Thursday, February 25, 2016

'When is a Planet Not a Planet?' Find out at next Bergren Forum

Alfred University’s (AU) longstanding lunchtime series, the Bergren Forum, continues Thursday, March 3, at 12:10 p.m. in Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center with Dr. David R. De Graff, associate professor of astronomy, presenting “When is a Planet Not a Planet?” De Graff will show “dazzling” images of dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres and explain what we can see. He notes 2015 was the Year of the Dwarf Planet - objects large enough to pull themselves into a spherical shape, but not big enough to influence their surroundings. De Graff earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics- asteroid studies from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. The Bergren Forum is sponsored by the Division of Human Studies, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Provost’s Office. Guests are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch; coffee and tea are provided. The series known as the Bergren Forum was begun by Rick Bergren, who taught at the University in the ’70s when he was inspired by learning of the gatherings that AU students in the 19th century were known to conduct in Alumni Hall to discuss community issues. After Bergren’s death in 1974, the University decided to continue the tradition in his name. Various faculty members have taken on the coordinator duties since that time. William S. Dibrell, professor of philosophy, is the current director.