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Lifestyle

NIU webinars explore bleeding-edge science

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University STEM Read and the NIU Libraries are partnering to offer a series of fun, fast-paced webinars to explore bleeding-edge science and mind-bending views of the future.

Science fiction authors, publishers and research scientists will come together to discuss everything from how pandemics have shaped art to how scientists are mapping the human brain. The webinars are perfect for writers and aspiring writers, teachers, librarians, scientists and sci-fi enthusiasts. Professional development credits are available for educators and librarians.

The webinars will take place on Wednesdays, July 22, Aug. 19 and Sept. 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The $99 registration includes access to the live webinars, recordings of the webinars and the online community. The online community includes the recordings, references and resources from each talk, as well as discussion boards to facilitate conversation and relationships among scientists, authors and educators. For those seeking writing groups, science experts to review manuscripts, or writers and experts for classroom or library visits, this is a place to build connections.

Registration is open at go.niu.edu/futuretelling.

The series opens with an impressive lineup of science fiction authors for the July 22 webinar, including Lynne M. Thomas (Hugo Award-winning publisher and editor of Uncanny Magazine), and Mary Robinette Kowal (award-winning author of the “Lady Astronaut” Duology, president of the board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and Maurice Broaddus (community activist and author of “Pimp My Airship” and “The Usual Suspects”). They’ll be speaking with NIU history professor Valerie Garver about how pandemics have shaped art and how this turbulent moment in world history is transforming the future of publishing and science fiction.

The Aug. 19 webinar brings together neuroscientist Bobby Kasthuri, who is developing technology and methods to create a complete map of the human brain, with award-winning science fiction author M.T. Anderson. The two will share their work and thoughts about the scientific and social impacts that might come from today’s bleeding-edge science.

On Sept. 23, S.L. Huang, author, MIT educated mathematician and former Hollywood stuntwoman and armorer, will join Rebecca C. Thompson, physicist and head of education and public outreach at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab, to geek out about everything from sword play to solid-state physics. The two will answer burning questions about STEM, writing and surviving stunts.

Registration and more information available at go.niu.edu/futuretelling.

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