TSRC Town Talks 2013: Where science meets the community

TSRC Town Talks 2013: Where science meets the community

2013-06-Jun-18There is no shortage of scientific literature, videos, and podcasts, but without actual dialogue in the community, science and progress can feel like someone else’s business,” says Telluride Science Research Center’s (TSRC) new Outreach Director, Beth Kelly. “The TSRC Town Talks promote science literacy in the Telluride community.”

This summer’s science lecture series run every Tuesday evening from June 18  – August 6, from 6-7:15 p.m., at the historic Sheridan Opera House. The talks feature a dynamic 2×20 format − 2 talks, 20 minutes each, launched last year with a fresh face, Beth Kelly, who hosts the event.

“Three personalities, two topics, one event. It’s more fun that way,” says TSRC executive director, Nana Naisbitt. “The scientists also love the public dialogue. They say that the Telluride audience is one of the best they’ve experienced.”

Top scientists take off their lab coats in Telluride to discuss controversial, innovative, and emerging scientific issues. The goal of Town Talk series is to empower the public with scientific knowledge in a casual and encouraging setting.

This summer’s line-up delves into subjects such as nimble bacteria that outwit and infect, designing better batteries, the origin of smell, the changing arctic region, carbon cowboys in the rainforest, and the lack of diversity in the scientific community.

“The Town Talks are TSRC’s most visible program. They signal that science happens in Telluride,” says Naisbitt.

TSRC Town Talks have maneuvered their way through Telluride, from the library, to the Mountain Village Conference Center, to the Palm Theater. This year, they will take place at the Sheridan Opera House.

“We wanted something more intimate, to bring the speakers closer to the audience,” says Naisbitt.

The Opera House, Telluride’s testament to art and entertainment, turns 100 this year. For decades, the Opera House has opened its doors to performers and artists. Now, TSRC’s scientists take the stage to share in the experience.

“The Opera House has a long tradition of delivering the goods, whether it was Vaudeville, Sarah Bernhardt, or Taj Mahal,” says Kelly. “The Town Talks honor Telluride’s tradition of audience engagement and the Opera House is the perfect place for that.”

In May of this year, TSRC received unanimous support from Telluride Town Council to build a 35,000 square-foot science facility, and the two parties are in the process of negotiating a lease. TSRC, the only independent molecular science center in the world, may soon have its own space here in Telluride.

 “There is something poetic about TSRC working with the town to secure a 100-year lease for a science center, just as one of Telluride’s most important cultural symbols turns 100,” says Naisbitt. “It proves it is possible to endure.”

Endure and thrive. That is what TSRC has proven possible. TSRC’s public lecture tradition began in 1991 with only a few speakers and even fewer locals in the audience. Now, the event boasts 16 speakers and attracts more than a 100 locals and visitors every week.

The TSRC Town Talks are free of charge. Listen and discover as preeminent scientists explain some of the most intriguing and influential science of our time.

For more information, visit TSRC’s website, telluridescience.org.

Note: For the full schedule, see Related Post.

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