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Cultural Center




Science Night Live is Hofstra University's new public lecture series that features exciting science research presented by some of the top scientists and lecturers in their fields. Science is becoming more important in everyday life, and these timely lectures will inspire and challenge us in unexpected ways. #HofstraExperts

  • Fall 2017

    Wednesday, October 4, 7 pm
    Sinkholes of Doom: Understanding Collapsing Landscapes

    Sinkholes form all over the world, but there are some places where they form more than others. Why is there such a variation in sinkhole formation over time and space? Why do places like Brooklyn and Florida seem to get more sinkholes than other places?  This lecture will review the formation of some of the most dramatic sinkholes on the planet—including some in our own backyard.

    Robert Brinkmann
    Vice Provost for Scholarship and Engagement
    Associate Dean of Graduate Studies
    Professor of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability
    Hofstra University

    Sinkholes of Doom: Understanding Collapsing Landscapes

    Wednesday, November 1, 7 p.m.
    Engineering Baseball:  STEM, Management, and the National Pastime

    Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and management have been used in professional baseball from the time of “scientific baseball” in the early 1900’s to the application of “moneyball,” big data analysis, and advanced analytics today.  Professional baseball has long been linked to applications in STEM and such diverse fields as statistical analysis and optimization, ergonomics, material science, as well as organizational behavior and management theory.  This discussion may change how you watch and think about baseball.

    Richard J. Puerzer
    Chair and Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering
    Department of Engineering
    Hofstra University

    Wednesday, November 29, 7 p.m.
    Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You

    Join us as we discuss the sexiest of sciences – PHYSICS. Mechanical engineer Christine McKinley says, “Physics is the sexiest of the sciences. Sure, you would argue that biology is all about reproduction, and chemistry has an intrinsically hot name, but when you get down to the guiding principles of the universe, it’s all physics. The laws of motion, energy, gravity, and entropy rule. Literally. They trump all other laws and inform all other activity. That’s what makes physics sexy. It is firmly in charge.”

    Christine McKinley is a mechanical engineer, musician and author. Her musical Gracie and the Atom won a Portland Drammy for Original Score. Her book Physics for Rock Stars was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. McKinley hosted Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on History Channel and Under New York on Discovery Channel.


    Location for all lectures: Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center

    For more information, please contact the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516-463-5669 or visit hofstra.edu/culture.

    Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You

  • Spring 2017

    Darwin, HumeWednesday, February 15, 7 p.m.
    Darwin and Hume's Excellent Intelligent Design Adventure

    Does the universe show evidence of having been designed by an intelligent agent? Come see Charles Darwin and philosopher David Hume tackle this question live on stage! Cake will be served in celebration of Charles Darwin's 208th birthday.

    Speaker: J Bret Bennington, Professor of Geology, Hofstra University

    Wednesday, March 8, 7 p.m.
    Tales of Designer Drugs: A Chemist's Discovery

    Designer drugs such as “Spice,” “Bath Salts” and “Molly” have spread rapidly around the world in the past decade, fueled by cheap and inventive chemistry and the rapid distribution through Web 2.0. Hospitals, law enforcement and legislators are struggling to keep up with increasing cases associated with these dangerous products. What are our solutions?

    Speaker: Ling Huang, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Hofstra University

    Wednesday, April 12, 7 p.m.
    Is There a Human GPS System?

    How is it that some people always know how to get from one place to another, and others always get lost? What do we know about how humans navigate, and can we predict their actions before they even start? This talk explores navigation research using everything from video games to real-world forests – and confirms the belief that there are good navigators and people who are perpetually lost.

    Speaker: Elisabeth J. Ploran, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Hofstra University

    View photos from: Is There a Human GPS System?

    Location for all above lectures: The Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center, California Avenue, South Campus

    For more information, please contact the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516-463-5669.

  • Fall 2016

    Monday, September 19, 7 p.m.*
    Science, Policy, and Controversy

    At every stage of research, scientists make decisions that can affect the outcomes of that research — from which questions to investigate, to how to interpret data. Dr. Daniel J. Hicks examines how such decisions can become flashpoints for policy controversies, drawing from examples such as genetically modified foods and climate change. This phenomenon creates serious challenges for the ideal of basing public policy on objective, universally accepted science. Dr. Hicks is philosopher of science, ethicist, and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow. Currently, he is hosted by the National Robotics Initiative at the National Science Foundation, where he is working on emerging ethical issues with self-driving cars. Dr. Hicks is broadly interested in public scientific controversies, and has written on a variety of issues, including genetically modified foods, vaccines, and obesity.

    Co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy.

    For more information on this lecture, please email Professor Christopher Eliot.

    Daniel Hicks

    Tuesday, October 11, 4:30 p.m.*
    Bugs: Amazing, Beautiful, and Delicious!

    We all know that insects occur in many shapes and colors, and they do many things to maintain our world: they pollinate plants, process animal waste, and provide food for a wide variety of species. Insects can also help save humanity by providing the most sustainable and nutritious food we could possibly eat. Admittedly, many people do have a problem with eating insects, but here's your chance to get past all that. In this workshop, David Gracer discusses entomophagy, the consumption of insects as a viable food source for all of humanity. As an entomophagist, Mr. Gracer has studied many facets of this protean subject and solicits the input of experts and lay people wherever he goes. Mr. Gracer has appeared on The Colbert Report (where he ate a bug), TEDx Cambridge (where he fed people bugs) and, most recently, Migrations (where he was the edible insect expert). Mr. Gracer sees entomophagy as a matter of discourse and of the confluence/conflict between science and human nature. He'll talk about problems and solutions, and may eat an insect or two. Bring your appetite and an open mind. You'll learn more that way!

    Speaker: David Gracer, Entomophagist, and Writer, Department of English, Community College of Rhode Island

    David Gracer

    * Location for the above lectures: Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library, First Floor

    Wednesday, October 26, 7 p.m.**
    Caught Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Coral Reefs and Climate Change

    Join Dr. Jessica Santangelo as she shares her research adventures in the Florida Keys, Mexico, Hawaii and Palau. She discusses the impacts of the recent El Niño and ocean acidification on corals (and other marine ecosystems) around the world.

    Speaker: Dr. Jessica Santangelo, Department of Biology, Hofstra University

    Wednesday, November 16, 7 p.m.**
    Extending the Human Lifespan: Implications of an Aging Population

    Public health efforts and improvements in medicine have led to record increases in life expectancy globally. The growth of the older adult population and the declining fertility rate will have significant consequences and require new thinking on the structure of health care systems, housing, workforce, and social services.

    Speaker: Dr. Corinne Kyriacou, Master of Public Health Program, Hofstra University

    ** Location for the above lectures: Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center

  • Spring 2016

    Wednesday, February 3, 7 p.m.
    When Dinosaurs Ruled New York

    Join us for a look at Mesozoic fossils and a discussion of the important history of dinosaur studies in New York and the Northeast.

    Speaker: Dr. J Bret Bennington, Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability, Hofstra University

    Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center


    Wednesday, February 10, 11:15 a.m.
    Darwin Day at Hofstra University

    Join us for our annual commemoration of Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species, who in his 1859 book, explained his theory of evolution with convincing scientific evidence.

    Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library

    Wednesday, March 2, 7 p.m.
    Superbugs and Superdrugs: The Future of Antibiotics

    Dr. Scott Lefurgy traces the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from the early victories of penicillin to the current struggles against MRSA and the threat of CRE. His research focuses on understanding the structure of bacterial enzymes that cause resistance to antibiotics, so that drug designers can address this ever-changing threat.

    Speaker: Dr. Scott Lefurgy, Department of Chemistry, Hofstra University

    Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center

    Wednesday, April 13, 7 p.m.
    Hunting for Beneficial Microbes on Long Island

    An introduction to the microbes being studied in the lab of Javier Izquierdo, Hofstra assistant professor of biology – including their uses in biofuel production and agriculture. The focus of the lab is on “locally grown” microbes that have been collected from various sources, from vineyard soils on the North Fork to sand dunes on the South Shore to zoo animals.

    Speaker: Dr. Javier Izquierdo, Department of Biology, Hofstra University

    Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center

    View Photos From: Hunting for Beneficial Microbes on Long Island

For more information, please contact the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516-463-5669.