2010 Annual Science Report

Carnegie Institution of Washington Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

EPO Activity: Capital Science Lectures

Project Progress

To make science more accessible to the general public, the Carnegie Institution of Washington began the Capital Science Lectures in the fall of 1990. These free public talks are designed to help non-scientists understand scientific thinking and to appreciate the importance of basic research in our lives today. Over the past ten years, many speakers have been chosen to focus on the institution’s interest in astrobiology. The 2009/2010 series (9 lectures total), for instance, featured: Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution) with a talk entitled ‘From the Big Bang to Broadway: How Things Evolve’ and Raymond Jeanloz (University of California, Berkley) with ‘From Earth to Stars…and Planetary Extremes’. Prior to the lectures, these presenters met with middle school students from Carnegie’s Saturday science school, First Light, to discuss their research and how it applies to astrobiology. Students from several area schools serving a high minority population have been attending the lecture series since its inception. Approximately 450 members of the general public also attended each lecture.