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USM’s Lucille Benedict Explains the Pollutants in Street Dust at the Next Science Café at the Portland Public Library

Contact: Jennifer Dean, 207-780-4149,

University of Southern Maine College of Science, Technology, & Health

The University of Southern Maine and Cornerstones of Science announce the final installment of the Fall 2012 Science Cafés in the Atrium series held at Portland Public Library, Monument Square, at 5:30-6:30 p.m., on Thursday, November 29. USM Professor of Chemistry Lucille Benedict will discuss “Street Dust's Dirty Little Secrets,” explaining what pollutants her research has uncovered in the street dust we breath, how these pollutants get there, and what impact it has on our local environment.

The Science Café format is an informal approach to discussing and understanding scientific research and its relevance to people in their everyday lives. The event will be held in Portland Public Library’s open, glass-walled atrium that faces Monument Square in Portland and will offer light refreshments in an informal, casual atmosphere. Students, young professionals and anyone interested in getting the inside look at what scientists are doing – and why – are invited to attend.  The event is free and open to the public.

The University of Southern Maine and Cornerstones of Science hosted this series centered around Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” exploring how far we have come and what challenges remain, since its publication 50 years ago on September 27, 1962. Researchers from USM’s College of Science, Technology, & Health lead the discussions based on the research underway that is seeking to better understand human-environment relationships in the fields of biology, chemistry and ecology. 

Sponsoring organizations:

USM's College of Science, Technology, and Health. For more information, contact Jennifer Dean

Cornerstones of Science is the award-winning science literacy initiative based in Brunswick, Maine, connecting people of all ages to science and technology through great books, programs and events at public libraries. For more information, contact

The Portland Public Library serves the Greater Portland Community through services that support the educational, informational, and recreational interests of all community members.