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Saturday Morning Science

Grab a cup of coffee and join us for Saturday Morning Science

Saturday Morning Science is a series of one-hour long talks on various scientific topics. No science background is required, only enthusiasm for and an interest in science. The talks are free and open to the public. If you want to know a bit more about science or if you are simply curious, come join us on Saturday morning.

If you missed a previous Saturday Morning Science, many recent talks can be found on our YouTube Channel

Solar Eclipse
Saturday, Feb. 23, 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Neil Fox
Professor, MU Department of Atmospheric Science

“How citizen scientists helped to observe temperature variations in Mid-Missouri during the total solar eclipse of 2017

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse occurred across North America. In Central Missouri the period of totality was one of the longest observed, at more than two and a half minutes, and occurred very close to local noon. For these reasons the temperature drop associated with the eclipse was expected to be very large and we set out to observe this. About 40 volunteers were identified in Boone and the surrounding counties using 4H. Along with other contacts, including local schools, more than 50 low-cost temperature probes were distributed throughout the Mid-Missouri area. This talk will describe what those temperature probes recorded and how having access to an extensive network of observers helped map the changes seen during the eclipse, as well as some other interesting meteorological effects.


Saturday, March. 2, 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Wes Warren
Professor, MU Department of Animal Sciences

“Is your house cat domesticated?”

One way we can gain insight into the behavior of cats is through their evolutionary history. The answer to the question of how the wild cat became domesticated or not depends on your perspective. While dogs are estimated to have been domesticated from the wolf approximately 30,000 years ago the fossil evidence suggests cats to be in the range of 4,000 to 9,000 years ago. This great difference fits our observations of their respective behaviors. Thinking of domestication as an evolutionary process which occurs via “artificial” selection by human intervention we will explore the clues left behind in the cat genome.


Robert Logie

Saturday, March 9, 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Robert Logie
Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience
University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

“What happens when scientists who disagree work together? The case of human memory”

How does memory work? How and when does memory not work, and why? How you might improve memory, and why is forgetting a very good thing (but letting your smartphone do your thinking for you is a bad idea)? Dr. Logie will discuss these questions and show how exciting new ideas about memory can arise from working with scientists in Columbia, MO, and in Switzerland who disagree with him and with one another about how human memory works.


Casey Holliday

Saturday, March 16, 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Casey Holliday
Associate Professor, MU Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

“Sensational skulls: cranial biomechanics and evolution of birds, crocs and dinosaurs.”

New technologies are letting scientists understand how the skulls of living and extinct animals work. Come learn how birds, crocodiles and dinosaurs use muscles, cartilages and specialized joints to bite hard, crack nuts and occasionally eat lawyers.

Saturday, April 6, 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Amy Shira Teitel

“Women in Space”

Ms. Teitel will discuss her upcoming book on the ‘Mercury 13’, the first group of women trained for a space mission. She is also the author of “Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight Before NASA” and other works.

Visit to Mizzou is supported by the MU Canadian Studies Center and the Canadian Consulate in Chicago


George Smith
Saturday, April 13, 10:30 a.m.
Jesse Hall Auditorium

George Smith
Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus, MU Division of Biological Sciences
2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

“Crickets Teach Us Science Reasoning”

Mark-recapture is a way for ecologists to estimate the population size for animals when they can’t count them directly. Think fish in a murky pond. Crickets are a popular subject for classroom mark-recapture experiments, in part because their jumping powers are a dependable source of limited and salutary chaos in the classroom. With the results of an MU cricket mark-recapture lab as background, we’ll launch a non-technical audience debate about some very controversial issues of science reasoning. We’re depending on input (output?) from opinionated people, so don’t be bashful!


Saturday, April. 20, 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Jon Dyer
Associate Professor, MU Department of Clinical Dermatology


Saturday, April 27, 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Chi-Ren Shyu
Professor, MU Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
MU Director of MU Informatics Institute

Derek Thomas Anderson
Associate Professor, MU Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Edward E. Brent Jr.
Professor, MU Department of Sociology

Grant J. Scott
Assistant Professor, MU Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Lincoln R. Sheets
Assistant Research Professor, MU Department of Health Management & Informatics
Director of Health Informatics

“Artificial Intelligence – History, Technologies, Social Impacts, and Future”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ubiquitous these days. AlphaGo Zero, self-driving vehicles, and FDA-approved AI software tell us that AI is coming to our daily life.  In this Saturday Morning Science event, there are five AI experts from Mizzou to share their experiences on AI from history, technologies, applications, to social impacts.  An expert panel will interact with the audience about AI and exchange thoughts about the future of AI.


When and Where

Saturday’s at 10:30 a.m.
Monsanto Auditorium
Bond Life Sciences Center

Free weekend parking is available in University Avenue Parking Structure, Virginia Avenue Parking Structure and the Virginia Avenue Garage Surface Lot. For directions to the Bond Life Sciences Center, visit:


Additional map and driving directions.

For ADA accommodations, contact Karla Carter at 573-882-7957 or


Grab a cup of coffee and a bagel and join us for Saturday Morning Science — a series of one-hour science talks.

These are not typical science lectures. Expect to be entertained, to see demonstrations, to learn a lot, and—best of all—to want to come back for more.

Saturday Morning Science is free and open to the public. No science background is required. All ages are welcome.

Breakfast refreshments are served before the talks, so come early. Talks start at 10:30 a.m. Doors open and refreshments are available a half-hour beforehand.