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Tuesday, March 8 2011


R. Bruce Thompson, 1941-2011

R. Bruce Thompson - an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in the departments of materials science and engineering and aerospace engineering, director of the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, director of the Ames Laboratory's nondestructive evaluation program and a member of the National Academy of Engineering - died on Monday, March 7, after an illness. A gathering of family and friends will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 10, at Reiman Gardens. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Friday, March 11, at Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames.
See Ames Laboratory statement.
See College of Engineering story.

ISU economists: Study shows Iowa's high marginal tax rates hinder labor productivity

A recent study by Iowa State economists, including University Professor Peter Orazem (left), found that Iowa's high marginal tax rates have had a double impact on diminishing the state's labor productivity. The study -- which will be presented at the Midwest Economics Association meeting in St. Louis on Saturday, March 19 -- reports that Iowa's tax structure ranks 48th and last in the continental United States in terms of adverse effects of its taxes on labor productivity.

Nobel Prize winning-chemist Richard Schrock will speak March 22

Richard Schrock, who won the 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry, will present "A Lifetime of Chemistry: Reflections of a Nobel Laureate" at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Schrock received the prize for his work on metathesis, a process now widely used in the development of pharmaceuticals and manufacture of advanced plastic materials. His presentation is the 2011 Iowa State Presidential Lectureship in Chemistry, and is free and open to the public.
News release.

Close look at Des Moines’ poverty rates show many poor pockets in city: ISU researcher

Official poverty numbers for the Des Moines metropolitan area show rates that are much lower than the rest of Iowa and better than nationwide numbers, but an ISU researcher has taken a closer look and he shows the numbers can be misleading.

News release.

Iowa State, Ames Lab researcher hunts for green catalysts

L. Keith Woo of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory is looking for cleaner, greener and cheaper catalysts. Woo and his research group are turning to biology for some ideas. And they're developing high-throughput approaches to quickly test a reaction using up to a hundred trillion different catalysts.
News release.

Noted expert on Arab-American relations James Zogby will speak March 9

Author James Zogby, a scholar and expert on Arab-American relations, will discuss his new book during a lecture, "Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us and Why it Matters," at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab-American community. His presentation is part of the university's World Affairs Series and is free and open to the public.
News release.

Author and environmentalist Rick Bass will speak at Iowa State March 9

Photo by Nicole Blaisdell

Environmentalist and award-winning author Rick Bass will discuss the process of writing his latest novel, during a talk, "From Idea to Novel: A Writer and Activist at Work, " at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Bass, who is an affiliate faculty member in Iowa State's MFA program in creative writing and environment, is the author of more than 20 books. His new novel, "Nashville Chrome," draws on the rise and fall of the Brown trio, the true-life country music trailblazers who pioneered the 1950s sound from which the novel takes its title. The presentation is free and open to the public.

News release.

ISU historian edits book detailing first human space mission, which turns 50 this year

Iowa State history professor James Andrews (above) co-edited "Space Exploration and Soviet Culture" -- a new book to be published this fall -- exploring the post-World War II Soviet space age and its cultural history, including the famed mission of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. He became the first human to journey into outer space on April 12, 1961 -- an event that will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.