Download Now – “Innovation in Manufacturing & Engineering”

jay guoThis is the audio recording of the 04/05 meet-up with Dr. L Jay Guo, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Macromolecular Science and Engineering and Applied Physics at the University of Michigan.  In this meet-up, Dr. Guo provides an overview of potential industrial uses of nanotechnology, the advantages and disadvantages of nano-materials and more.

Some of the highlights of the conversation:

Organic Flexible Solar Cells, Carbon Nanotubes, Invisibility, The issue of Patents, Nano-Robots, Environmental concerns of nanotechnology, Exploiting Quantum Physics in nanotechnology, Colored Solar Panels and How research moves from the university level to commercial development.  We even talk a bit about dark matter at the very end which ties into our next group event.

Download Now – “Plant Evolution and ‘The Tree of Life Project’”

Steve SmithThis is the audio recording of the 02/15 meet-up with Dr. Stephen A Smith, evolutionary biologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.  In this meet-up, Dr. Smith discusses the study of plant evolution as well as a bold research project called “the Open Tree of Life” project.

I’ve provided a list of some of the conversation highlights and time marks for easy reference:

  • Start - Introduction and Smith’s background and research of early evolution of plants & animals
  • 25:40 – Differences between the evolution of plants and animals
  • 31:40- How does climate change affect plant evolution?
  • 41:45 – Gene transference amongst plants
  • 51:30- Thoughts on GMO plants
  • 58:40 – Determining the chronology of plants
  • 1:01:10 – Plants in Antarctica
  • 1:20:40- Plant emotions and communication
  • 1:24:27 – The Open Tree of Life Project

Download Now “Origin of Organics in Solar System Formation”

RuudVisser6This is the audio recording of the 01/25 meet-up with Dr. Ruud Visser, postdoc at University of Michigan.  In this meet-up, Ruud discusses his research into the chemical aspects of star formation and its implications on seeding solar systems with organic material capable of becoming life.


I’ve provided a list of conversation highlights and time marks for easy reference:

  • 00:01 Introduction and overview of Visser’s education and experience
  • 28:20 On planets in the habitable zone of a solar system
  • 32:40 Searching for extra-terrestrial amino acids
  • 43:00 Europa and Titan
  • 45:45 Formation of Rocky Planets and Gas Giants
  • 50:15 Comets as delivery agents of water to Earth
  • 58:45 The abundance of Carbon in the solar system
  • 1:12:00 On intelligent life in the Galaxy
  • 1:30:08 What’s a typical day like for Ruud?
  • 1:36:05 On applying for grants and doing outreach

Download Now – “Science Publishing”

Nick WiggingtonThis is the audio recording of the 11/16 meet-up with Dr. Nick Wigginton, associate editor for Science Magazine.  In this meet-up, Nick discusses the process of publishing scientific research and experiments, and uses examples from his own experience as an editor of a prestigious scientific journal.



Download Now – “AntiCancer Drug Research”

Eugene ManleyThis is the audio recording of the 10/26 meet-up with Dr. Eugene Manley.  Dr. Manley did his PhD work on studying anti-cancer drugs, and analyzed cancer stem cells in lung cancer.

This conversation has been edited.  Much of the discussion centers around various types of cancers and anti-cancer drug treatments, and then the discussion shifts to the roles/responsibilities of researchers that details the day-to-day duties, animal testing issues, and various ways researchers obtain funding and grants.


Download Now – “Dark Energy and the Dark Energy Survey”

DavidGerdes-150x150This is the audio recording of the 9/21 meet-up with Dr. David Gerdes.  Dr. Gerdes discussed the evidence of dark energy by past experiments and observations, and then introduced us to the current project in Dark Energy research called “The Dark Energy Survey.”

(The beginning of the recording was cut off, and so it begins with Gerdes explaining the evidence for dark energy).