ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 12, 2006) -- Understanding the nature of scientific discovery and its relationship to the realm of art is the subject of this year's Phi Beta Kappa lecture by Chris Impey, University of Arizona distinguished professor of astronomy and the recipient of the National Science Foundation's highest award for excellence in both teaching and research. "The Art of Science" will be given as a free public lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. in Walter Hall room 145.
According to Impey, "science is generally seen as a straightforward and logical exploration of the natural world. But how do we know what we know? What are the limits of knowledge when it comes to something as grand as the universe? This talk will explore the ways we've learned about the universe we live in, make parallels to art and music, and show that discovery is as much an art as it is a science."
Impey is known for his work on cosmology and the study of diffuse ultra-faint galaxies, active galaxies and quasars. He is also acknowledged to be a master teacher who uses his research to engage undergraduates in the classroom. In addition to the National Science Foundation Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, Impey has won eight other teaching awards.
"I teach because the universe is so cool, and the simple laws that govern it are so elegant that it makes you want to shout it from the rooftops," Impey said.
Impey is a founding member of the board of directors of the Astronomy Educational Journal of the American Astronomical Society and has co-authored two widely used introductory astronomy textbooks.
Impey's visit to Ohio University is under the auspices of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program and is sponsored by the Lambda of Ohio Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Honors Tutorial College and the College of Arts and Sciences.
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