If the attendance at "An Evening at WKAR" was any indication, "big science" is a big interest for WKAR fans. More than 230 people, coming from as far as Novi, crowded the Communication Arts & Sciences auditorium on July 30 to get a sneak preview of The Small Matter of Big Science and hear remarks by Konrad Gelbke and Douglas Gage.
Gelbke, director of Michigan State University's National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, is also featured in the documentary, which airs Wednesday, August 1, at 8 p.m., on WKAR-TV.
"A great idea!"
"I think it's a great idea," he said, speaking of the Evening at WKAR. "I think with science in particular you need to engage the general population. There are very few outlets nowadays which are bringing science close to people. So I love the opportunity. I like to answer questions," he added, "because what people in the audience may have going through their minds may be very different than what I'm thinking is interesting. And so it's a good interaction."
Gage, a biochemist and director of Interdisciplinary Research in the Office of the VP for Research and Graduate Studies at MSU, said, "I think this is how the scientific and the societal process needs to work. And so, I think it's a great idea. We should do this more often."
"Normally everybody thinks nuclear science is so scary."
Both Gelbke and Gage were impressed by the high turnout. "I was pleased. I was very pleased," Gelbke said. "I thought it was very nice to have that much interest in the community. Normally everybody thinks nuclear science is so scary. That we had so many people was truly surprising."
Gage agreed, and was impressed by the quality of questions from the audience. "I think the questions were good, and you know, they're all from different perspectives, obviously. People who've thought more on the physics side, or on the biology side, in my case. And this was a thinking audience and it was a good experience."
"I think it gives you greater insight..."
Ken Jones of Lansing attended the event. "I was reading the State Journal yesterday and I saw something pop up about this program at WKAR. Then I was at work listening to the radio, WKAR AM, and they repeated information about the program tonight. So I just needed to check it out, because I like science programs. I wasn't sure what it was going to be about, but I just wanted to explore, see what's going on," he said.
Jones said he would gladly come to another preview evening at WKAR because "I think it gives you greater insight into the programming that WKAR is getting from NPR and PBS. To me it's a preview of what's coming up in the future and I like to preview some of these programs to kind of set my watching for the future."
Jones believes WKAR matters in our community because of the "great programming. And enthusiastic programming. And sometimes, a lot of local programming, in terms of music venues and about what's going on in our community of Lansing, Greater Lansing, East Lansing and Okemos."
"To me it represents a very great opportunity for the public to get involved and be creative and support WKAR."
Door prize drawings have become a popular part of an Evening at WKAR. Winners of a selection of items from WKAR included Suzanne Barclay, Sheldon Knuespel, Sandy Bryson, Charlie Mack, Keith Key, Pat Lee, Suzanne Brouse, mahender Pendapostley, E. Bustillor, Michael Mugavero, Clare Moritz, Andrew Mraz, Kay Steele, and Ken Jones.
Program Broadcast Dates
The Small Matter of Big Science airs in its entirety on Wednesday, August 1, at 8 p.m. on WKAR TV and Tuesday, August 6 and Wednesday, August 29, at 8 p.m. on WKAR World. (23.4, Comcast 288/904).
Our next "Evening at WKAR" will be our Fall Preview event on September 6. Reservations for this event will open August 23.