UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater – May 2, 2022

UW-Madison Science Alliance Updater

2 May 2022

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday was May Day. Pivotal & primal, people have fought for primacy over May Day as with few other squares on our calendars.

When I was a boy at St. Mary’s School in Dixon Illinois, May Day featured a procession with a statue of the Virgin Mary leading the way.  For a more secular celebration of spring, Mom had us deliver May baskets to Grandma & Grandpa Deutsch, to our cousins, and to our neighbors. On stage (Julie Andrews) and on screen (Vanessa Redgrave) sang Lerner’s lyrics that put a different spin to the occasion.  Only later did I learn (at other places of learning) that May Day was one of many ways that the Catholic Church appropriated and sanitized with solemn holy days many of the salacious holidays of the ‘pagan’ religions.  Even more years later, one of my aforementioned cousins resurrected the Maypole as an annual rite in our extended family.

Beyond these rites of spring and fertility, May Day in most parts of the world, but not in the US, is also the International Workers Day holiday to commemorate workers and especially organized labor.  In the 1880’s among the leading proponents of establishing a Labor Day holiday were US labor unions.  In 1889 the Second International  in Paris selected May 1 to commemorate the Haymarket Square Riot (as it was called in my youth, because of course the rioters caused it…) in Chicago on May 4, 1886.  (The folks gathering in Paris also could have been commemorating the Bay View Massacre in Milwaukee that happened the following day, May 5, 1886).  The US Congress in 1894 chose to designate the first Monday of September as Labor Day.  Not without irony,  President Eisenhower in 1958, at the instigation of the president of the American Bar Association, designated May 1 as Law Day to celebrate the rule of law.

This May we in education are embroiled in controversy over what teachers may or may not say.  Such trammels will bear on humanities such as history but also on a wide range of social & behavioral sciences such as sociology, demography, anthropology, economics and psychology.  Those of us in the natural sciences are attuned and hardly immune to the chill of restrictions and tabus on teaching evolution, climate change, vaccines, public health and genetic engineering.

What infringes on researchers and teachers will also likely impinge on outreachers, and so this month of transitions & new growth is a good time to affirm our obligations and our duties to share our most robust scholarly insights with our learners and visitors.

Thanks again!

Tom Zinnen

===Coming Up This Week and This Month1.  During the spring semester, Science Alliance meets at 10:00 am Mondays, including Monday May 2.Please Note:  We will be meeting by Zoom on May 2 and for the coming few weeks.

The Zoom link for the spring meetings of Science Alliance will continue to be: https://zoom.us/my/glbrc.weieducation.vmr?pwd=L2Q0L0g0S3lEd2gyazNscjA1d2JYZz09

The draft agenda for May 2 at 10am includes:•  Welcome•  Updates

•  Other Business

•  Next Meeting:  May 9 at 10:00 am.

As with the #Updater, the Science Alliance meeting notes are also archived on https://science.wisc.edu/science-alliance/.

2. Recurring Programming Events coming this week and soon.

•  Weekly Reminder: Please Post your science outreach events and Check for Other Science Events presented online and available to all at http://today.wisc.edu/events/tag/science

•  Badger Talks Live:  –    https://www.facebook.com/BadgerTalks/live_videos/  and  https://badgertalks.wisc.edu/events/  

•  Saturday Science Workshops at UW Space Place.  Every Saturday at 10am at UW Space Place, in the lower level of The Atrium at The Village on Park, 2300 S. Park Street, Madison, WI

 •  Wednesday Nite @ The Lab Public Science Series every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, at 7pm CT by zoom (go.wisc.edu/240r59) or in person in Room 1111 Genetics Biotech Center, 425 Henry Mall, Madison WI.

This week Dan Lauffer of Plant Pathology and Wisconsin Fast Plants will speak on “Science, Politics & Schoolchildren: Reflections on a Special UW-Ukraine Collaboration.”

Next week (May 11) Daniel Cobian of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation will speak on “Lower Extremety Biomechanics in Collegiate Athletes: The Influence of Injury.”

3.  UW Family Gardening Day Saturday May 7 at UW-Madison’s DC Smith Greenhouse, Allen Centennial Garden, Steenbock Library, and Wisconsin Energy Institute.

With the advent of spring comes warmer weather—and gardening season. Area gardeners and gardeners-to-be are invited to gather ideas for their plots at the UW Family Gardening Day on Saturday, May 7, on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The free, family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. that day. Activities will be hosted at Allen Centennial GardenD.C. Smith Instructional GreenhouseSteenbock Memorial Library and the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).

“Spring is here, and it’s time to get growing,” says event organizer Johanna Oosterwyk, manager of the D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse. “UW Family Gardening Day is a great way to kick off gardening season with activities and inspiration for the whole family.”

Each location will host a variety of displays and demonstrations, including hands-on activities with seeds, plants and soil. Attendees can ask about the specific insects and diseases affecting their plants, plus discover books for all ages about gardening, plants, soil, water and more. There will be plants and seeds available for people to take home for their own gardens (while supplies last). New this year, staff from Discovery Outreach will present their Saturday Science outreach activities, including Bacteria in Soil, and Plants and Robots.

This year marks 25 years of service for the D.C. Smith Greenhouse. To help celebrate this milestone, greenhouse staff will be giving away free houseplants (while supplies last) at the event.

For children 12 years and under, there will be a “passport book” they can complete – by getting stamps at all four UW Family Gardening Day locations – to earn a free ice cream at the Babcock Dairy Store at nearby Babcock Hall, which will be open during the event.

Allen Centennial Garden, Steenbock Memorial Library and the D.C. Smith Instructional Greenhouse are all located within two blocks of each other at 620 Babcock Drive, 550 Babcock Drive and 465 Babcock Drive, respectively. The Wisconsin Energy Institute is located at 1552 University Avenue. Babcock Hall is at 1605 Linden Drive.

Free parking is available in Lot 34 at 1480 Tripp Circle; in Lot 36 just west of Steenbock Library; and in Lot 41 at 1820 University Avenue near the WEI.

For more, contact Johanna Oosterwyk at jmooster@wisc.edu or (608) 262-3844.


4. Family Science Nights:  Sign Up Here to Volunteer — https://tinyurl.com/UW-FamilyScienceSignup

This spring we have a number of schools and community centers that are scheduling virtual and in-person Family Science Nights (FSN) this semester.

Many of the currently scheduled events are later in the semester.  We recognize that we will all have to be flexible in this uncertain time.  We will follow the rules of each school or community center, some of which require proof of volunteer vaccination.  See signup form for details.

As always, you can sign up for one or more event on our signup form. 


Several other events will be added shortly, so please check back on the form over time.

I’m happy to answer questions or guide people in choosing activities to present. 

Thanks for your past participation.  Stay safe everyone,

Audrey Gasch

Dept of Genetics

5.  Invitation to Participate in Juneteenth on Saturday June 18 in Madison.

The organizers of a Madison-area Juneteenth Celebration to be held on Saturday June 18 in Madison are once again welcoming the participation of science outreach programs.

If you’d like to reserve a space for your Exploration Station, please contact Ana Garic of the UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program.

6.  Invitation:  Share Your Science in the 4-H Youth Tent at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days July 12-14 in Clark County

As some of you may know, Clark County is hosting Wisconsin Farm Technology Days July 12-14 on Roehl Acres Farm near Loyal, just northwest of Marshfield in central Wisconsin.

Please consider coming to share your science by hosting a hands-on Exploration Station in the 4-H Youth Tent.  You can participate for one, two or three days.

The 4-H Youth tent will be a great way to connect UW-Madison science research programs with Wisconsin 4-H youth and adult volunteers from all over central Wisconsin.

I’d be happy to respond to any questions or suggestions.  I’ve been participating in Farm Tech Days since 1992, and for me there’s nothing like getting to chat with people at an Exploration Station in a big-top tent in a hayfield at the height of summer.


Tom Zinnen

Biotech Center & Wisconsin 4-H

For more information, contact:

Seth Harrmann

Clark County 4-H Program Educator

UW-Madison – Division of Extension

Website: Clark County 4-H

Phone: (715)743-5121

7.  UW Arboretum Spring EventsSaturday work parties, Sunday walks, and night walksSaturday restoration work parties, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/get-involved/volunteer/work-parties/See the full list of Sunday walks (nature hikes, family walks, and garden strolls), plus monthly night walks, on the Arboretum events calendar:https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/

UW Arboretum Spring Events, from Susan Day 

See Arboretum events calendar for information and registration: https://arboretum.wisc.edu/visit/events/


– Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

– Saturday, May 7, 1–3 p.m. Garden Tour: Lilacs

– Saturday, May 7, 1–3 p.m. Class: Bluebirds and the Arboretum Trail

– Sunday, May 8, 1–3 p.m. Family Nature Program: What’s in the Woods?

– Tuesday, May 10, 9:45–11:15 a.m. Family Class: Learning Together—Flowers in the Garden

– Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Wingra Oak Savanna

– Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Friends of the Arboretum Native Plant Sale

– Saturday, May 14, 1–3 p.m. Garden Tour: Crabapples

– Sunday, May 15, 1–2:30 p.m. Nature Hike

– Sunday, May 15, 8–11 p.m. Full Moon Night Walk and Lunar Eclipse Watch Party

– Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Grady Tract

– Sunday, May 22, 1–2 p.m. Garden Stroll

– Saturday, May 28, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Ecological Restoration Work Party: Core Area and Curtis Prairie

– Sunday, May 29, 1–2:30 p.m. Nature Hike

8. Events from Madison Friends of Urban Nature

 More events at https://cityofmadison.com/parks/events/bird-nature.cfm