Science on Tap series returns

Southeastern biologists will continue an ongoing seminar series called Science on Tap beginning Feb. 4.  The series will consist of informal seminars for the public on scientific topics, and will give the community a glance into what the Department of Biological Sciences at Southeastern is doing.
“Nobody thinks we do science. Nobody in Hammond, nobody in Louisiana. Everyone thinks all Southeastern does is nursing and education,” said Brian Crother, biology professor who coordinated the event alongside Professor Kyle Piller. “That’s when we said, ‘You know, lets start talking about what we do, lets bring it to the public.’ And it’s been great. We fill up that room every time.”
Science on Tap began in September of 2013 when Crother and Piller decided to bring science to the community. The seminars are held the first Tuesday of each month at Tope La Catering of Hammond located at 113 East Thomas Street.
“We’re all talking about things that we know stuff about, but it’s not to our colleagues and peers in scientific meetings, it’s to the public so it’s all super digestible, easy, fun.  The idea is to make it fun for the audience,” said Crother.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the seminars begin at 7 p.m.  Meals can be ordered and the bar will be open for the audience. Listening to the seminars is free of charge and open for all.
Janice Bossart will jump start the spring series on Feb. 4 speaking on a seminar entitled “Insects: Unloved, Understudied, but Ecologically Invaluable.”  
“A main objective of this seminar series is communicating science to the public. Most of the public are unaware of how important insects are and think the only good insect is a dead insect, but in fact insects are vital to functioning ecosystems and have enormous real dollar value,” said Bossart. “I hope audience members learn something new and gain a better appreciation for the natural world. I think Science on Tap is a fantastic way for public outreach and I hope community members take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear about science from practicing scientists.”
In March there will be no seminar because of the Mardi Gras break, but the series will continue on April 1 with Dr. Erin Watson-Horzelski talking about “Forensic Entomology: Bugs, Cadavers, and Crimes in Louisiana.”  
Dr. Gary Shaffer will speak on May 6 about “Wetland Restoration in Southeastern Louisiana.”  Dr. Rick Miller, June 3, will close the series presenting “Why Are There So Many Beautiful Flowers?”
“Instead of sitting at home and watching the Discovery channel you should come and hear about biology live from your Southeastern professors,” said Crother.