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JoePalcaJoe Palca, award-winning science correspondent for National Public Radio, will give the annual Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The event, sponsored by the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, is free and open to the public. The lecture will be held in the auditorium of the College of Nursing.

Palca’s talk is titled “Explaining the Universe in Two Minutes or Less.”

In his presentation, Palca will demonstrate that anything, even complex subjects like quantum physics, can be explained to a certain level of abstraction in two minutes or less.

During his visit, Palca also will host a master class for nominated students who are interested in writing about science for the general public.

“Joe has an amazing ability to make science—all kinds of science—understandable and fascinating to the public,” said Mark Littmann, Julia G. and Alfred G Hill Chair of Excellence in Science, Technology, and Medical Writing. “That makes him a cultural treasure. It’s such a pleasure to have him deliver our Hill Lecture.”

Palca received his doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Since joining National Public Radio in 1992, Palca has covered the entire spectrum of science, technology, and medicine. He also has won top science journalism awards from the National Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and more.

The Alfred and Julia Hill Lecture series hosts distinguished science journalists to share their thoughts on science, society, and the mass media. The lectures are made possible by an endowment by Tom Hill and Mary Frances Hill Holton in honor of their parents, Alfred and Julia Hill, founders of the Oak Ridger. The endowment of the lecture series was a gift to the UT School of Journalism and Electronic Media.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,