WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Honors College has announced its new, annual Aronson Family Science and Society Honors Lecture Series, courtesy of an endowment from the Aronson family. The first speaker to be part of the series is Moira Gunn, host of “Tech Nation” and “BioTech Nation” radio programs. Gunn is the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue.
The first lecture in the annual series will begin 5 p.m. March 6 in Honors College and Residences North, Honors Hall, as Gunn discusses the intersection of science and society. Lectures are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. Each speaker will provide valuable insight and experience into multidisciplinary and important current societal topics.
“As former Purdue students and faculty, we are honored to host this lecture and discussion series,” said Dr. Arthur Aronson, professor emeritus in the College of Science’s Department of Biological Sciences. “We believe this is an appropriate time to have open discussions and better understanding of many scientific topics of concern and relevance.”
The lectures will provide a way for students, faculty and staff, as well as Greater Lafayette community members, to have meaningful conversations about the relationship of cutting-edge technology and its role in our society. Along with the lectures, these world-class thinkers and leaders will spend time in residence at the Honors College, helping introduce students to the most pressing issues at the intersection of science and society. As the series continues to develop, lecture topics will be integrated into honors courses and other interdisciplinary opportunities.
“The Aronson Family Science and Society Lecture Series continues the dedication of the Honors College to support interdisciplinary academics and community and global experiences, two of the four pillars for our college,” said Dr. Rhonda Phillips, dean of the Honors College.“We are incredibly thankful to the Aronson family for helping our students and the greater Lafayette community experience these brilliant speakers.”
Gunn’s radio programs are aired on National Public Radio and its affiliates, NPR Now on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, as well as the American Forces Network and various online podcasts. Her shows are the only national weekly programs to discuss and educate listeners on the impact of technology on society.
Gunn earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of San Francisco in 1970. She earned a master’s degree in computer science in 1972 and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1974 at Purdue. She is a former NASA scientist and authored the book “Welcome to BioTech Nation: My Unexpected Odyssey into the Land of Small Molecules, Lean Genes and Big Ideas,” which was published in 2007.
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