Professor to deliver annual memorial lecture April 23

Dr. Mario Livio, astrophysicist and award-winning author, will present the annual Kirkland/Spizuoco Memorial Science Lecture at 7:30 p.m. April 23 at Shippensburg University. 

The annual lecture, free and open to the public, is in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center. The program’s title is “The Greatest Discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope.” 

The lecture is held in memory of Dr. Gordon L. Kirkland Jr. and Dr. Joseph Spizuoco, who both died in 1999. The livioseries was started to honor the two long-time faculty members for their dedication and commitment to Shippensburg students and to their academic fields of biology and physics, respectively.

Livio is a senior astrophysicist at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute. He has a love for astrophysics, with a special interest in the accretion of mass by black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs. In the past decade, Livio focused on supernova explosions and their use in cosmology to determine the rate of expansion of the universe, on the nature of “dark energy,” on formation of black holes and the possibility to extract energy from them, on formation of planets in disks around young stars, and on the emergence of intelligent life in the universe. 

In addition to his scientific interests, he is a self-proclaimed ‘art fanatic’ who owns hundreds of art books. In recent years, he combined his passions for science and art in numerous books including Accelerating Universe, The Golden Ratio, The Equation That Couldn’t Be Solved and Is God A Mathematician? The Golden Ratio won the Peano Prize in 2003 and the International Pythagoras Prize in 2004 as the best popular book on mathematics. 

His latest work is Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein – Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe which shows how even these geniuses made major mistakes and how their errors were an essential part of the process of achieving scientific breakthroughs.  

Livio, who has published more than 400 scientific papers, is interviewed often in the media, including appearances on 60 Minutes.  

For more in formation, call 477-1738.