Science Speaks to Me is coordinated by the Office of Science Outreach. We work with Bruce McClure in the Department of Biochemistry and Robert Duncan, Vice Chancellor for Research, to bring the latest scientific discoveries to communities across Missouri. Here is a little background on each of us:

Anna Waldron received her Ph.D. in Education from Cornell University in 2006. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Science Education jointly appointed in the College of Education and the Division of Biological Sciences. Following several years of teaching in grades 5-12, Dr. Waldron became the Director of Education at Cornell’s NSF-funded Nanobiotechnology Center (www.nbtc.cornell.edu) for seven years. During her tenure at Cornell, Dr. Waldron secured over $2 million from NSF to develop undergraduate, graduate, K-12 and public education programs. Dr. Waldron was the project leader for two traveling museum exhibitions about nanotechnology, It’s a Nano World (www.itsananoworld.org) and Too Small to See (www.toosmalltosee.org).

Dr. Waldron directs the Office of Science Outreach (http://scienceoutreach.missouri.edu), whose mission is to improve both formal and informal science teaching and learning through university outreach. To accomplish this, the Office of Science Outreach works with university faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, K-12 educators and students, and the general public to enhance the resources available for learning science. In addition to actively creating programs, Dr. Waldron’s research interests include how young women become engaged in science and technology and how the public comes to a meaningful understanding of science, technology, engineering and math.

Recent publications

Robert Duncan received his bachelor's degree in physics from MIT in 1982 and his doctorate in physics from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1988. He has served as a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico (UNM), as a visiting associate on the physics faculty at Caltech, as a joint associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at UNM, and as the associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNM.

As an expert in low temperature physics, Dr. Duncan has served as principal investigator on a fundamental physics research program for NASA. As the Director of the New Mexico Consortium’s Institute for Advanced Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory he has worked to fund major conferences and summer schools in quantitative biology, information science and technology, energy and environment, and astrophysics and cosmology. To date, Duncan has received more than $8 million in funding from various sources on research efforts that he leads as PI. He joined the University of Missouri as the Vice Chancellor for Research in August, 2008, accepting responsibility for MU’s research enterprise, including $250 million + per year in contracts and grants, and MU’s major research facilities, including USA’s largest research reactor in academia, multiple interdisciplinary research centers, and associated economic development and technology incubation efforts.

Dr. Duncan is a Fellow and life member of the American Physical Society. He was named the Gordon and Betty Moore Distinguished Scholar in the Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy at Caltech in 2004, and he chaired the Instrumentation and Measurement Topical Group for the American Physical Society in 2002, and the International Symposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids in 2003. He has consulted extensively to industry, co-invented and assisted in the formation of three companies in alternative energy, and in minimally invasive cancer surgery and diagnostics.

received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul in Biochemistry in 1980 and 1987, respectively. Following a four-year (1988-1992) postdoctoral fellowship at the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, he joined the faculty of the Division of Biochemistry at the University of Missouri, where he currently holds the position of Professor. Dr. McClure’s lab, located in Schweitzer Hall, investigates the molecular-level “communication” that occurs between the pollen (the male part of a flower) and the pistil (the female counterpart) in flowering plants, specifically tobacco and tomato. Results from his research have shed light on pollination barriers and may benefit plant breeders who want to modify plants’ natural systems of controlling pollination. He has received in excess of $4 million in competitive research funding and has mentored 10 postdoctoral fellows and chaired 3 Ph.D. graduate programs.

Dr. McClure is also a co-organizer of Saturday Morning Science, an MU-sponsored public science education program held every Saturday in the Monsanto Auditorium in the Bond LSC in the fall and winter semester. In 2008, Dr. McClure was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his distinguished contributions to plant biology, particularly S-RNase-based self-incompatibility, and for distinguished contributions to public understanding of science.