Public Talks & Lectures

Below is a selection of public talks that Michael gave over the years, about a very wide range of topics. These are generally just announcements of these talks, not the content thereof. And as on other pages on this site, there is often more of the page shown for context (shows what else was happening contemporaneously).

There are clickable links here, of course, but if you see a triangle, you can click on it or anywhere on that line) to reveal a listing of that talk.

  • 1962-05 " CNI speakers about nuclear testing"
    St. Louis chapter of American Jewish Congress,
    Jewish Community Centers Association, St. Louis.
  • 1964-02 Student Life front page story: Physics Department to Present New Series of Lectures, with Michael as 'program chairman.'
    In many ways this is a predecessor of the Saturday Science series which began nearly 30 years later. (See below).
  • 1964-Mar "Scientists Urged to Inform Public" (Post-Dispatch)
    Washington University
    Article about his talk, not just an announcement
    1964 P-D talk: informing the public
  • 1968-Nov: "Dialogue: The Purposes of Washington University" (invited speaker)
  • 1971-Sep: "Controversy: The Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Explosives"
    Debate with Edward Teller/BBC
  • 1978-04 Archaeoastronomy
    St. Louis Astronomical Society (at McDonnell Planetarium).
    1978 talk: archaeastronomy
  • 1980-Oct Archaeoastronomy
    McDonnell Planetarium, Forest Park.
    1980 talk: archaeastronomy
  • 1981-Dec "The Technology, Strategy, and Effects of Nuclear War"
    Lopata Hall, Washington University.
    1991 talk: nuclear war
  • 1995-Mar "An Update on South Africa"
    St. Louis Ethical Society.
    1995 talk: South Africa
  • 1996-Feb "Science on Trial: The Case of Galileo". A University of Missouri-St. Louis Center for the Humanities "mini-conference" held in conjunction with the production of Brecht's "Galileo" play by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (parts of the program included in above link).
  • 1996-Mar "Cahokia and Stonehenge: Ancient Astronomical Monuments"
    Monsanto Chapter of Sigma Xi and the St. Louis Zoo.
    Flyer for talk
    1996 talk: Cahokia
  • 1998-Mar James Gerhart Lecture: "Science and Pseudoscience: What is the difference. Who cares, and Does it matter?"
    Pacific Northwest Association for College Physics, Seattle, Washington.
    See page 2 for details on his invited talk
  • 1999-Feb "Approaching the Millenium"
    Saturday Science series, McDonnell Hall, Washington University.
    1999 talk: Y2K
  • 2000-Nov "Modern Uses of Old Astronomical Observations"
    St. Louis Astronomical Society (at McDonnell Hall, Wash Univ.)
    2000 talk: archaeastronomy
  • 2002-Mar "The Atomic Bomb Projects"
    Saturday Science Series, Crow Hall, Washington University. (related to "Copenhagen" play)
    Also note related Post-Disptch article by Michael here.
    Plus, a digitized version of the VHS tape from this talk can be found here.
    2002 talk: Atom Bomb Projects
  • 2002-Apr "Panel will discuss men, science of historical play"
    Panel Discussion about "Copenhagen" (includes Henrik Bohr)
    Lopata Hall, Washington University.

    A digitized version of the VHS tape of this panel discussion can be found here. 2002 talk: Copenhagen play
  • 2006-Mar "To What Lengths Will Astronomers Go"
    St. Louis Astronomical Society (at McDonnell Hall, Wash Univ.)
    2006 talk: astronomical distances
  • 2009-Feb: Advising the President: What Scientific Advice Does the President Get?
    St. Louis Academy of Science, Feb 20, 2009.
    Many political decisions involve scientific knowledge— decisions ranging from the use of nuclear weapons, through the banning of smoking in public areas, to the safety requirements for prescription drugs and many consumer products. At the highest level, the President of the United States must make these decisions. How have the presidents selected their advisors and how has this affected the policy decisions made? You don’t want to miss this timely conversation with Dr. Michael Friedlander, an expert on science and pseudo science and the interface between science and society, as he talks about science and the U.S. president.

    Link: (worked in 2022 broken by spring 2023): Advising the President: What Scientific Advice Does the President Get?
    St. Louis Academy of Science, Feb 20, 2009.
  • 2008-Apr: 50th Anniversary of CNI: "From Alamagordo to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty""
    part of a special session entitled "The Manhattan Project and Beyond", during the
    spring American Physical Society meeting, St. Louis.
  • 2010-Feb "Cosmic Rays—What Are They and Where Do They Come From?"
    St. Louis Astronomical Society (at McDonnell Hall, Wash Univ.)
    Student Life-Cosmic Rays
  • 2013-Feb " The Cahokia Woodhenge"
    St. Louis Astronomical Society.
  • 2013-Mar WU Lifelong Learning Institute: "The Social Responsibility of Scientists"

Additionally, there were talks Michael gave as part of the Saturday Science series he developed for the Physics Department.

The Multimedia page elsewhere on this site has videos and audio recordings of other talks (not described above).