Samford University will host about 300 students and educators at the 90th annual Alabama Academy of Science (AAS) meeting next week, March 20-22.  The program will include oral and poster presentations by faculty, undergraduate and graduate students from 18 Alabama colleges and universities.

Session topics will cover biological sciences, chemistry, physics and engineering, health sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, social and behavioral sciences, industry, philosophy and the history of science.

A Thursday evening banquet will feature Samford professor and Cahaba Lily expert Dr. Larry Davenport speaking on the topic "Romancing the Lily: The Natural History of Hymenocallis coronaria."

The meeting includes a Friday morning symposium, "A Beautiful Mind: the Brain and Consciousness," co-hosted by Samford and AAS. The program will begin at 8 a.m. in Brock Recital Hall.

Symposium topics and speakers are "Philosophical Approaches to Consciousness," Samford philosophy department chair Dr. Dennis Sansom; "Is There Room for a Soul in the Physical Brain," Samford biological and environment sciences professor Dr. George Keller; "The Brain and the Consciousness of the Self," Vanderbilt University School of Medicine cell biology and neuroscience professor Dr. Jeanette Norden; "Senility and the Aging Brain," Samford chemistry and biochemistry and pharmacy professor Dr. Andrew Lampkins; and "Artificial Intelligence and the Brain," University of Alabama at Birmingham psychology professor Dr. Franklin Amthor.

Young scientists from high schools throughout Alabama will attend as participants in the Alabama Junior Academy of Science and the Gorgas Scholarship competition. Members of the Southeast Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry will also attend.

Dr. Ronald Hunsinger, professor and chair of biological and environmental sciences at Samford and AAS president, underscores the variety of topics that will be covered during sessions.

"The meeting will cover multiple scientific disciplines," he said.  "Members of the Alabama Academy of Science and the Alabama Junior Academy of Science will enlighten attendees with fascinating and informative presentations."


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.