COSAM News Articles 2021 March 2021 Annual Duncan Lecture – March 12 at 3 p.m. CST

2021 Annual Duncan Lecture – March 12 at 3 p.m. CST

Published: 03/09/2021

By: Maria Gebhardt

Don’t miss this year’s Duncan Lecture featuring Deirdre Shoemaker, professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

This year’s lecture, How are gravitational waves advancing our understanding of the universe, will take place online via Zoom.

Shoemaker is a physics professor and director of the Center for Gravitational Physics at the University of Texas at Austin.  She will discuss how gravitational wave astronomy has increased the scientific understanding of black holes, neutron stars, cosmology and gravitational physics.

She is a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration. LIGO is made up of an international community of more than 1,000 scientists in 18 countries that detected the gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes in 2015.

Shoemaker graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics, astronomy and astrophysics from the Pennsylvania State University. She earned her doctorate degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Prior speakers at the Duncan Lecture include:

  • Dennis Bodewits, Auburn University, Associate Professor and Artist Ekaterina Smirnova
  • David Michael McCollough, Archival Astrophysicist, Center for Astrophysics, Harvard and Smithsonian
  • John C. Mather, Senior Scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Sara Seager, Professor of Planetary Science and Physics, MIT
  • Bradley M. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, The Ohio State University
  • Dan Hooper, Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago


The Annual Duncan Memorial Lecture, established in 2012 by Dora Duncan '48 in chemistry, commemorates her husband, Dr. M.M. "Dunc" Duncan, Jr., '49, a physics alumnus. An active amateur astronomer, it is with respect to his enduring interest in the field, combined with his penchant for exploration, discovery and knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics, that this lecture is dedicated. It is a free, annual astronomy lecture held at Auburn University open the entire community.

Link to Zoom:



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