1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Laurie McNeil to present Sigma Xi Distinguished Lectureship on Oct. 13

K-State Today

October 6, 2023

Laurie McNeil to present Sigma Xi Distinguished Lectureship on Oct. 13

Submitted by Ignacio Ciampitti

McNeil Lectureship

The Kansas State University chapter of Sigma Xi presents a distinguished lecture by Laurie McNeil, Bernard Gray distinguished professor in physics and astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

McNeil will share her views on "Changing the Climate in Science" at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in the McVay Family Town Hall, Room 114 of the Leadership Studies Building. All are welcome; you do not need to be a member to attend.

Abstract: Despite tremendous advances in the past half-century in the participation of women and racial/ethnic minorities in a broad range of fields and occupations, groups other than white males are still significantly underrepresented in many STEM fields. Although women in the U.S. earn more than half of all bachelor's degrees — and 60% of the degrees in biological sciences, only 20% of the degrees in physics, engineering and computer sciences are earned by women. The disparities for racial and ethnic minorities are even larger. McNeil will discuss the current state of women and minorities in STEM and what the scientific community can do to take advantage of their underused talent.

McNeil will also provide a second presentation in the department of physics, "The Interplay of Music and Physics," at 3 p.m. Oct. 13 in rooms 144/145 of Cardwell Hall.

McNeil is a condensed matter/materials physicist specializing in optical spectroscopy of semiconductors and insulators who has been a faculty member in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1984. She participates in projects that study ways to improve the climate for women in physics departments. She is presently a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer, giving talks about organic semiconductors, women in science, and the physics of music to Sigma Xi chapters at colleges and universities across the country, including K-State. Read more about McNeil

McNeil's visit is co-sponsored by the K-State chapter of Sigma Xi, the Manhattan Branch of the American Association of University Women, the K-State physics department, the K-State Office for the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering, and the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment/Kansas Water Resources Institute.

Learn more about Sigma Xi

The K-State chapter of Sigma Xi is a unique opportunity for scientists on campus with diverse training to interact. With changes in the world and the university, we hope you will join us in taking a renewed interest in developing and strengthening our campuswide professional scientific interactions.

If you have not already done so, please complete or renew your Sigma Xi membership. 

For more information, contact the K-State Sigma Xi Leadership Team, Ignacio Ciampitti (ciampitti@ksu.edu), Martha Mather (mmather@ksu.edu), and Jack Sytsma (sytsmaj134@ksu.edu).