Monsanto donates money for MU lecture series

Monday, February 15, 2010 | 5:09 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Agricultural technology company Monsanto has donated $11,600 to MU's Saturday Morning Science lecture series.

Saturday Morning Science is a free program offered every Saturday while classes at MU are in session. The program is geared toward anyone who has a general interest in science, but no background knowledge is necessary for the lectures.  It gives attendees the opportunity to learn about science through entertaining and interactive talks.

Upcoming Saturday Morning Science lectures

All sessions run from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Monsanto Auditorium in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center. Bagels and beverages are provided at 10 a.m.

  • Feb. 20 - "Help!  Where Am I?"  Presented by Jim Keller
  • Feb. 27 - "Do We Really Need Sleep?"  Presented by Mahesh Thakkar
  • Mar. 6 - "CO2 Capture and Global Warming"  Presented by Rainer Glaser
  • Mar. 20 - "Forests & greenhouse gases: A science primer"  Presented by Stephen Pallardy
  • Apr. 10 - "Hidden worlds: Microscopy shows us how cells work"  Presented by Tom Phillips

MU faculty members give most of the lectures, while volunteers organize and put them together.  Monsanto is the first private firm to ever help support this venture with a substantial donation. 

Monsanto's donation will help in three different areas, according to a news release:

  • bring in scientists and lecturers from beyond MU, thus expanding the topics covered
  • the "Science Talks to You" program, which brings the talks to smaller communities that don't have access to larger research facilities, museums and universities
  • a newly-designed course that teaches future scientists how to make their research easier for the public to understand through lectures at community venues

All of these efforts attempt to provide science outreach to the public and extend the conversation between scientists and the community. 

According to the Saturday Morning Science Web site, 18,075 people attended a total of 146 talks.

The program meets from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays in Monsanto Auditorium in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center on the MU campus. The MU Office of Research and the University Bookstore provide complimentary bagels and beverages starting at 10 a.m.

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Sean Coder February 15, 2010 | 6:47 p.m.

As if there wasn't enough Monsanto money at MU...

(Report Comment)
Bruce McClure February 17, 2010 | 1:11 p.m.

A clarification: Saturday Morning Science did get a donation of $1,000 from Johnson Management and Consulting a couple years ago. Monsanto's gift supports Saturday Morning Science and two other programs, Science Talks to You and Science and Me. Many people appreciate programs like these and, as one of the organizers, I believe they benefit both the public and MU. Although the value is widely appreciated, it is not at all easy to find sponsors. Thus, the gift from Monsanto is very helpful and we hope to attract further corporate support. It's the only way we can try to expand the circle of people who have access beyond places like Columbia to communities that do not have ready access to universities and science centers etc.

(Report Comment)

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