of this week and runs through Sunday. We already highlighted a number of CALS-related festival events in a previous eCALS post. Below are listed a few more that may appeal to UW faculty, staff and grad students.

And while you’re at it, be sure to grab a scoop of the festival’s signature ice cream – MicroSwirl BlueberryScope – made by our very own Babcock Hall Dairy Plant. Or consider stopping by for the opening weekend of the Madison Science Museum, a passion project of emeritus professor of biochemistry Dave Nelson, which is timed to coincide with the festival.

Global Wisconsin Idea
Thursday, 2:30-3:45 pm
Details: The UW–Madison International Division (formerly the Division of International Studies) convenes scientists working on some of the world’s most pressing problems. More than a half dozen scientists, with expertise ranging from geography to genetics, will share their groundbreaking work in five-minute flash talks covering topics from the origins of human life to the 2022 World Cup. Presenters: include John Hawks, anthropology; Annemarie Schneider, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment; Samer Alatout, community and environmental sociology; Hussain Bahia and Paul Block, civil and environmental engineering; and Jerry Yin, genetics; director, Wisconsin China Initiative.

Envisioning the Future of the Yahara Watershed
Thursday 3:30-4:30 pm
The Yahara Watershed around Madison is changing fast. An interdisciplinary team has developed scenarios of how the watershed may change by 2070, and used models to estimate the condition of our lands and waters. The talk will present an overview of the scenarios and model results for water quality. For more information about the project, visit

WARF’s 90th Anniversary: Eureka! Invention and the Process of Discovery
Thursday 4-5:30 pm
Details: As part of its 90th anniversary celebration, WARF is convening a miniseries of WARF Essential Topics events focused on the four pillars of the cycle of innovation. This second installment features the process of invention itself with UW–Madison inventors Hector DeLuca, biochemistry; Laura Kiessling, chemistry; Guri Sohi, computer sciences; and Dan Ludois, electrical and computer engineering. Former UW–Madison chancellor and inventor John Wiley moderates.

The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club (Eileen Pollack)
Friday 2:30-3:30 pm
The Only Woman in the Room shows us the struggles women in the sciences have been hesitant to admit and provides hope for changing attitudes and behaviors in ways that could bring far more women into fields in which even today they remain seriously underrepresented.

WARF Entrepreneurons: The Synergy of Art and Technology in Entrepreneurship
Friday, 4-5:30 pm
Details: A special edition of WARF’s signature series on what it takes to start a company continues with a focus on the interface of art and science and the synergy of art and technology in entrepreneurship. Keynote presenter Toni Sikes, CEO of CODAworx, explores how art and technology combine to create unique opportunities for startups. Panelists including UW-Madison’s Stephanie Jutt, artist Lisa Frank and Raven software’s Eric Spray join the discussion moderated by emeritus professor of medical physics and serial inventor Rock Mackie

Designer Genes: Should We Be Able To Edit Our Genomes?
Saturday, 1:15-2:45 pm
Details: Genome editing using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique presents tremendous opportunities and ethical challenges. Be part of the conversation as policy analysts, sociologists and genomics researchers discuss what’s at stake in this interactive roundtable. The discussion features chemical engineers and genetics researchers Krishanu Saha and Megan McClean, ethicist Pilar Ossorio and communications expert Dietram Scheufele and will be moderated by Dominique Brossard, chair of life science communications.

Ebola in Context
Saturday, 3-4:45 pm
Details: World health leaders warn that the aftermath of the recent Ebola crisis presents a critical moment to develop strategies for future infectious disease outbreaks. Join a wide-ranging group of world-renowned experts as they revisit the Ebola crisis and discuss future global health emergencies. Presenters include virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka, research fellow Alhaji N’jai and historian of science Gregg Mitman, who will present excerpts from his gripping short documentary In the Shadow of Ebola.

Keeping the Great Lakes Great
Sunday, 11-12 am
Details: Scientists at several University of Wisconsin campuses are working on the water quality and aquatic ecology of the Great Lakes. This panel will explore a few examples of the kind of research being done to ensure that the Great Lakes – the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth – retain their vitality in a changing world.