The Science Seminar series was inaugurated in 1972 by Dr. George L. Buc (Physics) and Dr. Ralph Eckerlin (Biology), both professors and active researchers at the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division at Annandale, that was later transformed into the Mathematics, Science and Engineering Division. The first lecture was given on salt marshes by Eckerlin to a small group of Natural Science faculty in a lab room. As the science seminar became popular and more broadly advertised, the venue moved to the large lecture hall in the CS building. In 1984, Dr. Walerian Majewski (physics), who ran weekly departmental physics meetings, joined Eckerlin in organizing the series. Both Drs. Eckerlin and Majewski are recipients of the Outstanding Faculty Award and now professors emeriti at the MSE Division at the Annandale campus.
From the late 1990s, Ms. Reva Savkar, a chemistry professor and a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, established a formal Science Seminar committee and expanded the series to include interdisciplinary scholars and science educators, along with exploring the interaction between art and science by bringing together experts from humanities and sciences to share the podium. To accommodate larger audience students, faculty, and visitors, most seminars are now held in the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center, and Light refreshments and beverages are provided.
Most recently, following Savkar’s retirement in Spring 2017, Dr. Ilya Tëmkin (biology), a co-founder of NOVA’s annual Darwin Day symposium and the organizer of the International Meeting on the Hierarchy Theory of Evolution (National Academy of Science, Washington, D.C./NOVA, Annandale, VA, 2016) became the chair of the Science Seminar series.