CNMS Science Discovery Series

In this public series, faculty members in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences present talks on a variety of interesting scientific topics. The college is committed to creating connections between UMBC and members of our local community, and the goal of this series is to give back by offering an opportunity for non-experts to learn about the research happening in their backyards. Come to listen, learn, and maybe even laugh as our researchers and teachers introduce you to new worlds of information—no advanced scientific background required.

Upcoming Science Discovery Series Events

Portrait of Stephen Freeland, smiling and wearing a suit and tie“Life, But Not As We Know It”
Presented by Stephen Freeland, astrobiologist and professor of biological sciences

March 27, 2024, 5 – 6 p.m.
Doors open at 4:15 p.m., light fare to follow
UMBC Fine Arts Recital Hall
Free parking available and accessible for people with disabilities; details upon registration
Register here

Are you wondering when or if we will encounter other life in the universe? How will we even know what to look for? On Earth, proteins form the basic structure of all living things. From amoebas to humans, all proteins are made by combining the same 20 building blocks—called amino acids—in different ways. Just as there are 26 letters in the modern English alphabet, these 20 amino acids make up an alphabet that enables and sustains all life on Earth. But what might the amino acid alphabet look like on another planet? And what Earthly applications might there be for an alternative amino acid alphabet? Join us for a talk about the work underway at UMBC, in collaboration with international partners, to build the world’s first example of an alien, or “xeno,” amino acid alphabet.

Learn about some of Dr. Freeland’s related work:
UMBC’s Steve Freeland co-leads $1.8 million research grant to predict the biochemical foundations of life beyond Earth

You are welcome to share the following flyer with others who would be interested in this event:
CNMS Discovery Series Flyer