PPPL’s Science on Saturday lecture returns with engaging science talks from top experts

Written by
Jeanne Jackson DeVoe
Jan. 18, 2024

For nearly 40 years, science fans of all ages have been learning about cutting-edge science on Saturday mornings at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s (PPPL) Ronald E. Hatcher Science on Saturday lecture series.

Science on Saturday returns Jan. 27 with a slate of world-leading speakers who will discuss topics ranging from clean energy solutions to materials used in quantum computing. Talks run from 9:30 to 11 a.m., which includes a presentation and Q&A.

“This is our favorite community event,” said Andrew Zwicker, head of strategic relationships and the host of the program. “It’s such a joy to offer such an amazing lineup of scientists, and we always look forward to seeing our regulars and new audience members.”

The inaugural talk by Ahmed Elgammal of Rutgers University will focus on a topic that has recently been making headlines: “Art in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.”

Lecture Series Schedule

About the Series

Science on Saturday is in its 39th year, long enough that some families attending include three generations of the Science Education Department fans. It’s aimed at promoting science literacy among the public and young people. The series was renamed to honor Ronald E. Hatcher, the beloved PPPL engineer who hosted the series for many years and died suddenly in 2014. The program is funded by the DOE’s Fusion Energy Sciences program.

Deedee Ortiz, science education program manager, said she looks forward to seeing returning audience members and meeting new ones. “We love catching up with them, and we especially enjoy watching the little ones come back and grow up with us,” she said.

Ortiz added that she enjoys organizing the program. “Science on Saturday is part of PPPL’s DNA,” she said. “Our audience members look forward to something fun and enriching to do on a cold Saturday morning, and we are here for all of it. I’m happy we are able to continue to offer this great program to the community. It is an honor and an absolute pleasure.”

Program Details

Visitors should plan to get to PPPL by 8:30 a.m. for coffee and doughnuts. All adult visitors should have a photo ID, such as a passport or license, to show at the security booth. Plenty of parking is available. Visit https://www.pppl.gov/events/science-saturday for additional information.

PPPL is mastering the art of using plasma — the fourth state of matter — to solve some of the world's toughest science and technology challenges. Nestled on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, New Jersey, our research ignites innovation in a range of applications including fusion energy, nanoscale fabrication, quantum materials and devices, and sustainability science. The University manages the Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the nation’s single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. Feel the heat at https://energy.gov/science and https://www.pppl.gov.