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.

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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.

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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.

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Agriculture is near and dear to the hearts of Missourians.  Of course biology is the science most associated with the growth of plants.  However, chemistry also has a direct bearing on the development of crops.  Enter Dr. Cyren Rico, an Assistant Professor in MSU’s Chemistry department.  He has degrees in both chemistry and agriculture and works at the intersection of the two.  Listen in as we discuss his work on metal nanoparticles and their interaction with the important grains, wheat and barley.

It is hard to believe, but the Discovery Center of Springfield recently turned 20.  From a small seed, the children’s science museum has grown a plant that enriches the lives of residents of the entire region.  This week on STEM Spots, Rob Blevins, the Executive Director, stops by to chat.  We talk about the why, the motivation, the plans for the future and the building of local partnerships into relationships. 

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Damon Bassett is a Senior Instructor at Missouri State University and teaches in the department of Geography, Geology and Planning.  He is also a paleontologist;  listen in as Damon chats with Dr. Cornelison about his background, professional interests and the nuts and bolts of what looking for fossils really means.