Arkansas Science

David Monteith / KUAR

Even though Arkansas wasn’t in the path of totality for Monday's solar eclipse, people in the state came together at different locations and took joy watching as the moon covered much of the sun.

Phil Stein was among the hundreds who gathered at Riverfront Park in Little Rock at one of several watch parties organized by the Central Arkansas Library System.

solar eclipse 2017
NASA

Tales of viewing solar eclipses are passed down through the generations. In Arkansas they have made their way into family histories and narratives of identity, even for those who were too young to understand it. That has helped build the anticipation about Monday's rare eclipse.

Eclipse
NASA

Arkansas will join much of the U.S. Monday in seeing a partial eclipse of the sun for the first time in almost 100 years. Local experts say the state will see a lot of sun coverage, producing unusual sights in the daytime sky.

Dr. Tony Hall, an astronomy professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, says people all over the nation can see a partial or full eclipse.

The S.P.A.C.E Hogs group at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
Facebook

Students and scientists from around Arkansas will gather in Fulton, Missouri next Monday for the first cross-continental solar eclipse in almost 100 years. In addition to just enjoying the sight, they’re also planning to document and collect information for NASA.

Dr. James Kennon saw his first solar eclipse in 1991, and it was so spectacular, he knew it wouldn’t be his last.

"The one I saw in Hawaii, I watched it, and I’m standing there thinking, 'do that again! I want to see that again," he said. "The one I saw in Hawaii lasted a little over four minutes."

Governor Hutchinson and the Arkansas Research Alliance (ARA) gave recognition to five university researchers in the state by awarding them an ARA fellowship that comes with a $75,000 grant.

The ARA Fellows program supports distinguished researchers already working at one of the five research universities in the state, including Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The impact of social media and the internet on political and cultural movements of all stripes - from peaceful political organizing to radicalization, is pretty widely recognized now-a-days. But methods for studying, categorizing, and tracking online groups still has a ways to go.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman sat down to talk about government research with Dr. Nitin Agarwal with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The conversation covers a range of national security issues from Saudi women's rights, to ISIS Twitter bots, to how Russians perceive NATO exercises.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Microsoft Vice President of Governmental Affairs Fred Humphries sign a memorandum of understanding (left to right).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The state of Arkansas and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to further the instruction of computer science in schools. Under the agreement Microsoft, with no cost to the state, would help with professional development for computer science teachers in addition to hosting a range of workshops and events for students.

Mid-America Science Museum Casey Wylie Diane LaFollette
whitehouse.gov

The Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs was one of 10 museums and libraries nationwide honored during a ceremony Wednesday at the White House. It received a medal for community service, which is the highest award given to such institutions in the U.S.

In particular, Janelle Brevard with the Institute of Museum and Library Services touted the work of former volunteer and employee Casey Wylie as the award was presented.

The Martian movie poster.
20th Century Fox

This month's Science Cafe looks at the psychology of long-term space travel and isolation through the lens of the popular movie The Martian, based on a 2011 novel.

Host Dorothy Graves sits down to talk space psychology with Jennifer Fayard, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Ouachita Baptist University.

An excerpt from the Guardian sets the scene:

Science Cafe: The Intersection Of Art And Science

Feb 23, 2016

In this month's Science Cafe Little Rock, we explore the connection between art and science by looking at creativity in the business sector. Marla Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Aristotle, discusses the value of creativity in business and how creativity can translate into economic impact.

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