UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – May 10, 2021

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater
10 May 2021  
Hi Everyone,
This weekend was a celebratory double-header on campus with UW-Madison’s graduation on Saturday and Mother’s Day on Sunday.  Several thousand grads became alums and may now refer to UW-Madison as their “alma mater.” and themselves as “alums”.  The idea of the university as the nourishing mother, and the idea of the alum as the nourished child, can be easily lost in the fog of medieval Latin.  
It’s a good time to ponder, “Who are the children of the university?”  Certainly they include the current students, the ones who come traditionally around the age of 18 and graduate a few years later.  Furthermore, just as we all will always be our parents’ children, so too it is for the alumni of whatever age.
American land-grant universities, unusual among universities, also have another set of metaphorical children to nourish as part of the LGUs three missions of instruction, research and extension.  These include the lifelong learners of a state whose educations, lives and aspirations are lifted up by and through the Cooperative Extension part of the LGU.  Among these metaphorical children of the university are real children, and for me as a 4-H state specialist those especially include the children who participate across Wisconsin in 4-H and Community Youth Development programs, part of the UW’s Division of Extension.  
I learned from watching “The Crown” — and also, from growing up second of seven; and also, from having two children of my own —  that a wrenching challenge of parenting is to love all one’s children without favor.  While universities aren’t really mothers and the learners they serve for 4 or 5 years on campus or for a lifetime across a state aren’t really the university’s children, a comparable tension remains. 
Happily, today is May 10, the day the campus starts to re-open in many ways to welcome the public to their public land-grant research university, following 14 months of covid-induced restrictions.  I’m looking forward to a long summer of ever-warmer hospitality in reconnecting visitors to the people, places & programs in science here, and to being able to affirm as others long ago said:  The boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state.
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 May 10. 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 Monday, May 10 at 10am includes:
  • Welcome
  • Updates
    • Outlook for public programs for adults and for children in Summer 2021
    • Review of current public programs open to the public on campus
  • Science Expeditions Campus-wide Open House:  Updates
  • Other announcements or topics
2.  Now in Archive:   Please invite your colleagues in research & outreach to check out the YouTube archives of presentations from
2021 UW Science Expeditions Open House on April 9, 10 and 11.   
3.  Programming Events coming this week and soon:

4.  Upcoming Lineup for Wednesday Nite @ The Lab online by zoom starting at 7pm Central. 

Register at go.wisc.edu/240r59    Schedule and descriptions at https://science.wisc.edu/wednesday-nite-at-the-lab

May 12  “The Origins & Works of the ‘Dear Pandemic’ Project”  Malia Jones, Applied Population Lab
May 19  “How to Reduce the Risk of Wildfire Ignition from Power Grids”  Line Roald, Electrical & Computer Engineering
May 26  “Life in the Late Triassic in Wyoming: A Timely Story of Puzzle Pieces”  Dave Lovelace, Geology Museum & Department of  Geosciences  
5.   Josh Knackert is helping spread the word about a new survey underway of science communicators and outreachers by Parmvir Bahia (https://www.linkedin.com/in/parmvir-k-bahia/). Here’s the survey link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JFDKL7R


Why are we doing this?

• The STEM Engagement field and profession (specialists including but definitely not limited to: full-time, part-time or any-time science communicator; officer for outreach organization; events producer; STEM festival coordinator; science education toolbox creator; science librarian; or anyone else who helps connect non-experts with scientific topics and expertise) is continuing to evolve. We want to do our part to help the world better understand this work.
• This survey is being conducted by the members of the LiveSci Collective, a growing community of practice for STEM engagement professionals. We want to better understand 1) who is out there, as best as possible, in the STEM engagement professional landscape; 2) your professional and personal goals, in the context of being a part of a community of practice; and to this end, 3) collect data that will be shared back (anonymously) to the STEM engagement professional community regarding current compensation rates for this work.
6.  Wonders of Physics Goes Online for 2021

After 37 years of physics presentations to the public, The University of Wisconsin – Madison is this year sponsoring a physics video competition for teachers and students.

We invite you to submit a 2-minute video demonstrating a physics concept. Awards will be given for the best videos, and winners will be posted on our website and edited into a longer video to be shown on public television.

We encourage submissions from students and teams, but for legal reasons, anyone under the age of 18 must work under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or teacher who will submit the video on their behalf. This could be a fun educational project for families or for physics classes during this period of social distancing.

The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2021. You can find more information at https://wonders.physics.wisc.edu/contest/.

7.  Coming up this month on University Place of PBS Wisconsin (and also online at pbswisconsin.org/uplace):

5/10 at 9 pm                    The Dear Pandemic Project at One Year
(and 8:00 am)                  Malia Jones, Applied Population Lab, UW-Madison
5/24 at 9 pm                    Violence And Warfare In Humanity’s Past
(and 8:00 am)                  Nam Kim, Department of Anthropology, UW-Madison            

8.  Schedule of Events for Madison FUN Partners
9.  The annual International Forum on Consciousness hosted by the BTC Institute and Promega Corporation will be held virtually May 20-21st. More information and registration can be found at: https://www.btci.org/events-symposia-2021/international-forum-on-consciousness/