Galileo's Science Cafe
The Galileo's Science Cafe Experience
Hear about the latest findings surrounding hot topics in science and medicine that affect our everyday lives and the decisions that we make! Bring your family and friends for a free, casual, interactive science discussion. Learn from the experts and speak with them.
Location: Face to face sessions will be held at the Mason Science and Tech Campus at Manassas, VA. Remote sessions will be held by preregistering on Mason Zoom. Find instructions on how to join us under each session title.
For face-to-face sessions:
6:30 PM: Seating begins. Individual light meal and beverages served.
7:00-7:45 PM: Scientific discussion
7:45-8:15 PM: Ask the presenters! Questions from the audience
8:15-8:45 PM: Meet the scientist and networking reception (Socially Distanced)
9:00 PM Session closes
For remote sessions:
6:45 PM: Logon
7:00-7:45 PM: Scientific discussion
7:45-8:15 PM: Q&A from audience
8:15-8:45 PM: Meet the scientist and networking reception
9:00 PM Session closes
Galileo’s Science Café 2020-2021 Sessions
Thursday, October 15th 2020:
The Search for life on Venus, Mars, and Elsewhere in our Solar System -
Mike Summers, PhD
In case you couldn't join us in person, here is a link to Dr. Summer's presentation, https://youtu.be/iUuI8g4275Y.
Thursday, November 19th, 2020: COVID-19 Myth Busters
The COVID-19 Myth Busters' presentation is linked here.
(A virtual and highly interactive remote session)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected more than 35 million people globally, with more than 1 million deaths recorded by WHO as of Oct 12, 2020. As a second wave of COVID-19 affects Europe and the US, and with winter approaching, we all need accurate, up to date, scientific guidance about COVID-19 to safely navigate our families through this pandemic. The November Galileo Science Café will address the major questions from our Community about COVID-19.
- What is COVID-19? How is it different from the common cold or flu?
- Where did it come from?
- How does it infect a person?
- Will I die if I get infected?
- How do you test for COVID-19 and which tests should I trust?
- How does COVID-19 spread?
- Do antibodies protect me from COVID-19? What is “herd immunity”?
- Can I get COVID-19 again?
- When will a vaccine be ready and should I take it?
Lance Liotta, MD, PhD, Mason College of Science University Professor
Since 2005 Dr. Lance Liotta has served as Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) at George Mason University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Liotta served as Chief of the Laboratory of Pathology, NCI, Deputy Director of NIH, Co-Director of the NCI/FDA Clinical Proteomics Program, and Director of the Anatomic Pathology Residency Program. For his PhD in Biomedical Engineering (MD/PhD Case Western Reserve) he developed the first mathematical model of the cancer metastatic process and studied the early release of circulating tumor cells. At the NIH he went on to investigate the process of tumor invasion and metastasis at the molecular level. Dr. Liotta has invented and patented, along with his laboratory co-inventors, transformative technologies in the fields of diagnostics, cancer molecular therapeutics, microdissection (Laser Capture Microdissection), and proteomics (Reverse Phase Protein Microarrays, Biomarker Harvesting Nanoparticles, preservation chemistries for molecular analysis, and “protein painting” for drug target mapping) that have been used to make broad discoveries in cancer biology, and diagnostics, and therapeutics. The Laser Capture Microdissection prototype is in the Smithsonian Collection. His team at CAPMM studies the proteomics of human tissue, cultured cells, and body fluids, using this set of novel technologies. This research has directly resulted in ongoing clinical research trials applying the technology to the discovery of markers for early stage disease, individualized therapy for metastatic cancer, and adjuvant therapy of premalignant breast cancer. He is a founder of Theranostics Health and Ceres Nanosciences. Dr. Liotta has more than 100 issued or allowed patents and more than 690 publications. He is an ISI highly cited investigator.
Padhu Seshaiyer, PhD Mason College of Science Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor of Mathematical Sciences
Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer is a tenured Professor of Mathematical Sciences at George Mason University and serves as the Director of the STEM Accelerator Program in the College of Science at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His research interests are in the broad areas of computational mathematics, computational data science, scientific computing, computational biomechanics, design and systems thinking, entrepreneurship and STEM education. During the last decade, Dr. Seshaiyer initiated and directed a variety of educational programs including graduate and undergraduate research, K-12 outreach, teacher professional development, and enrichment programs to foster the interest of students and teachers in STEM at all levels. He serves on several prominent local and national organizations including the National Math Alliance; SIAM Diversity Advisory Group; the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition; Council on Undergraduate Research and; the US National Commission for Mathematics Instruction by the National Academy of Sciences. In 2019, he was selected as Figures that Matter and was awarded a honorary doctorate from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. This was given to committed scientists who transcend the boundaries of their own disciplines and to personalities that have been at the frontiers of societal change.
If you would like to submit questions to ask about COVID, please fill out the RSVP form!
Thursday, February 4th, 2021
Toward a Model of Interpersonal Trust Drawn from Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics
Frank Krueger, PhD, Mason College of Science Associate Professor, School of Systems Biology (A virtual and highly interactive remote session)
Sign up for the virtual presentation and interactive Q and A session HERE.
Trust pervades nearly every social aspect of our daily lives, and its disruption is a significant factor in mental illness. Research in the field of neuroeconomics has gained a deeper understanding of the neuropsychoeconomic (NPE) underpinnings of trust by combining complementary methodologies from neuroscience, psychology, and economics. However, a coherent model of trust that integrates separate findings under a conceptual framework is still lacking. In this talk, I sketch out an integrative NPE model that explains how the interactions of psychoeconomic components engage domain-general large-scale brain networks in shaping trust behavior over time. I will also point out the caveats of current research approaches and outline open questions that can help guide future transdisciplinary investigations to advance our understanding of interpersonal trust and advocate for a more trusting and inclusive society.
Thursday, March 11
CREATING THE NEXT GENERATION OF PRACTICING PHYSICIANS AND MEDICAL RESEARCHERS- The Role of Physics in Medicine and Medical Education
Presented by Edward Szuszczewicz, Ph.D.
Expert panels repeatedly point out that practicing physicians, medical researchers and all of life scientists need to appreciate the power of physics to advance their knowledge of first-order cause-effect relationships involving the diseases and maladies they study, diagnose and treat. The same expert panels also report that medical education has stagnated and has not kept pace with the basic sciences or the emerging and frontier technologies in the diagnosis and management of disease. These issues are reviewed with several perspectives:
(1) The power of physics is rooted in the fact that it is the most mature and most fundamental of all physical sciences and the first-order connection of the laws of physics to living organisms, to clinical medicine, and to medical research is compelling. Illustrations will be presented on the physics principles underlying several medical disciplines, including ophthalmology, cardiology, pulmonology and otolaryngology, with added discussions on the physics that gave rise to and makes possible a number of medical devices used in treatment and diagnoses. Such topics dealing with physics-in-medicine are for all practical purposes completely absent in current medical school curricula;
(2) Seeds for change. The recent calls for change in medical education do not stand alone. Accumulating motivational forces for change come, for example, from within the earliest educational underpinnings of initiatives like STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and AAPT (Am. Assoc. of Physics Teachers) advances in the teaching of physics in life sciences (PLS), and from programs within the NSF (National Science Foundation) pointing to the Grand Challenge in medical care and the importance of collaborative trans-disciplinary efforts involving physics, mathematics and the life sciences;
(3) The definitive call for change came from a seminal report from the AAMC (American Association of Medical Colleges), with the need punctuated by the data and efforts of organizations like the SIDM (Society for Improved Diagnosis in Medicine) pointing to extraordinarily high death rates attributed to misdiagnoses; and
(4) The Building of a Next Generation Medical-School Curriculum. Discussions include perspectives within the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation’s Physics-in-Medicine Program, its trans-disciplinary curricular-building effort, and its shared view with STEM, NSF, AAPT and the AAMC that the study of physics is not just the study of its laws and its application to all forms of causality in nature. The study of physics also involves the development of a method of inquiry, thinking, and problem solving…the very foundation of an adaptive expertise called for by the expert panels in needed reform of medical education.
Thursday, April 1
Commonwealth at Risk: Predicting Global Warming and Preparing for the New Normal
Presented by James L. Kinter III, Ph.D.
Abstract: The communities, businesses and citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia are not exemptfrom the changes Earth will experience in the next few decades and beyond as a result of global warming and its associated impacts. There will be a new normal, and we all need to prepare for it. This presentation will outline how and why Earth’s climate is changing in response to human activities such as fossil fuel combustion and land use change, and how those changes will affect the planet, the nation and the Commonwealth. Mason’s Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere studies (COLA) is advancing our understanding of climate dynamics and helping to develop the next generation of computer models to project the future of the Earth system and how those changes will manifest in the mid-Atlantic region. A methodology for developing and assessing solutions that can be applied at the municipal, state and national levels will round out the presentation.
Dr. James L. Kinter III is Director of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA) whose research includes studies of climate variability and predictability on sub-seasonal and longer time scales, focusing on phenomena such as monsoons, El Niño and the Southern Oscillation, and modes of extratropical variability. Dr. Kinter is also Professor and Chair in the department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences of the College of Science. He is affiliated with the Climate Dynamics Ph.D. Program, having responsibilities for curriculum development and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on climate change, as well as advising Ph.D. students. After earning his doctorate in geophysical fluid dynamics at Princeton University in 1984, Dr. Kinter served as a National Research Council Associate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and as a faculty member of the University of Maryland prior to helping to create COLA. Dr. Kinter has served on many national review panels for both scientific research programs and supercomputing programs for computational climate modeling
Thursday, May 6 (Coming soon)
Thursday, October 15th
The Search for life on Venus, Mars, and Elsewhere in our Solar System
by Mike Summers, PhD
Is there life elsewhere in the universe! We don’t know the answer just yet. But we are finding clues in some of the most bizarre places imaginable. We have found that the ingredients for life - carbon, usable energy, and liquid water – are abundant in the universe. We have found that planets, and even ocean worlds, are commonplace. Even in our neighborhood solar system, we’ve found that hints of life may exist on our two closest planets, i.e. Venus and Mars, and have found that there are at least half a dozen places where simple Earth life could thrive. In this talk, Dr. Summers will describe several of the most recent discoveries that suggest that life may be ubiquitous in the universe.