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Stanford Summer Lecture Series: Fuels from Sunlight: Converting Solar Energy

Summer Science Lecture Series 

Contact Kaye Storm [masked] (650)[masked]

Please join us for Stanford’s acclaimed Summer Science Lecture Series on the lawn adjacent to Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center on four Thursday evenings this summer. The lectures begin at 7:00 pm and conclude by 8:30. You are invited to come early and wander through the Cantor, have dinner at the Art Center’s Cool Café, or bring your own picnic. You can then settle on the lawn outside of Cantor to hear fascinating and informal lectures about cutting edge research from four of Stanford’s most esteemed professors.

We promise that all of the talks will be delivered in terms understandable to the lay public. So bring your entire family (high school age and up) and enjoy!

The Outdoor Science Series is sponsored by the Stanford Office of Science Outreach and Stanford Continuing Studies.

To locate a previous lecture on iTunes, the easiest way is to use the Stanford Power Search option, then enter a key word from the title of the talk into the Title field. To see the entire catalog of these talks, find the section on Featured Contributors,click the Show All link, then locate the Stanford Office of Science Outreach icon. After clicking on that icon, click on the tab for Outdoor Science Talks.

Upcoming Lectures in this Series

Fuels from Sunlight: Converting Solar Energy with Thomas Jaramillo June 16, 2011

Chemical fuels currently account for over 80% of world-wide energy consumption, predominantly in the form of fossil fuels (natural gas, petroleum, and coal). In this lecture, we will examine the prospects of moving away from these traditional chemical fuel sources and instead towards a clean and sustainable path to synthesizing similar molecules using solar energy. There are numerous challenges involved, bridging materials science, chemistry, physics, and chemical engineering. We will address these challenges, and discuss some of the cutting-edge reserach currently underway at Stanford University.

Using Fiberoptics and Genes from Algae to Solve Problems in Psychiatry with Karl Deisseroth June 30, 2011

Optogenetics is a technology that allows targeted, fast control of precisely defined events in biological systems as complex as freely moving mammals. Optogenetic approaches have opened new landscapes for the study of biology, both in health and disease and provided a research tool to obtain insights into complex tissue function, as has been the case for Parkinson’s disease. Rather than conceptualizing the brain as a mix of neurotransmitters, ideally we will be able to move toward a circuit- engineering approach, in which devastating symptoms of disease are understood to causally result from specific spatiotemporal patterns of aberrant circuit activity relating to specific neuronal populations. 

Shark and Awe: The Extreme Life of the Sea with Stephen Palumbi July 14, 2011

The thin surface of the sea is a sharp curtain between the marine and terrestrial worlds. And below this curtain lies a whole stable of amazing species that live in some of the more stressful places on earth. Some need to produce 2 million offspring a year to have any that survive. What are the ways species must be built to thrive in the hottest or the coldest ocean regions? This talk will present the panoply of marine habitats and the species that have uniquely been able to live in them. It will be arranged around scientific knowledge but be presented in narrative story form that concentrates on the conflicts and tradeoffs that all life grapples with. 

Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution with Jeremy Bailenson July 28, 2011

In this talk we take a journey through the universe of Virtual Reality, exploring what emerging technologies and their applications have to say about humans. Advances in our understanding of how the brain works, combined with the explosion of immersive digital technology, can make propositions as far-fetched as total “personality downloads” possible—meaning your great-grandchildren would be able to know and have conversations with you in the future, all in a virtual setting that will be indistinguishable from reality.

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  • Stephanie M.

    Really interesting talk by dynamic Stanford speaker. Learned a lot!

    June 17, 2011

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