UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – June 7, 2021

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

7 June 2021

Hi Everyone,

We are finishing up our first week of maskless indoor shopping.  The stockpile of masks in my car has dwindled to but a few. Outdoor gatherings again include greetings with hugs and handshakes.

On the other hand, as of last Friday (June 4), in Wisconsin 48.2% of us have received at least one covid vaccine shot;  3 million of us remain unvaccinated.   Nationally, the official covid death toll of Americans moved past 594,000, increasing at about 350 people a day.

It’s a pleasant yet swirly moment. The trends are favorable.  Memories quickly fade, and mythologies multiply.  As surgeon/historian Steve Oreck noted in his November 2018 talk on how Madison and the University dealt with the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, one way our predecessors dealt with it was to largely forget it.

For those of us in science outreach I think it might be useful over the coming few months to compile a chronology and distill the details of how covid has affected our professional lives, our programs, and our relationships with the people we engage on campus and around Wisconsin.

I doubt that the phrase “a learning organization” had been coined in 1919, but luckily we have that concept at hand today.

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 June 7. 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, June 7 at 10am includes:

  • Welcome
  • Updates
  • Other announcements or topics
  • Proposal: A MidSummer Day’s Meeting in person & by zoom from the Terrace on Monday June 21, 10am.


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

June 9 “Rural Medical Training: The Stats, The Need, The Future”  Laura McDowell, Obstetrics & Gynecology

June 16 “Six Ways to Reduce Your Risks For Alzheimer’s Disease” Nathaniel Chin, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

June 23 “The Aurora, from Above & Below”  Margaret Mooney, NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies; and Dixie Burbank, Dixie J. Digital

June 30 “Adjusting to a Changing Great-Lakes Coast”  Adam Bechle, Wisconsin Sea Grant


5.  Come and observe the cosmos with Edgewood’s Astronomy Outreach Team at Ernest Hüpeden’s Painted Forest in Valton, WI. We will have guest speakers, activities for kids, and observe the night sky through the 20” Dobsonian Telescope. (Observing will be weather permitting.) To keep up to date with any changes due to weather conditions, and get reminders for the star parties, visit and like our Facebook Page @edgewoodastro

Star Party Dates: Talks start @ 7PM, come earlier for family activities

Saturday, July 17, 2021
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Saturday, October 16, 2021

Link to  a map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Painted+Forest/@43.5740255,-90.2738505,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x10782e9febe78b0c!8m2!3d43.5740255!4d-90.2738505
Note that you should turn left at the Painted  Forest building (looks like a little white church) and  proceed up  the hill. The telescope will be on the right at the top of the hill.

Edgewood College follows State of Wisconsin current recommendations regarding masking and social distancing in response to COVID-19.


6.  Due June 30:  Wonders of Physics 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 this month on University Place of PBS Wisconsin (and also online at pbswisconsin.org/uplace):

Tune in to the following University Place programs premiering on the Wisconsin Channel in June:

6/7 at 9:00 p.m.              The Ethics Of Vaccine Allocation
Paul Kelleher, Department of Philosophy, UW-Madison

6/21 at 9:00 p.m.            Vaccines For COVID-19
Mary Hayney, School of Pharmacy, UW-Madison

8.  Schedule of Events for Madison FUN Partners


9.  June 7-11:  Virtual Public Hearing on Improving Enforcement of Title IX.


10.  Aerospace Jam:  A Drone-based & Sensor Competition for Wisconsin High Schools for Spring 2022.  Applications due August 2.

Aerospace Jam is a competition for high school students across Wisconsin to use drones on a NASA-inspired simulated moon mission. The program is a partnership between the NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium and the Milwaukee Bucks. Our goal is to recruit students from diverse backgrounds and cultivate a welcoming and inclusive event that will foster meaningful interactions among teammates and teams.  See the flyer attached for more information.

Applications to compete in the Aerospace Jam event are now open through August 2. The event is open to all public and private high schools in Wisconsin.  To learn more, visit: https://www.carrollu.edu/aerospacejam and http://wsst.wildapricot.org/resources/AerospaceJam_SaveTheDate.pdf