During his two lectures, "Life's Rocky Start: Possible Roles of Minerals in the Origin of Life" and "Emergence: Minerals and the Rise of Complexity on the Archaean Earth," Hazen will demonstrate why he is known for his ability to present science to a general audience.
Hazen, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, has authored more than 230 articles and 16 books on science, history and music. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, the New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Technology Review, and Scientific American.
His recent research focuses on the role of minerals in the origin of life, including such processes as mineral-catalyzed organic synthesis and the selective absorption of organic molecules on mineral surfaces.
The visit marks the third time the Mineralogical Society of America has chosen Tennessee Tech to host a distinguished lecturer. Only about 20 colleges and universities are chosen each year to play host.
Hazen will lecture twice during his visit: the first talk is scheduled at noon and is intended for a general audience. The second lecture, scheduled for 3 p.m., will be tailored for audience members with backgrounds in science or geology.