Both Lorimer and McLaughlin are assistant professors in the Department of Physics at WVU. They will speak on “Einstein’s unfinished symphony—detecting gravitational waves with pulsars.” The scientists are known for their significant research on pulsars and are part of an international research team that, through the use of pulsars, intends to detect gravitational waves, which are a key prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. So far, the research has yielded the discovery of new pulsars, more sensitive telescopes and improved detection algorithms. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Nath Lecture Series.
• Sebastian Junger – Feb. 21 at the Clay Center in Charleston, and Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown
Junger is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, known for writing “The Perfect Storm,” “A Death in Belmont” and “Fire.” His most recent book “WAR” looks at the reality of combat, including the fear, honor, trust and commitment the soldiers have to one another. His documentary “Restrepo,” which premiered on national television in late November, also takes a closer look at the lives of soldiers. The film chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. It is designed to make viewers feel like they have gone through a 90-minute deployment. His visit to Charleston is co-sponsored by The Charleston Gazette, and the Morgantown visit is co-sponsored by the P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s Ogden Newspapers Seminar Series.
• Michael Eric Dyson – Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mountainlair
Named by “Ebony” as one of the 100 most influential black Americans, Dyson is the author of 16 books including “Come Hell or High Water,” a book on Hurricane Katrina that will be the focus of Dyson’s talk at WVU. He is also known for writing “Holler if You Hear Me,” “Is Bill Cosby Right?” and “I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr.” He is currently a professor of sociology at Georgetown University. Dyson’s talk is co-sponsored by WVU’s Center for Black Culture and Research.
• Sheril Kirshenbaum – April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mountainlair
Kirshenbaum is a science writer and research associate at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas, Austin. She works on projects to increase public awareness of energy issues related to food, oceans and culture. She is the co-author of “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.” She will also serve as the keynote speaker at WVU’s upcoming symposium on communicating science, which will also be held on April 5 at the Mountainlair.
More information will be released in the weeks leading up to each event.
The David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas is named after WVU’s former president who created the lecture series. Each year, the festival brings key figures from the fields of sports, politics, business, entertainment, research, scholarship and culture to Morgantown.
The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment.
For more information on the 2010-11 Festival of Ideas, visit http://festivalofideas.wvu.edu/.
CONTACT: Gretchen Hoover, University Events
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