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Research Unplugged Returns to Schlow

by on October 04, 2017 2:58 PM

An series of free afternoon talks by Penn State experts in a variety of fields will kick off its lineup on Thursday at Schlow Centre Region Library.

The Research Unplugged speaker series is a collaboration between Penn State's Office of Government and Community Relations and Schlow Library to bring university researchers and their work to the community.

The talks are held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Thursday in October in the Downsbrough Community Room at Schlow. Open to the public, the talks also include a question-and-answer session and light refreshments.

The series opens on Thursday with Mark Guiltinan and Siela Maximova, of the Department of Plant Science, presenting "Cacao for Peace: Can the Chocolate Tree Bring Peace to Colombia?"

The cacao tree provides income to millions of farmers in developing countries and provides the raw ingredient for making chocolate. As part of a USAID and USDA project seeking to assist farmers in increasing cacao production levels, Guiltinan and Maximova will share stories of their interactions with the local indigenous populations living in Colombia.

The other upcoming Research Unplugged sessions include:

Oct 12: "Art and 3-D Printing: The Possibilities of Clay," with Tom Lauerman, School of Visual Arts

Lauerman will dive into where the worlds of art and science collide. He will demonstrate his unique approach to 3-D printing with clay, and discuss its development and compelling applications in design, architecture and engineering.

Oct 19: "Democratic Emotions: From Resentment to Gratitude," with Jeremy Engels, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences

In this talk, Engels will discuss two emotions long associated with democracy: resentment and gratitude. While he once thought resentment could be the answer, he will argue that it is gratitude where we should place our hope. This talk was rescheduled from the spring semester.     

Oct 26: "Hacking in the 21st Century: Data Integrity in an Era of Cyber Siege," with Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair of Telecommunications

While an integral and helpful part of our lives, technology can come with its own host of frustrating problems. From ID theft and hacking of personal information, to changes in the economy itself, Meinrath will investigate the current trends in technological development, and discuss what can be done to change course and protect ourselves from the dark side of today's digital Faustian bargains. 

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