Upcoming Presentations

Science Inquiry Series


Explore cutting edge science topics, their latest developments, and their relevance to society through speaker presentations followed by conversations between speaker and audience.

Sponsored by the Gallatin Valley Friends of the Sciences, and hosted by the Museum of the Rockies, 600 W Kagy Blvd, Bozeman, Montana, the talks are presented on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm, followed by a brief social time with light refreshments in the museum lobby where audience members can engage the speaker.

The talks are free to the public.  All lectures have a limited capacity and are open on a first-come, first-served basis.  Doors open 30 minutes prior to each lecture.  Attendees may not save seats for others.


2020 Fall Science Inquiry Series

The fall series has been cancelled in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. All fall speakers have been rescheduled for the Winter/Spring 2021 series.


2021 Winter/Spring Science Inquiry Series


Jan 13 – The Role of Sleep in Maintaining Cardiovascular Health

Can better sleep reduce cardiovascular disease in the U.S.?  Dr. Jason R. Carter, MSU Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education, will offer insights into current sleep research, its importance for a healthy heart, why sleep varies with age and gender, and practical tips for getting a better night’s sleep.


Feb 17 – Conserving Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone Lake

How can Yellowstone cutthroat trout be saved when faced with the invasive lake trout, a voracious predator, in Yellowstone Lake?   Dr. Christopher Guy , a professor in the Department of Ecology and the Assistant Unit Leader with the USGS, Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, will share his insights on the ongoing lake trout suppression program in Yellowstone Lake, which has the goal of conserving Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

Courtesy of National Park Service.


Mar 10 – Fighting Doubt By Facilitating Trust Between Scientists and The Public

How can Society advance evidence-based, science-related public policy when a portion of the public doesn’t believe in our best science?  Dr. Kristen Intemann, Professor of Philosophy at Montana State University, will examine the evidence for explaining this “belief gap” and will discuss potential solutions and strategies for bridging the gap between scientists and the public on important issues including climate change and vaccine safety.

Courtesy of Kristen Intemann


Apr 14 – Microbes, Carbon and Climate: Impacts of a Changing Cryosphere

What can the study of microbes living in cold temperature environments tell us about the physical limits of life?   Dr. Christine Foreman, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at MSU, will discuss how her research with deep ice cores and current environments provides insights into bacterial processes in cold places, past and present, and how carbon moves through these living systems in the context of a changing climate.

Courtesy of Christine Foreman.


May 12 – The Origin of Supermassive Black Holes

What can we learn about the origin of supermassive black holes from studying small galaxies?  Dr. Amy Reines, Assistant Professor of Physics at MSU, will discuss how observations of little “dwarf” galaxies using world-class telescopes are being used to reveal the birth and growth of black holes that can reach masses upwards of a billion times the Sun’s mass.