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.

“Woods Hole days end” by Purpose is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Everyone possesses some measure of curiosity.  But, becoming a scientist requires an enhanced level of that innate quality.  However, some people decide to pursue science for reasons other than the deepening of knowledge.  When these other motivations, such as power or money, dominate the fundamental quest to know, does science mean as much? 

Perhaps the reasons we all do the things we do should be examined from time to time, if only to keep us honest to ourselves and to the idea of science.


Dr. Chris Barnhart

Dr. Chris Barnhart developed an interest in freshwater mussels during his childhood.  Little did he know that, upon arriving at MSU in the early 1990’s, he would devote his research efforts to studying their biological traits and behaviors.

 As a professor in Biology, Chris has used his studies into these fascinating creatures to stimulate a passion for understanding the natural world in both students and colleagues within the university.  He comes to Stem Spots today to talk about mussels, and his work to help propagate their numbers.

Missouri State University

The Environmental Protection Agency has long gathered a wealth of data on climate change.  This data and related information has been available to both scientists and the general public through their website.  Under the current administration most of the immediate links and access to climate change research will be scrubbed from the site, although it should be possible to find it in the archives through persistent effort.  Dr.

Eric Wells

Eric Wells has always been passionate about science.  Although not employed in the field, he supports the aims and goals of the scientific community and was excited to find that there would be a National March for Science taking place in April.  It didn’t take long for him to hatch the idea of Springfield taking part and so a local organizing committee was born.  Eric stops by STEM Spots  to chat about the motivations, process and the actual day of marching that took place on April 22.

Missouri State University

    One would think that issues related to science are somehow unique from place to place within the world.  Instead, when talking with scientists from other environs,  one is struck by the commonality of the problems facing us.  Dr. Pervez Hoodhboy certainly has experienced the negative view of science that springs up from a wealth of influences within a country.