Upcoming Presentations

2020 Winter/Spring 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.


Feb 12 – Our Mysterious Star: Probing the Heart of the Solar System

What is current research revealing about how our sun works?   Dr. Charles Kankelborg, Professor of Physics at MSU, will discuss how his observations of the sun using rockets and satellites–as well as current solar missions–are trying to uncover the mechanisms of energy storage, release, and transport in the solar atmosphere, and what it all means for us on Earth.

Image courtesy of Charles Kankelborg.


Mar 11 – 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.


Apr 15 – 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


May 13 – 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.