Roughly half of all the energy we harness is lost to the environment as low-temperature heat. Though the energy efficiency of many industrial processes has steadily increased over the years, the untapped potential of low-temperature heat is still enormous. In this talk, I will introduce a new take on an old battery concept to get a more useful power out of our energy resources. Though the weight of these batteries will likely keep them out of a car and many other portable devices,  their low-cost design makes them an attractive option for stationary power generation applications.

A new imperative in the life sciences emerged with the realization that microbes are important drivers, rather than passengers, of the well-being of plants, animals, and humans.  Albeit we have significantly advanced our understanding of microbial life distribution on Earth, our ability to manipulate and/or harness beneficial functions from complex microbiomes remains limited. In this talk, I will dive into the integration of Ecology, Microbiology, and Chemistry as core disciplines and provide a new perspective on how we can effectively ‘orchestrate’ microbial functions across systems. 

Presenter: Francisco Dini-Andreote  |  Plant Science

The prevention of zoonotic diseases spread through wild meat is a complex challenge. Wild meat in Africa, colloquially referred to as “bushmeat”, is an important part of livelihoods, nutrition, and culture. Wild meat trade increases the frequency and geographic spread of animal exposures that could result in spillover of zoonotic diseases to humans. The RISK lab at Penn State runs a long-term research project studying risk factors for zoonotic disease transmission through hunting, trade, and consumption of wildmeat within socio-ecological systems.  We are looking for new ideas and collaborations that can help to bring cutting-edge research and grass roots interventions to remote communities at the forefront of emerging health and environmental challenges. 

Sagan Friant  |  Anthropology

To enhance public engagement with science, health, and environmental issues, it seems intuitive to simply present the public with appropriate information. Yet social scientific evidence has shown that increased knowledge does not necessarily translate to desired changes in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors. Not to mention, media messaging about science, health, and environmental issues must compete for the public’s attention in a fractured, divisive media landscape. This talk will discuss findings from several studies that point to some promising messaging strategies that may help cut through the noise and shift public views and behavior, with particular attention to the role of emotion.

Chris Skurka  |  College of Communications

No Millennium Café due to Spring Break. We will return March 21st.

No Millennium Café due to Spring Break. We will return March 21st.