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Archive for Saturday, September 13, 2008

KU to open new lecture series

September 13, 2008

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The Hubble Space Telescope can show us what space looks like from 353 miles above the earth's surface.

On Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., the first installment of a new Kansas University lecture series, called CLAS ACTS, will give people a chance to learn things about space they could never see through the high-powered telescope.

Steven Hawley, a KU professor of physics and astronomy and former NASA astronaut, will present a speech called "My Life with the Hubble Space Telescope." Hawley has been involved in every mission during the telescope's 18 years in orbit.

"The spectacular results from the Hubble can be a catalyst for engaging the public in a discussion of what we're able to learn about the universe and that science can be interesting and even cool," he said.

He'll display artifacts that he collected as an astronaut.

Joseph Steinmetz, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which hosts the lecture series, said the lecture topics will touch on many of the college's areas of expertise.

"The eight of them really reflect the wide variety of disciplines in the college," he said. "These are all topics of some regard that are interesting to people. It's an issue of staying current, getting things scheduled for topics that are timely and of interest to people."

An Oct. 12 speech focuses on the political rhetoric in this year's presidential election. In November, professors of history and East Asian studies will discuss monsters, while in December the department of geography presents the Globe-O-Mania trivia challenge.

Other speeches' topics range from nutrition to terrorism. The presentations take place monthly through May in Spooner Hall, with the exception of January when there is no lecture.

Tickets are required but are free. They are available at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

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