Science MattersScientific knowledge is often taken to be the paradigm for knowledge and it informs almost every aspect of our lives.  Yet, history shows us that science is not infallible.  Science often involves uncertainties, conflicting interpretations of evidence, methodological limitations and tradeoffs, and sometimes a bit of luck!  It is important to understand how science works, why disagreements exist, and why certain scientific practices and methodologies are reliable or trustworthy.  Because science is a process where new evidence is continually generated and hypotheses can be revised, it is important for us, as members of the public, to understand both how science work and why it matters so that we can critically evaluate what to believe and what policies to support.   

This lecture series features distinguished scholars and researchers sharing their work, how they arrived at their conclusions, and why their work might be significant.

2021 Lectures:

Engineering Courage: “Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster”


In his lecture Dr. Hansen discussed “Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster,” a powerful and award-winning book that he co-authored with Montana State University engineering graduate (Class of 1959) and aerospace industry legend Allan J. McDonald in 2009.

Previous Lectures: 

2020 - 2021 

The Search for Life on Mars and Beyond


RING: Dr. Sarah Johnson, Georgetown University and Dr. Carol Cleland , University of Colorado, Boulder

Recorded Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Exciting new research is attempting to find evidence for either extinct or existing life in the universe.  Previous Mars missions found that liquid water existed on Mars in the distant past, raising the question of whether there might be evidence for extinct life. 

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2019 - 2020

Charles Falco

Charles M. Falco

Emeritus Professor, College of Optical Sciences and Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson

5:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Hager Auditorium, Museum of the Rockies

Title: The Science of Optics; The History of Art

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Kate Brown

Kate Brown

Professor of History, Science, Technology and Society Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5:30 p.m., Thursday, February 6, 2020
Hager Auditorium, Museum of the Rockies

Title: The Great Chernobyl Acceleration

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