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Scientist in Pub Series Launches with Talk by ODU's Hatcher

If some of your best thinking has been done in pubs, you'll want to check out the new Scientist in the Pub series sponsored by the organization Science and Reason in Hampton Roads (SRHR).

Patrick Hatcher, the Old Dominion University professor of chemistry and biochemistry, will discuss algae as a source of biofuels in the first session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at the New Belmont restaurant, 2117 Colonial Ave., Norfolk.

Lawrence Weinstein, University professor of physics at ODU and the president of SRHR, said the organization is devoted to the critical examination of dubious or extraordinary claims. The group meets monthly to discuss topics of scientific or pseudoscientific interest and has a Web site at www.reasonandscience.org.

Hatcher, who occupies the Batten Endowed Chair in Physical Sciences at ODU, is executive director of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium that currently is researching growth characteristics of microscopic algae and their conversion into biodiesel fuel. The title of his talk is "Algae to Biofuels: Turning a Nuisance into a Resource."

Weinstein said the public is free to attend the lecture, and also invited to come early to purchase pub refreshments and participate in discussions with SRHR regulars. The gathering will be in the New Belmont's upstairs lounge.

Another Scientist in the Pub program on May 12 will feature a lecture by Jason Hart, assistant professor of psychology at Christopher Newport University, whose topic will be "Why People Believe Weird Things." This lecture also will begin at 6:30 p.m. and be held at the New Belmont. Hart has expertise in the areas of motivation, social influence and group psychology.

For more information about the programs, contact Weinstein at lweinste@odu.edu.

This article was posted on: March 4, 2009

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