STEM Spots

Thursdays at 9:45 a.m.

STEM Spots is a weekly look into science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hosted by Dr. David Cornelison, professor in the department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University, STEM Spots invites local experts to discuss advances, issues and theories dealing with all matters of STEM.


It would seem that a STEM-related show would not typically bring on a guest from a religious studies department.  But John Schmalzbauer, the Blanche Gorman Strong Chair in Protestant Studies at Missouri State University, might beg to differ.  For many years there has been a strong link between spiritual ideas and the health care field, exemplified by the strong presence of religious groups in early hospital development.  In addition, several early practitioners of formerly alternative but now mainstream medical techniques used their spirituality to inform their health care practices.  In t

This week on STEM Spots Dr. Cornelison recounts an experience he had in the last week. During the past week Dr. Cornelison spoke at a local high school regarding physics and other sciences. At the end there was a question and answer segment. One student asked, "Is being a professor stressful?" Listen in to hear Dr. Cornelison give the answer to that question.

Missouri State University

No one can say there isn’t a problem with drug use in our country; this fact has always been true.  From the copious consumption of alcohol in colonial days to the inclusion of cigarettes in WWI soldiers’ rations, our country has, throughout its history, used various substances for both good and ill.  However, sometimes a particular drug becomes a focus in our national conversation as is currently happening with opioids, in both their illicit and prescription form.  Determining when drug use of a particular kind merits a national response requires the acquisition of data and the analysis o

Within the sciences, there has typically been a delineation between two broad camps; theoreticians and experimentalists.  Over the last two decades, a third branch has sprung up to fill a void that remained.  These are the computational scientists.  Using theoretical formulations as inputs into computer-based algorithms, these researchers attempt to couple pure theory and experiment in ways that guide efforts and minimize unnecessary work. 

KSMU/Peter Batemon

Amazingly, this show is the hundredth for Stem Spots, and that makes me think about the powers of 10, in this case 2.  From the nucleus, the smallest thing we might consider, to the universe itself, we have a size differential of 10 to the power of 41.  The difference in scale that number represents is truly staggering.  So too is the power of science itself.  On the journey to 100, I have seen how science impacts us, not only by the day to day activities of scientists in the Ozarks, but also in the ways it frames the most pressing issues of our times.  And finally, I see in science the et