Fall 2020 Virtual SUTS Schedule

Thanks to everyone who responded to our Google poll! You all gave us valuable feedback on how to move forward with SUTS in a socially-distant world. We received overwhelming support for having a Science Under the Virtual Stars this semester. We will host three lectures by UT Austin graduate students in October, November, and December. Pre-recorded lectures, tours of Brackenridge Field Lab, activities and more will be posted to our website and Facebook on the first Thursday of the month. Then on our regular second Thursday of the month, we will have a live Q&A session with the speaker! A form will be provided for you to submit questions ahead of the Q&A, or feel free to ask them during the live event. Below is the schedule of speakers, with more details to come soon. Thank you all for your support!

  • October 1 (lecture posted) & 8 (live Q&A): Christina Balentine – Super humankind: how humans have adapted to thrive all over the world
  • November 5 (lecture posted) & 12 (live Q&A): Tristan Kubik – Planet of the Insects
  • December 3 (lecture posted) & 10 (live Q&A): Isaac Miller-Crews – Animal brains!

Note: We will post the links for the videos/activities/live Q&A for each event in a separate, event-specific post. Follow this blog or our Facebook page to get event notifications.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series based in Austin, Texas.

October 1st & 8th, Christina Balentine

Super Humankind: How humans have adapted to thrive all over the world

Superheroes like Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and the X-Men spark the imagination: what if we could have super powers like these heroes? In fact, humans all over the world do have certain super powers! Thanks to genetic adaptation by natural selection and through cultural innovations, humans thrive in seemingly intolerable environments: at extremely high altitudes in the Himalayas; the freezing cold Arctic; and in toxic, arsenic-rich regions. In this presentation, we will explore these and other super human abilities, and see that humans really do have super powers! 

Science Under the Stars has gone virtual! This semester all SUTS activities will be online, but we encourage you to participate outdoors under the stars in your backyard! (If wifi allows for it, of course.) October’s schedule is as follows:

  • October 1st: Links to the pre-recorded lecture, video tour of Brackenridge Field Lab, kids activities, and more will be posted here and as an event on our Facebook page.
  • October 8th, 7:00pm CT: Live Q&A with the speaker! Ask questions ahead of time by filling out the Google Form posted with the event links, or ask your question(s) live during the event.

We can’t wait to “see” y’all again and chat about science!

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series based in Austin, Texas.

Science Under the (Virtual?) Stars Interest Poll

Hello all and welcome to the new academic year! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are still unable to hold SUTS in person. However, we would like to know if there is interest in a Science Under the (Virtual) Stars this year. We are thinking of posting a pre-recorded lecture once a month (or more frequently, if there is enough interest) followed by a Q&A session with the speaker (either live or pre-recorded answering questions that are emailed/posted here). We are also thinking of posting video tours of the Brackenridge Field Lab, natural history facts, and instructions for kids activities related to the lectures on our website. Since this is Science Under the Stars, we encourage you to participate outside! (If the internet connection allows for it, of course.) Please vote in the Google poll linked here to help us gauge interest. Thank you! 🙂


Spring Talks Canceled

Dear all,
We are saddened to announce that we will be canceling the remaining Science Under the Stars and Neighborhood Science talks for this semester. UT Austin has implemented restrictions of university-sponsored gatherings of 10 or more people to help curtail the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will be adhering to these new regulations. The health and wellbeing of our community is of the utmost importance.
We plan to reschedule the talks to next fall and spring semesters. So keep an eye out for announcements in August.
Thank you for your understanding. We send our best wishes and hope everyone remains healthy.
Science Under the Stars organizers

March SUTS Canceled

Dear all,

Due to the emerging COVID-19 epidemic, we are sorry to announce that we are canceling this month’s Science Under the Stars lecture which was scheduled for this Thursday, March 12th.

We weighed many factors known about the virus and its transmission in making this decision, and decided that it is not worth the (however small) risk it could pose on the community, especially given that our events often have dozens of attendees across a wide age range. Safety is our number one priority, and so we are doing this out of an abundance of caution.

We are hoping to have our regularly scheduled April SUTS talk, but will reevaluate over the next month as the outbreak progresses. Please stay tuned for those announcements.

Thanks very much for your understanding.


Science Under the Stars organizers