USF Launches New Lecture Series At MOSI, Hosts Top Thinkers

The USF College of Arts and Sciences will host the first Phi Beta Kappa Faculty Lecture Series beginning Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at MOSI's IMAX Theater.

A roster of thought leaders from a variety of industries will participate in the lecture series that was designed in partnership by USF faculty members of Phi Beta Kappa, the Mayor of Tampa's Office and USF's Provost office. The goal is to expand the liberal arts and sciences to University of South Florida students, faculty and staff, along with Tampa Bay community members.

"We created this series as a joint project of USF faculty and the City of Tampa aimed at raising the level of intellectual discourse in our community," says Eric Eisenberg, dean of USF's College of Arts and Sciences. "We will do so by inviting nationally and internationally known thought leaders to visit us and create opportunities for interaction between these visionary individuals and our best and brightest citizens."

The 2010 series will begin with Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and best-selling author of The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet. Tyson is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, visiting research scientist and lecturer at Princeton University and co-host of the NSF-funded pilot program, Star Talk, a radio show that merges celebrity guests with informative science talk.

Segments of the Phi Beta Kappa Faculty Lecture Series will be held off campus to encourage more community engagement and participation. Upcoming speakers in the series include:

March 17: Tom Gjelten, award-winning NPR intelligence and national security reporter. At Tampa Bay History Center, TECO room at 6:30 p.m.

April 15
: George Ritzer, leading social theorist and cultural commentator from the University of Maryland. At Traditions Hall at USF's Gibbons Alumni Center at 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 13
: Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Parting the Waters: American in the King Years, 1954-1963.'' At Jaeb Theater at the Straz Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m.

Sept. 23
: Eric Foner, American historian and faculty member in the Department of History at Columbia. At Oval Theater of USF's Marshall Student Center at 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 13
: Julianne Malveaux, economist and writer. At Atrium of the Tampa Museum of Art at 7 p.m.

Nov. 30
: Martha Nussbaum, American philosopher, author and essayist. At Traditions Hall at USF's Gibbons Alumni Center.

All lectures are free and open to the public. RSVPs are not required.

Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Source: Eric Eisenberg, USF
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