Category Archives: At the Ilsley

At The Ilsley: The Legacy of Apollo 11

Middlebury resident and former Nasa senior science writer Louis Varricchio offers a 50-year look back at the historic and scientific legacy of the United States’ first mission to land astronauts on the Moon in July 1969. Varricchio was also a producer of science-related documentaries for Prairie Public Television and Public Radio International. Today, he is an adjunct science instructor at Community College of Vermont as well as the managing editor of the Vermont Eagle weekly newspaper. He is the author of the science-history book, titled Inconstant Moon: Discovery and Controversy on the Way to the Moon, which was first published in 2006 (and remains in print). Recorded 7/15/19 by MCTV.
Producer: Ilsley Public Library

At The Ilsley: How to See a Black Hole

The idea of a black hole — a region of space whose gravitational pull is so strong that even light cannot escape from it — was proposed just over a century ago. Fifty years later, the discovery of quasars provided circumstantial evidence that black holes may actually exist in the centers of distant galaxies. This past year, an international team of astronomers revealed to the world the very first direct image of a black hole residing in an enormous galaxy 50 million light years away. How did we go from a hypothetical idea to definitive proof in just a century?

In this talk, Middlebury College Assistant Professor of Physics Eilat Glikman will present the many ways astronomers infer the presence of supermassive black holes residing at the centers of galaxies, how we think they grow to such extreme masses, and how they might influence their host galaxies and cosmic environments. Glikman will also explain how the very first direct image of a black hole was taken and what it tells us about the nature of black holes in the universe. Recorded 7/2/19 by MCTV.


Producer: Ilsley Public Library

First Wednesday: “What You Didn’t Know about Evangelicalism” by Randall Balmer

Most Americans associate evangelicals with the hard-right precincts of the Republican Party. But as Dartmouth religion professor Randall Balmer explains, evangelicalism in America has a much longer and more complex history, including a distinguished pedigree of working for progressive reforms. What happened? Recorded 5/22/19 by Middlebury Community Television.

Producer: Ilsley Public Library

First Wednesday: Frederic Church’s Landscapes by Eleanor Jones Harvey

Frederic Church painted landscapes of distinctive American features, including Natural Bridge in Virginia and Niagara Falls in New York.  Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, explores how and why we used these American landscapes to distinguish the scale and scope of our cultural ambitions. Recorded 5/1/19.

Producer: Ilsley Public Library

Author Talk: Glacier National Park – Reflections from an Artist (and Angler) by Matt Dickerson

Through image, video, and story Matthew Dickerson shares some of his experiences as June 2017 artist-in-residence at the stunningly beautiful Glacier National Park in Montana.  He spent a month exploring the Park and learning from USGS and NPS biologists, rangers, and other park workers, as well as taking lots of photographs and videos.  The presentation focuses on river and lake ecology and the native fishes of the west slope, most notably bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout, and the impact and future threats from invasive species as well as climate change. Professor Dickerson has just published a book set in Glacier National Park, The Voices of Rivers. Recorded 4/24/19.

Producer: Ilsley Public Library

At The Ilsley: Psychological Trauma and the Brain

All estimates suggest that psychological trauma is an experience that has occurred in at least half of the American adult population.  How do these extreme stressors affect the brain, and how does this change the way individuals experience the world?  In this talk, Matt Kimble, Professor of Psychology at Middlebury College, will address questions such as:  What happens to the brain under extreme stress?  Why are some individuals affected more than others?  What are the possible long-term effects and can they be reversed? This talk is sponsored by the Middlebury chapter of the American Association of University Women.

Producer: Ilsley Public Library