Argonne OutLoud at UChicago


Past Events

The End of Water as We Know It | May 18, 2016

We are witnessing the end of the golden age of water. Freshwater was once abundant, cheap and safe for humans, but that is changing rapidly. Couple that with the fact that over the next 35 years, the world’s demand for water will rise by 55 percent, and it’s no wonder that water technology and management figure to shape the 21st century much like oil conflicts influenced the 20th century.

Access to clean water will affect everything from how our food is raised to how our economies function.

So how can we reshape a better future for water?

In his talk, ‘The End of Water as We Know it” Dr. Seth Darling will discuss how we got to this point, what lies ahead, and what can be done now to respond and adapt. He will also give an overview of the research Argonne is doing in this space, including innovative approaches to water treatment.


Seth Darling
Nanoscientist, Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory

Fellow, Institute for Molecular Engineering, The University of Chicago

Bacteria and You: A Love Story | June 5, 2015

In recent years, scientists have discovered that our bodies teem with microbial life, which outnumber our cells 10 to one. These bacteria perform extremely important roles in our health and well-being.

In this presentation, Dr. Jack Gilbert, Environmental Microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratory and Associate Professor in the University of Chicago’s Department of Ecology and Evolution – whose work has recently been covered by TIME, Newsweek, and National Geographic – will explore this brave new world, examining some examples of how your microbial world influences your health and highlighting the ways in which your lifestyle, diet and medical treatment can influence your microbiome. He will also discuss how bacteria could help combat Alzheimer’s, autism and cancer.

Gilbert’s research team will even swab shoulders or cell phones of audience members who are interested in having their microbial world sequenced and interpreted.


Jack Gilbert, Ph.D.
Associate Professor (Part-Time) Department of Ecology & Evolution Environmental Microbiologist: Argonne National Laboratory
Climate Change: Fact, Fiction and What You Can Do | March 10, 2015

Climate change – or as Doug Sisterson, research meteorologist at Argonne National Laboratory, prefers to call it, climate disruption – is probably the greatest challenge we face in modern society, yet many of us don’t fully understand the causes or the consequences.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee famously stated: “We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.”

Sisterson, who is also senior manager at Argonne for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, will address the mixed messages we receive in media and elsewhere and will explore in detail the striking scientific data that points to trouble ahead. He will also talk about what we can do right now to help ensure a better outlook for our children, grandchildren, and beyond.


Doug Sisterson
Research Meteorologist
Senior Manager, Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility
Argonne National Laboratory