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Friday, January 27, 2012


The Nature of Things Free Lecture: Randy Olson
Storytelling: Clear Proof Scientists Descended from Humans
Thursday, February 9, 2012  
7:00 pm
Salt Lake City Main Library  

The Natural History Museum of Utah launches The Nature of Things lecture series with scientist-turned-filmmaker, Randy Olson. Highlighting the crucial role of storytelling in communicating science, his lecture, "Storytelling: Clear Proof Scientists Descended from Humans," is at the Salt Lake City Main Library on February 9 at 7 p.m. Information is at www.nhmu.utah.edu/nature.

SALT LAKE CITY - Scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson's lecture on communicating science to a mass audience will open the 2012 Nature of Things lecture series, hosted by the Natural History Museum of Utah, the University of Utah, at the Salt Lake City Main Library, this Thursday, Feb. 29, at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public. 

Olson's lecture, "Storytelling: Clear Proof that Scientists Descended from Humans,"
is an exploration of the crucial role of storytelling in the mass communication of science. His lecture will air live on KCPW, 88.3 and 105.3, the media partner for the entire series. 

Scientists often have a hard time with the idea of storytelling. But Olson believes scientists descended from humans and still possess vestiges of storytelling skills that can make their communications more effective. In films like Flock of Dodos and Sizzle, Olson uses the power of story to put science front and center in an age of information overload.  

Olson earned his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University and became a tenured professor of marine biology at the University of New Hampshire before moving to Hollywood and entering film school at the University of Southern California.  Today he is an independent filmmaker and no longer considers himself a scientist, but is fluent in the two languages of science and cinema which he brought together in his 2009 book, Don't be Such a Scientist.

This year's Nature of Things speakers will couple complex scientific ideas with engaging storytelling to demonstrate the transformative power generated by the collision between great science and great storytelling. The Nature of Things is underwritten by the R. Harold Burton Foundation. 

The Natural History Museum of Utah, the University of Utah, is one of the leading scientific research and cultural institutions in the country. Established in 1963, the Museum's collections contain over 1.2 million objects and offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including traveling and permanent exhibits, special events and other programs. With an expected attendance of 180,000 visitors a year, the Museum also offers a variety of outreach programs to communities and schools throughout Utah, reaching every school district in the state annually. The Museum has an active science program with more than 30 scientists and 10 field expeditions each year.

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