Biofuels have been touted as a way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but they also present their own challenges. Growing crops to produce ethanol takes a great deal of land and water, and unlike other renewable energy sources, biofuels still produce greenhouse gas emissions. In our quest for energy independence, are biofuels worth the price?
Come prepared to wrestle with tough questions in an interactive discussion led by biologist Susan Singer from the National Science Foundation. After a brief overview of the challenges, work in groups to consider the tradeoffs and develop your own solutions. Bring your smart phone or tablet for an immersive team activity, or share phones and tablets with other participants.
Dr. Susan Singer is the division director for undergraduate education at the National Science Foundation and a biology professor at Carleton College. She is a national leader in undergraduate education policy and works tirelessly to integrate science and education. In her research, she investigates the evolution, genetics, and development of flowering in legumes, with a special interest in prairie legumes as a biofuel source.
Admission is $10, or $7 for students, and includes pizza and light refreshments. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. This program is part of the museum’s "Science Speakeasy" series, where challenging questions meet lively discussion.
The image shows Weaver Dunes, a native prairie on the banks of the Mississippi river in Minnesota, in early fall, and was provided courtesy of Susan Singer.