Julie A. Robinson, chief scientist for NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) Program, presents “Gravity: The Absolutely True Story of Scientific Discoveries and Engineering Achievements on the International Space Station” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18 in Lafayette College’s Colton Chapel. The talk is free and open to the public.
Robinson will deliver the Resnik Memorial Lecture, named in honor of astronaut Judith A. Resnik, an electrical engineer who lost her life in the Challenger space shuttle disaster on Jan. 28, 1986. She was the second woman in space.
Now in its third year of full science operations, the International Space Station is growing in impact. Major publications in fields as diverse as astrophysics, nanomaterials, combustion, microbiology and physiology have headlined ISS research results. Some of these discoveries and engineering applications are making their way back to Earth to benefit humankind. The lecture will highlight some of the most dramatic discoveries and benefits, and talk about how scientists and engineers can access this amazing research facility.
As the chief scientist for the International Space Station Program at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Robinson has overseen the transition of the laboratory from the assembly period, with just a few dozen active investigations, to full utilization, with hundreds of active investigations. She represents all space station users, including NASA-funded investigators, the new community of investigators using station as a National Laboratory, and the international research community. Originally from Pocatello, Idaho, Robinson earned a bachelor of science in chemistry and a bachelor of science in biology from Utah State University, Logan in 1989. She earned a doctorate of philosophy in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1996.
Robinson’s professional experience has included research activities in a variety of fields, including virology, analytical chemistry, genetics, statistics, field biology, and remote sensing. She has authored over 50 scientific publications.
The lecture is sponsored by the Farber Memorial Endowment Fund and the John and Muriel Landis Fund.