With 375 people crowded into 100 Thomas,Eberly College of Science started its 18th annual Lectures on the Frontiers of Science series on Saturday.
“These are truths. Nobody can disagree,” Mark Shriver, professor of Anthropology, said to open his lecture on genes’ impact on race and diversity.
This year’s lecture theme is “Your Genes: How They Contribute to Who You Are.”
Chairwoman of Frontiers of Science Barbara Kennedy said the theme was created after talking to the Dean of Science Daniel Larson about the “exciting research” currently happening at Penn State.
“The idea is unusually obvious,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said the six lecturers are not only chosen based on whom is currently conducting frontier research, but also on whom can communicate these ideas effectively.
Frontiers of Science started the lectures in 1995 to share the information that was happening in the Penn State physics department, Kennedy said. Eventually, the dean of science at the time agreed to continue the series of public lectures and open the lectures to other science disciplines, Kennedy said.
Normally, the people that attend the lectures range from grade school to retirement, Kennedy said.
“[People] never leave [their] hunger for knowledge. So it is not just for students,” Kennedy said.
Peggy Hansen, of Penns Valley, said she enjoyed Saturday’s lecture because she thought the topic of genes was compelling.
“I think right now it is an opportunity to bring people together,” she added.
Attendee Marvin Risious, of Boalsburg, said the idea for the series is interesting “because everybody comes here with a different view.”
Every Saturday for the next five weeks, Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science will hold a lecture at 11 a.m. in 100 Thomas. After the lecture, a question-and-answer session will be conducted with the speaker.