Michelle B. Larson, astrophysicist and president and chief executive officer of the Adler Planetarium, will speak on “Scientists and Citizen Scientists in Astronomy: Past, Present and Future” on Thursday, April 17, 3:30 p.m., MTCC Auditorium. The IIT chapter of Sigma Xi is sponsoring the lecture. Please contact Carlo Segre, Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Adler collaborates with Oxford University on Zooniverse.org, a citizen scientist project that involves more than one million people around the world in research, including discovering planets, mapping the surface of Mars and detecting solar flares. Larson will talk about that project, including its recent $1.8 million Google Global Impact Award, as well as other examples of citizen scientists in astronomy over the past 100 years.
Larson earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics from Montana State University. She did her doctorate in neutron star astrophysics. Her professional passion is enabling engagement and communication between scientists and the public. She has worked as a science education specialist and administrator at the University of California-Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the Montana Space Grant Consortium, and more.
Adler receives almost 500,000 visitors per year, which makes it one of Chicago’s leading tourist attractions. Founded in 1930, it was America’s first planetarium. Its mission is to inspire exploration and understanding of the universe.