UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – December 21, 2020

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater
21 December 2020
Hi Everyone,
What a day, and what an evening, for astronomical delights in the heavens. 
Every year we get a winter solstice here (it was 4:02 this morning CST), the day when the sun sets furthest in the southwest, and then resumes it trek northward, tracing the great analemma in the sky. 
But only close observers (not me, alas) have noted that the earliest sunset happened two weeks ago, on December 8, and the latest sunrise won’t happen until January 3.
Nevertheless, it’s the short, shortest day of the year, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere.  Just when you think things can’t get any worse, the sine curve bottoms out, and boom!  Your dx/dt is once again positive.  
Tonight is the once-in-a-far-less-frequently-than-a-bluemoon Grand Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter.  If the skies are clear, UW Space Place will give you a telescopic view on YouTube.  If not, we’ll probably have to watch it from an online feed originating from some sunnier clime.  As Joni Mitchell warned us, the clouds may get in our way.  
Either way, there’s always 2080.  
And sometimes, looking forward 60 years is the scope of our work and the breadth of our vision.  
Thanks again!
Tom Zinnen
Note: please visit https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/ for the updater archive.
Notable This Week
1.  Science Alliance meets weekly by Webex at 10:00 am Mondays, including today, December 21. Email Liz Jesse at ejesse2@wisc.edu or Tom Zinnen at zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu to receive the link. The meeting notes are archived on https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/.
The draft agenda for December 21 at 10am includes:
    • Welcome
    • Quick Updates
    • Science Expeditions April 9-11:  
      • Online Events  
      • Outdoor Activities on Campus & Other UW-Madison Sites 
      • Possible Indoor Sites  
      • Communications & Promotions
      • Others?
    • Other announcements or topics  
2.  Please add your upcoming online programs or resources with learners of any ages to the list at http://science.wisc.edu/ and be sure to include program events in the calendar at http://today.wisc.edu and tag them with “Science” and any other appropriate tag.
3.  Programming Events coming this week and soon:
  • “Wednesday Nite @ The Lab” public science seminar, by Zoom.  Wednesdays at 7 pm CT.  Every Wednesday night, 50 times a year. Register at go.wisc.edu/240r59.   WN@TL goes dark December 28 and December 30 and resumes on January 6 with Prof Kerri Coon of Bacteriology on “Why Mosquitoes Love You
4.  Upcoming Lineup for Wednesday Nite @ The Lab online by zoom starting at 7pm Central.  Register at https://go.wisc.edu/240r59
Schedule and descriptions at https://science.wisc.edu/wednesday-nite-at-the-lab/

*Dec 23 Dark:  Merry Christmas!
*Dec 30 Dark:  Happy New Year!   
*Jan 6 Kerri Coon, Bacteriology, 
“Why Mosquitoes Love You (and Other Things You Never Knew About Mosquitoes and Their Microbiome)”
*Jan 13 Nam Kim, Anthropology, “Origins of Warfare in Human History
*Jan 20 Claudia Solis-Lemus, Plant Pathology & Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, “Through the Looking-Glass of Data Science”
*Jan 27 Sean Carroll, Howard Hughes Medical Institute,  “A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You” 
5. Paul Brandl and Tom Zinnen, co-organizers of the “PLATO Frontiers in Life Sciences” seminar series, are looking for your suggestions of colleagues who might like to give a ~50 minute talk by zoom on their research to a group of ~25 retirees.  They’re an affirmative and appreciative audience.  Now in its 16th year, “PLATO Frontiers” runs Wednesdays starting at 1pm, beginning on February 24, 2021. Please contact Tom Zinnen with suggestions:  zinnen@biotech.wisc.edu.