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Public officials are used to hearing economists’ expertise on decisions about the economy and listening to diplomats about foreign policy, so why shouldn’t scientists help national, state and local leaders make better decisions about science and technology?

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Dozens of students gathered at the McCombs School of Business this week to pitch their innovations to investors at the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition. College of Natural Sciences (CNS) graduate students were among the groups presenting their inventions.

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Below are a few of the upcoming public lectures and events for February. All of these presentations are free and open to the public.

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Meet Spencer Wells (B.S., '88), National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and founder of the Genographic Project.

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Were still at the beginning of 2015, but this is when its hardest for a lot of people to stick to to their New Years resolutions. The good news is recent work by UT Austin researchers studying human development, biology, nutrition, and the brain can help you make the scientific case for following through on plans you made to change this year. 

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Harrington Fellowship Supports Three Natural Sciences Graduate Students

Three winners of the university's most prestigious fellowship program, the Donald D. Harrington Fellows Program, are currently working in the College of Natural Sciences. The three graduate students—from California Institute of Technology, Georgia State and The University of Texas at Austin—are researching how planets form beyond our solar system, how our brains make associations between rewards and the environments in which we get them, and how corals respond and adapt to changes in their environment.

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Every week, as Sneha Patel stood in front of the roughly 20 freshmen she mentored and gave tips on how to navigate college, she would see a lot of heads nodding—but not in the back of the room. There sat one girl, always with her headphones on, not participating. Patel was surprised when the student signed up for one of the individual sessions she offered to each of her mentees. She probably won't even show up, Patel thought. When the student did arrive for her meeting, she was very quiet at first. Then something shifted.

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Jacob Heiling (BS '13) was already interested in biology when he started working as a greenhouse assistant at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory (BFL) as an undergraduate. The time he spent watching butterflies interact in the greenhouse sparked his interest in studying species interactions, and that led to an independent research project on the chemical ecology of bird-dispersed fruits.

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Physics professor and UTeach executive director Dr. Michael Marder joined President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders today to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

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A neuroscientist and a molecular biologist are among five faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin who have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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The University of Texas at Austin has honored two scientists who have made important contributions to the medical field, George Georgiou and James McGinity, with its Inventor of the Year Award.

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The Nature Index, a new ranking from the prestigious journal Nature, rates The University of Texas at Austin No. 26 among the world's most productive scientific research institutions.

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Bicycling many miles through the Texas Hill Country in support of one of the world’s most well-known cancer-fighting charitable organizations probably sounds like a great way to spend an October day, no matter who you are. Here at the College of Natural Sciences (CNS), members of our community have yet another reason to support LIVESTRONG, the nonprofit organization that’s based in Austin and that serves cancer patients and their families the world over. 

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This past spring, we asked faculty, staff and students in the College of Natural Sciences community to send us images that celebrated the extraordinary beauty of science and the scientific process. We were looking for that moment where science and art collide and we succeeded.