Harry Kroto shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of buckyballs, the third form of carbon.
In 2004 he joined FSU's Chemistry and Biochemistry Department where he carries out research into advanced
functional materials and cluster science as well as improving STEM Education worldwide.
Dan Riley is an author of books dealing with major issues in society.
Mark Riley is the Raymond K. Sheline Professor of Physics and former Chair of the Physics Department at FSU.
He is currently carrying out state-of-the-art research in fundamental nuclear science.
In this presentation, "Creativity" is explored phenomenologically - rather than
conceptually(!). Examples are taken from across the whole spectrum of human
achievement, from the arts to the sciences and the common factors explored.
The discovery of C60 (the "Buckyball"), a cage molecule with the same pattern as a
modern soccer ball, is described. Diamond and graphite, the two other forms of
carbon, have been known for millennia and yet this third molecular form was only
discovered near the end of the 20th Century.
The fantastic usefulness of science in creating our modern world has obscured the
fact that it is intrinsically a cultural concept involving the need for evidence to
determine Truth with any degree of reliability. This aspect is responsible for the
conflict between many scientists and those who rely on dogma for authority. The
ethical issues related to our precarious dependence on technology are also
"Common Sense" was needed to survive but often it does not provide the right
answers for the way the Universe works. This lecture probes the traumatic events and
brave scientists responsible for the difficult birth of Science. To really appreciate a
culture one must learn the language and as Galileo pointed out, when the Universe
speaks, the language is mathematics.
The Internet is the second great revolution in education; the first was the invention of
the printing press. Not only is information today almost instantaneously locatable
and accessible but anyone with expertise and the passion to communicate can
contribute to the amazing globally-accessible cache of knowledge.
The human journey is an emotional quest for truth and meaning. Countless books
have described such journeys through the eyes of people who concluded their
search with devotion to God, salvation by Jesus, or commitment to religion.
However the zeitgeist is changing in America and Worldwide; many questioning and
thoughtful people now find truth and personal meaning in an alternative, non-
mystical perspective. Dan describes 25 such journeys by young people from his book
"Generation Atheist " which highlight this paradigm shift in society.
Mark describes exciting recent Physics advances from the discovery of the Higgs
Particle, to how the chemical elements we are all made of were created, to the
grand mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Mark presents these issues at the
exciting frontier of our understanding in a way which gives an insight into the
excitement that modern physicists feel about these major puzzles.