Fla. Museum hosts lecture on the chemistry behind life

February 4th, 2005

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a Science Sunday lecture presented by Steven Benner titled “Astrobiology and the Origins of Life” from 2-3 p.m. on Feb. 20. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Steven Benner is the University of Florida V.T. and Louise Jackson Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. He will discuss and demonstrate the chemistry behind life and explain the global model that he and his colleagues are beginning to construct. Guests will learn about diverse topics, from sugar in the galaxy to the first molecules that support Darwinian evolution.

The lecture complements the temporary exhibition “Microbes: Invisible Invaders…Amazing Allies,” on display at the Florida Museum from Feb. 2 – May 30. Microbes is dedicated entirely to understanding the organisms that can either sustain life on Earth or threaten its very existence. It is geared toward children with its interactive, technologically advanced video games, humorous narratives, colorful photographs and fun activities.

The Florida Museum also will offer a new program for children during the lecture, “Sunday Snoop.” Adults can take a break and enjoy the lecture while museum staff entertain children ages 4-10 for an hour with fun activities and a guided tour. Registration for “Sunday Snoop” is $5 and pre-registration is required. When book signings are held after a lecture, children are returned to parents at the end of the lecture portion of the program. For more information or to register for “Sunday Snoop,” call (352) 846-2000, ext. 277 or visit http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/education/lectures.htm.

Writer: Kristin Ede
Media Contact: Paul Ramey, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu