Professors push ‘Beyond Boundaries’ at TEDxVirginia Tech
Watch Susan Duncan’s presentation on Food and Emotions online.
When the organizers of TEDxVirginia Tech were searching for scientists who went “Beyond Boundaries” in their fields, they didn’t have to look much further than Susan Duncan and David Schmale. Both gave talks at the November 2013 event that featured some of the brightest and most creative minds at Virginia Tech. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events around the TED theme of collaboration through technology, entertainment, and design.
Duncan, professor of food science and technology, told the sold-out audience at the new Moss Arts Center about “The Mixology of Food and Emotion.” Duncan is one of only a few food scientists in the world who are using objective methods, such as facial expression analysis, in tandem with qualitative methods for learning how foods “speak” to our emotions.
Schmale, associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, gave a talk titled “Droning for Life in the Atmosphere” about his work with drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles. He is using the drones to further the understanding of aerobiology, which is the study of how microbes travel through the earth’s atmosphere.
The talk capped a banner year for Schmale, who was also named one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant Ten 2013,” which honors some of most innovative young thinkers in the world.