--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--
July 6, 2012
Algae and Architecture: Two Bigelow Café Scientifique Events July 17 and July 19
EAST BOOTHBAY, ME – Bigelow Laboratory is hosting two separate Café Scientifique events during the third week of July. At 6 p.m. on Tuesday July 17 in the Boothbay Harbor Opera House at 86 Townsend Avenue, Dr. Willie Wilson, Director of the Laboratory’s National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA), will lead a discussion titled Marine Algae—the Planet’s Second Lung. Wilson will discuss the key role that marine algae have in the global processes that sustain life, and describe NCMA’s role in advancing algalresearch throughout the world.
“Besides providing half of the oxygen we breathe on this planet, many species of microscopic single-celled marine plants contain large amounts of natural oils, and could hold the key to a significant, domestic, carbon-neutral source of renewable energy,” Wilson said.
A leading marine virologist, Wilson has been a Senior Research Scientist at Bigelow Laboratory since 2007. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Warwick, UK, and was recently featured on Radiolab, National Public Radio’s popular weekly science talk show.
Two days later, at 6 p.m. on Thursday July 19, the Laboratory is inviting the public to a special Café Scientifique gathering in the Commons of the new Bigelow Ocean Science and Education Campus at 60 Bigelow Drive in East Boothbay to hear Perkins+Will principal architect and laboratory planner Gary Shaw talk about Stone, Soffits, and Scientists—Building a Sustainable Research Campus and Community on the Coast of Maine. Shaw is one of the lead architects on the design and engineering team developing the Laboratory’s state-of-the-art science facilities on its 64-acre shorefront property in East Boothbay. Two of the science wings of the new building are completed and occupied; the third will be ready in mid-November.
Over the course of his career, Shaw has led the planning and implementation of more than 5 million square feet of research facilities, including new buildings and renovation projects for academic and biopharmaceutical clients.
“My professional goal is to effectively plan innovative research environments that inspire scientists while giving them uniquely effective facilities that enable every aspect of the discovery process,” he said. “In working with the Bigelow scientists, I realized that I’d never encountered a community of individuals quite so dedicated to the crucial work of unraveling the secrets of our oceans and how they interact with our atmosphere and the shore. This is hugely important to every one of us living on this wonderful and fragile planet. We should all feel a special privilege in knowing them, witnessing their advances, and being here with them to help support their work.”
Shaw is an active member of the Association of Independent Research Institutes and participates in the Biotechnology Council; the Association of University Research Parks; and a variety of academic forums, both in the greater Boston area and nationally.
The Laboratory’s Café Scientifique gatherings are informal discussions about scientific issues and society, current research, and the latest news from the field. They are free and open to the public, with beer, wine, and sodas available for purchase. The complete 2012 summer Café Scientifique program is available on the Laboratory’s website (www.bigelow.org).
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is an independent, non-profit center for global ocean research, ocean science education, and technology transfer. A recognized leader in Maine's emerging innovation economy, the Laboratory’s research ranges from microbial oceanography to the large-scale biogeochemical processes that drive ocean ecosystems and global environmental conditions. ####