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LASP’s Toon to deliver Distinguished Research Lecture: Dead Dinosaurs & Nuclear Wars

September 27, 2013
LASP scientist Brian Toon will deliver the 2013 Distinguished Research Lecture at CU-Boulder. (Courtesy LASP)

LASP scientist Brian Toon will deliver the 2013 Distinguished Research Lecture at CU-Boulder. (Courtesy LASP)

Professor Brian Toon of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics has been selected to present the 2013 CU-Boulder Distinguished Research Lecture, an award that is among the highest honors bestowed by the faculty upon a faculty member at CU-Boulder.

Each year, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research requests nominations from faculty for this award, and a faculty review panel recommends one faculty member as a recipient. The lectureship honors a tenured faculty member widely recognized for a distinguished body of academic or creative achievement and prominence, as well as contributions to the educational and service missions of CU-Boulder.

Lecture: “Dead Dinosaurs & Nuclear Wars” Friday, October 18, 3 to 4 p.m. in Chem 140. The lecture will be followed by a reception.

Abstract:  Sixty-six million years ago a mountain-sized chunk of rock, traveling at more than 10-times the muzzle velocity of an assault rifle, slammed into the shallow sea covering what is now the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Shortly thereafter, the fifth great mass extinction on Earth occurred. Many of the same phenomena that killed the dinosaurs may occur if there is a nuclear war. In this Distinguished Research Lecture, Professor Brian Toons will describe how the dinosaurs died, and the possible consequences of small and large nuclear wars. Unfortunately, at present, we are not capable of stopping an asteroid from hitting the planet. It remains to be seen if we can prevent a nuclear conflict.