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Lt. Robby Nix, a critical care paramedic with Rural Metro Fire Department, has seen plenty of interesting things in twenty-six years of work.

He will discuss the fire service and tell his stories at Friday’s Science Forum.

The Science Forum is a weekly brown-bag lunch series that allows professors and area scientists to discuss their research and the general public to learn about science through a conversational presentation.

The weekly presentations begin at noon on Fridays in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena. Each presentation is forty minutes long and is followed by a question-and-answer session. Science Forum presentations are free and open to the public.

Nix will talk about the “hot-potato baby” phenomenon that firefighters encounter.

He said that when firefighters or paramedics answer a call at a home with a sick or injured child, parents often bring the child outside instead of waiting.

“The parent presents us with a very sick child as soon as we get there,” he said. “Sometimes when we pull up, they come sprinting out.”

In contrast, when adults in the house are in need, they wait inside. Children are portable and often inspire more worry, Nix said.

Nix will also present a general history of the fire service and talk about the medical work he does.

Future Science Forums will feature:

  • March 1: Juan-Carlos Idrobo, research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, discussing “Exploring the Universe One Atom at a Time.”
  • March 8: Paul Campbell Erwin, professor and head of the Department of Public Health, presenting “John Snow and Cholera: The Foundation for Modern Disease Investigation.”
  • March 15: Kevin Hoyt, director of UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, presenting “The Proposed UT AgResearch Gas and Oil Well Research Project.”
  • April 5: William T. Bogart, president of Maryville College and professor of economics there, discussing “Cargo Cult Economic Policy: Urban Development and Green Energy.”
  • April 12: Stephanie K. Drumheller-Horton, instructor of earth and planetary sciences, presenting “Crocodylian Bite Marks in the Fossil Record.”
  • April 19: Devon M. Burr, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, discussing “The Moon That Would Be a Planet: Saturn’s Giant Titan.”
  • April 26: Joan Markel, curator of Civil War exhibits at the McClung Museum, presenting “Digging into Our Civil War Past.”

The Science Forum is sponsored by the UT Office of Research. For more information about the Science Forum, visit the Office of Research website.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Holly Gary (865-974-2225,