Science Lecture Series

The Science Lecture Series has concluded for the Spring 2022 semester. 



Previous Speaker

Kate Dickerson and Lucas Richman

The Warming Sea – an exploration of hope in the face of the climate crisis

Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 pm



The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans, leading to the collapse of the cod fishery, increased acidity, rising sea levels, threatening lobsters and other ocean life. ​In recognition of Maine’s world-leading climate researchers, the Bicentennial, and the impact of climate change on the Gulf of Maine, in January 2019 Kate Dickerson, in her role as Founder & Director of the Maine Science Festival, commissioned GRAMMY award winner, Lucas Richman, to write a symphonic piece about climate change in the Gulf of Maine.

Dickerson arranged a series of discussions between Richman and climate experts up and down the coast of Maine. These conversations, as well as perspectives provided by middle school students throughout Maine, informed this new symphonic work. In this talk, Dickerson and Richman will discuss the genesis of this project, the experts that were part of it, and how Richman took what he learned to compose The Warming Sea.





Kate Dickerson is the Founder & Director of the Maine Science Festival, an independently funded program of the Maine Discovery Museum. Prior to founding the Maine Science Festival, she worked in the energy and environmental field for more than 20 years. Dickerson has worked for industry, nonprofits, and educational institutions, and has expertise in the areas of environmental policy, pollution prevention, and environmental cleanup, with positions in Providence, Rhode Island; Seattle, WA; and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine focusing on policy work. As Founder & Director of the MSF, Dickerson has built a hugely collaborative partnership of diverse organizations and companies throughout the state, culminating in an annual celebration of Maine science, technology, engineering, and innovation and MSF Pop-up events throughout the year.





GRAMMY award-winning conductor/composer Lucas Richman has served as Music Director for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and held the position as Music Director for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra from 2003-2015. Mr. Richman annually guest conducts for a roster of orchestras both domestically and internationally, as well as serving as a regular collaborator in the recording studio for film and television scores. An accomplished composer, he has fulfilled commissions for numerous organizations including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Bangor Symphony, Johnstown Symphony, the Debussy Trio, the Seattle Chamber Music Society and the Organ Artists Series of Pittsburgh. Mr. Richman has had his music performed by over two hundred orchestras across the United States as well as having been recorded by organizations such as the San Diego Symphony, Tiroler Kammerorchester InnStrumenti, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Debussy Trio. For more information, visit and



The Science Lecture Series at Versant Power Astronomy Center will take place on the second Thursday of each month and is a partnership project with the Maine Science Festival and will feature research from a variety of science disciplines from around our state and use the digital planetarium to visualize these discoveries in a new dramatic and immersive way.

Tickets for planetarium programs are $7 for Adults, $6 for UMaine Students/Veterans/Senior Citizens, and $5 for children under 12. Click here to view our calendar.

Tickets are available online at, by calling 581-1341, or at the box office.

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Previous Speakers

March 2022
Kate Dickerson and Lucas Richman
The Warming Sea – an exploration of hope in the face of the climate crisis

February 2022
Drs. Melissa Maginnis and Ben King
COVID: Alpha and Delta and Omicron, Oh My!!

December 2021
Dr. Cassaundra Rose
Maine Won’t Wait: How Maine is Taking Action on Climate Change

November 2021
Dr. Seth Campbell
Eyes on the Arctic: Global Connections to the Icy North

October 2021
Dr. Neil F. Comins
What if the Moon Didn’t Exist

September 2021
Dr. Paul A. Mayewski
Pushing Climate Change Research to the Roof of the World

March 2020
Dr. Melissa Maginnis
Going Viral: Silent but deadly virus with a serious sweet tooth

View Event Flyer View Lecture Slides

November 2019
Dr. Emanuele Berti
A New Dawn: Gravitational-wave Observations from Earth and in Space

View Event Flyer View Lecture Slides

October 2019
Dr. Scott Randall
Black Holes, Exploding Stars, and Clusters of Galaxies:
20 Years of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory

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September 2019
Dr. Sam Hess
Super-Resolution Microscopy:
Illuminating Biological Functions to Cure Disease

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April 2019
Dr. Grant Tremblay
Light from the Void: NASA’s Once & Future Great Observatories

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March 2019
Dr. Alex Friess
Engineering in Sports

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February 2019
Dr. Lauren Ross
Harnessing the power of the ocean currents

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January 2019
Danny Piper
Solar for ME!
The solar industry in Maine and beyond

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December 2018
Dr. Kristy Townsend
Remodeling in Our Brain and Nervous System:
Connections to Obesity and Diabetes

November 2018
Dr. James W. Jarvis
Vaccines: Heroes or Villains (hint: it’s the first one)

October 2018
Dr. Justin Lap
A Bright Energy Future: Powering Industry with Solar Heat

April 2018
Dr. Jennifer Page
Aquatic chemical signaling: How understanding signals in the sea helps us address interdisciplinary challenges

March 2018
Dr. Bill Davids
Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator and Rusty Old Bridges

February  2018
Dr. Nicole Rausch
The Science of Wellness:  Why Your Doctor Continues to Insist You Sleep, Exercise, and Be Well


December 2017
Dr. Dale Kocevski
The Big Bang and the Origin of Our Universe

September 2017
Dr. Michaela Reagan
Potential Cancer Cures Leveraging 3D Tissue
Engineering and Bone Marrow Models

May 2017
Dr. Karissa Tilbury
From Lightsabers to Tricorders:
Harnessing Light for Biomedical Applications

April 2017
Dr. Henning Haack
Meteorites and the Origin of the Solar System

March 2017
Dr. Ali Abedi
Wireless Leak Detection for International Space Station

February 2017
Dr. Dean Astumian
How molecular motors work – insights from the machinist’s toolbox

December 2016
Dr. Paul Mayewski
Journey Into Climate

November 2016
Chuck Carter
Art and Science: Visualizing Complex Ideas for Everyone

October 2016
Dr. Caitlin Howell
Unlocking the Secrets of Proteins: The Rise of Cryo Electron Microscopy

September 2016
Dr. Elizabeth McGrath
A Walk Among Giants: Building the Largest Galaxies in the Universe