Dr. David Cornelison

Dr. David Cornelison has been working as an educator and scientist in Arizona and Missouri universities for the last 25 years.  Since 2010, he has been the head of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University.  His research interests lie at the intersection of experimental condensed-matter physics and astrophysics, while his educational efforts have focused on outreach to the K-12 school system.   Most of all, he believes in curiosity-driven learning in the sciences and all other fields.

NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle


Smallin Cave
Scott Harvey / KSMU

Even though Missouri is not typically thought of as a place for fossils, we are not without our share.  In fact, the rocks are littered with the remnants of animals that once called this place (albeit a very different version) home.  Of course, Missouri is known as a place of caves, and the discovery of the Riverbluff cave system, which held remnants of animal life from the ice age, brought together a group with an interest in natural history, fossils and the Ozarks.  They created the Missouri Institute of Natural History in 2003 and have been welcoming visitors and  promoting education in

Scott Harvey / KSMU

3M is known for making all sorts of adhesives.  In fact, they make a wide array of products, and some of them are manufactured right here in Springfield.  The local plant has been here for 52 years and employs over 400 local workers.  Their corporate research site is working on new ideas all the time, but the manufacturing arms are also implementing new technology.  The incorporation of new tools, including automation, changes the way they do business.  Of course, STEM  Spots is very interested in the ways new technology will change the workplace and, in many cases, the workforce.  Chris Br

Tribp / Flickr

When considering agriculture in Missouri, grapes may not be the first thing to come to mind.  However, they are an important part of our economy.  Not only are several varieties indigenous to the region, but many are cultivated for jellies, juices and, of course, wines.  MSU William H. Darr College of Agriculture has an outstanding group of scientists who study many aspects of locally grown grapes, including the reaction of vines to illness.  In that vein, Dr.

alan kotok / Flickr via Creative Commons

When thinking about automation, AI and robotics, one is struck by all the positive things that might come from their implementation.  However, in a society where your value to society derives primarily from your contributions, we may need to rethink some of our conceptions of human worth.  In his position as a minister, Andy Bryan, the pastor at Campbell United Methodist Church in Springfield, deals with the issues of self-worth and human value on a daily basis.  In this segment of STEM Spots, he and I discuss human worth related to both one’s work and to our inherent value as human beings.