Past Events

Decoding Social Media Hartford

November 7, 2019

  • The main stage with chairs and social media graphics behind them.
    The stage setup for our panelists at the Decoding Social Media Science Salon at Upward Hartford.
At our first salon of the 2020 series, our expert panel talked about something that affects us all: social media. Love it or hate it, social networking has permeated our society. Topics discussed included the science behind social media and how it impacts our lives on a daily basis.

Brave New World: The Next Frontier of DNA Boston

June 6, 2019

  • Attendees enjoy cocktail hour before the June 6th Science Salon event in Boston.
    Attendees enjoy cocktail hour before the June 6th Science Salon event in Boston.

The final UConn Science Salon of 2018-19 wrapped up in Boston with part two of “Brave New World: The Next Frontier of DNA” Our expert panelists and guests discussed the ethics, questions, and opportunities relating to home DNA tests, designer babies, and more.

Brave New World: The Next Frontier of DNA

April 25, 2019

  • A UConn Science Salon "Brave New World: The Next Frontier of DNA" in the lobby of Connecticut Science Center
    UConn Science Salon's "Brave New World: The Next Frontier of DNA" panel was held at Connecticut Science Center on April 25, 2019.

On National DNA Day, the 66th anniversary of the discovery of DNA’s double helix, our expert panelists and more than 120 guests discussed the ethics, questions, and opportunities relating to CRISPR, home DNA tests, designer babies, and more. Entrance to the Real Bodies and biomechanics exhibits and a “Doggie DNA” testing cart rounded out the night at the Connecticut Science Center.

Seeing Things: Virtual Reality Hits the Mainstream

January 16, 2019

  • A man plays a virtual reality game
    Guests try Nova Swarm at UConn Science Salon's "Seeing Things: Virtual Reality Hits the Mainstream," held at the Pratt & Whitney Hangar Museum on Jan. 16, 2019. Panelist Patrick Belanger '16, '18 MFA, pictured at right, created the multiplayer VR game. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

In a few short years, virtual reality has gone from science fiction to commercial technology. While most of us haven’t used it yet, VR applications have been wowing attendees at the Consumer Electronics Show for years, and the technology is beginning to enter the mainstream business world. Guests descended on the Pratt & Whitney Hangar Museum to try super-cool VR demos and talk tech.

Spacing Out: Ancient Stargazers to Modern Astrophysicists

November 8, 2018

  • Astronomy Panelists
    From left, panelists Alexus McLeod, Katherine Whitaker, and Jonathan Trump and moderator Mark Meredith '87 at the UConn Science Salon "Spacing Out: Ancient Stargazers to Modern Astrophysicists" event held at Talcott Mountain Science Center Thursday, November 9, 2018 in Avon. (G.J. McCarthy / UConn Foundation)

A telescope is a time machine, and the farther away we focus, the deeper into the past we see. Out panelists discussed how humans have viewed the stars from antiquity to the present and how telescopes like the Hubble and James Webb help deepen our view. A clear night made for a beautiful sky and stargazing at Talcott Mountain’s observatory.

Science Salon Junior 2018

October 28, 2018

  • Kenneth Noll as Charles Darwin
    Kenneth Noll, a professor of molecular and cell biology, dresses up as Charles Darwin to teach Science Salon Junior attendees about evolutionary history. (Lucas Voghell '20 (CLAS)/ UConn Photo)

Science Salon Junior returns! A sold-out crowd of children ages 5 to 12 joined UConn faculty, staff, and students for an afternoon of STEM experiments, held at the Peter J. Werth Tower on UConn’s campus during Homecoming Weekend. The event featured manipulations in chemistry, engineering creations, and environmental adventures.

Elevating the Conversation: How Truth and Respect (Might Just) Conquer Fake News

May 10, 2018

  • Fake News Science Salon
    Science Salon host Kim Krieger chats with panel moderator The Hon. Robert J. Lynn '75 (JD), UConn communication department head Kenneth A. Lachlan, and UConn journalism professor Mike Stanton before the event.

It used to be that most of what you read or heard in the United States media was based — at least loosely — on generally accepted facts. These days? Anything goes, it seems, and now with sophisticated video manipulation you can’t believe it even if you see it. Fake news masquerades as real news, real news gets labeled fake, insults are hurled left and right, and many in the middle are left wondering what happened to our national dialogue. At the May 10 UConn Science Salon, experts communication, journalism, and law discussed what’s happened to news media and political discourse, and how we might just take it back.

Listen to the entire event here.

Kelp Confidential: Secrets of Connecticut’s Culinary Seaweed Scene

April 12, 2018

  • UConn Kelp Event
    Kim Krieger, UConn research writer (far right), introduces the panel and moderator at Kelp Confidential: Secrets of Connecticut's Culinary Seaweed Scene.

Crunchy, munchy, delicious, and nutritious, seaweed is having a comestible moment. You can find it everywhere from high-end restaurants to the shelves of Trader Joe’s. Happily for the state, Connecticut’s coastline is prime seaweed territory, and the industry is expanding. At the first UConn Science Salon held at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, local chefs, growers, and scientists talked about how we grow it, cook it, and enjoy it.

Whacked: Impact, Sports, and Young Athletes’ Brains

February 8, 2018

  • A program sits near UConn Alumni freebies during the UConn Science Salon "Whacked: Impact, Sports, and Young Athletes' Brains" event Thursday, September 9, 2018 at Dunkin' Donuts Park in Hartford. (G.J. McCarthy / UConn Foundation)

Concussion brain damage doesn’t just happen to boxers and football players. Knock that idea out of your head. Surprisingly, the athletes most at risk of concussions are kids — in particular, boys playing football, girls playing lacrosse, and everyone playing soccer. But we’re not here to tell you to stop your daughters and sons from playing sports (c’mon, we’re UConn!) Instead, at the February 2018 UConn Science Salon, our experts on athletics, medicine, and the law discussed how the latest research on concussions is changing the landscape of youth and professional sport.

How Schools Succeed by Nurturing the Whole Child

November 9, 2017

  • UConn Science Salon
    UConn hosted Science Salon about "How Schools Succeed by Nurturing the Whole Child" featuring the work of UConn's Collaboratory on School and Child Health on Nov. 09, 2017 at The Lyceum in Hartford. The expert panel discussed about how teachers, researchers and schools in the state are helping the whole child be healthy, resilient, and ready to learn.

School feeds the mind—but only if the body is healthy and fed first. Kids can arrive at school with all kinds of challenges, from a missed breakfast to exposure to violence. In Connecticut we know all too well that even the most idyllic communities can face adversities and chronic stress. Join a lively discussion about how teachers and schools in the state are helping the whole child be healthy, resilient, and ready to learn.

The first UConn Science Salon of the 2018 season featured the work of UConn’s Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH). Our expert panel led a lively discussion about how teachers, researchers and schools in the state are helping the whole child be healthy, resilient, and ready to learn.

Read a recap on the CSCH website.

UConn Science Salon Junior

October 8, 2017

  • The first "UConn Science Salon Junior" program for children ages 5-12 was held Oct. 8, 2017, during UConn's Family Weekend.

UConn faculty and students led kids ages 5 through 12 through exciting experiments in chemistry, engineering, and agriculture. The first UConn Science Salon Junior event was held during UConn’s 2017 Family Weekend in Next Generation Connecticut Hall. Special appearances by Charles Darwin and Jonathan the Husky were a highlight!

Throwing It All Away: America’s Food Waste Epidemic

April 6, 2017

  • Food Waste Poster
    A poster promoting the April 6, 2017 UConn Science Salon, "Throwing It All Away: America's Food Waste Epidemic."

In the United States, an estimated 30 to 40 percent of food produced is wasted. While food is lost throughout the process from production to consumption, much of this loss happens at the retail and consumer levels. At the same time, 42 million Americans are food insecure — they don’t know where their next meal will be coming from. Join the conversation and hear how this level of food waste impacts food security, resource conservation, climate change, and more. Learn about both local and global efforts to reduce food waste and meet waste reduction goals.

The “C” Word: How Cancer Impacts the Family

March 2, 2017

  • Liz Krueger '02, UConn Health Director of Alumni Relations, and Andrew Kim '15, CLAS Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, pose before the March 2 UConn Science Salon, The "C" Word: How Cancer Impacts the Family.

Modern medicine is rapidly developing to combat cancer using innovative strategies, with increasing success. But a cancer diagnosis is still all too common and, even with a positive outcome, can have devastating effects on the survivor and family. At this Science Salon, our expert panel talked about the way that cancer impacts the family, caregiver stress, and the challenges that grief or survivorship present.

Panelists were Dr. Jayesh Kamath, UConn associate professor of psychiatry; Halley Robinson ’08, inpatient social worker, The Connecticut Hospice, Inc.; and Ronald Sabatelli, Ph.D., UConn professor of human development and family studies. Dr. Peter Deckers of UConn Health’s Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center moderated the panel.

Medical Marijuana: Out of the Stone Age and Into the Medicine Cabinet

November 10, 2016

  • Science Salon 2017 Series
    A 2017 Science Salon Series poster sits by the theater entrance.

The state of Connecticut was one of the first to legalize medicinal cannabis sales, creating guidelines for its use and requiring that a pharmacist dispense the drug. At this Science Salon, our expert panel discussed the opportunities and challenges associated with the legalization of medical marijuana, securing financing to open a dispensary, and the ways that this new law is impacting the health care and pharmaceutical industries.

Panelists were Dr. Stephen Brown of Advanced Wellness Concepts; Angelo DeFazio ’85, President and CEO of Arrow Pharmacy & Nutrition Centers; and Lisa Holle, UConn associate clinical professor of pharmacy. Kyle Baumbauer, UConn nursing professor, served as moderator.

You’ve Got to Move It: From Everyday Exercise to Elite Performance

June 9, 2016

  • Margaux Guidry
    Margaux Guidry '05 (CAHNR) leads the audience in a bit of exercise at the start of the UConn Science Salon held at the Spotlight Theatres in Hartford on June 9, 2016. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The Rio Olympics are drawing near. If you’ve ever watched the Games, you’ve almost certainly wondered, ‘Could I have done that?’ At the June Science Salon, we looked at the science and tech behind elite athletes. How does it help them, and how can it help the rest of us?

This event was held at a new location — Spotlight Theatres on Front Street in Hartford, Conn. Panelists were Doug Casa, kinesiology professor and CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute; Ki Chon, Krenicki Professor and department head of biomedical engineering; and Linda Pescatello, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of kinesiology. Jaci VanHeest, educational psychology and kinesiology associate professor, served as moderator.

Of Agony and Relief: Understanding and Treating Pain

MARCH 3, 2016

  • Of Agony and Relief Science Salon
    The UConn Science Salon held at NIXS Hartford on March 3, 2016. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Everybody hurts, sometimes. But people seem to be hurting more and more, to judge from our nation’s painkiller addiction crisis, and it’s hard to know what to do about it. How do we know who is ‘really’ in pain, and how to help them? At our March UConn Science Salon, our audience and distinguished panel discussed the genetics of pain and the future of treating it, from non-addictive pain medications to yoga.

Panelists were Kyle Baumbauer and Erin Young, both UConn nursing professors and researchers in UConn’s Institute for Systems Genomics, and Crystal Park, a UConn clinical psychology professor and health psychology expert. Angela Starkweather, UConn nursing professor and director of the Center for Advancement in Managing Pain (CAMP), moderated.

Climate Changing Connecticut

NOVEMBER 12, 2015

  • Climate Changing Connecticut
    Keri Enright-Kato, director of the Office of Climate Change, Technology, and Research at the Connecticut DEEP, speaks during the UConn Science Salon held at NIXS Hartford on Nov. 12, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Climate change is often discussed in the abstract context of ‘global warming.’ But just because the planet as a whole is warming, doesn’t mean much about the future of our little piece of it. This UConn Science Salon will focus on how climate change will affect Connecticut in particular. Will we get more storms, or fewer? Will our seasons change, or just get more extreme? How fast will sea level really rise, and should we worry about it? Our panel explored how people and municipalities can intelligently adapt to changes in water resources, seasons, and temperatures, and how our communities might not just survive, but thrive, in a time of changing climate.

Panelists were Keri Enright-Kato, director of the Office of Climate Change, Technology, and Research in the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; Jessica LeClair, program manager at the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation; Christine J. Kirchhoff, UConn civil and environmental engineering professor; and Mike Shor, UConn economics professor. John Volin, UConn professor and head of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, moderated the discussion.

Sci-Fi Meets Reality

SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

  • SciFi Meets Reality event
    UConn Science Salon held at NIXS Hartford on Sept. 17, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

A panel of experts covered the real science – and fantasy – of exciting topics in science fiction literature, films and television shows at our second event. This all-UConn panel included Pamela Bedore, English professor; Stephen Dyson, political science professor; Ronald L. Mallett, physics professor; and Kenneth Noll, microbiology professor. The discussion was moderated by engineering professor Tom Barber.

3D Printing: Living Tissue to Human Organ

JUNE 4, 2015

  • Anson Ma
    Anson Ma, center, assistant professor of chemical engineering, speaks during the UConn Science Salon held at NIXS Hartford on June 4, 2015. At left is panel moderator Lakshmi Nair, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and chemical, materials and biomolecular engineering. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Researchers came face to face with the public at the first UConn Science Salon in Hartford for a lively discussion of state-of-the-art initiatives in 3D printing and the potential for the technology – also known as additive manufacturing – particularly in the field of health care. Featured panelists were Anson Ma, UConn engineering professor; Richard Langlois, UConn economics professor; Dr. John Geibel, Director of Surgical Research at Yale University School of Medicine; and Dale Kutnick, Vice President Emeritus and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner Inc.

Lakshmi Nair, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering, served as moderator.