Richmond, Virginia (PRWEB) December 05, 2012
As a young boy in Richmond, Andy O’Bannon remembers family trips to the Science Museum of Virginia where he interacted with exhibits and realized that underlying rules were at work. His imagination was sparked, leaving him with a burning desire to know what those laws were. Now he returns to the Museum as Andrew O’Bannon, Ph. D., a theoretical physicist at the University of Cambridge.
"Dr. O’ Bannon’s story is one that motivates the Science Museum to work even harder to ensure we are inspiring people like Andy to solve global issues, " said Richard C. Conti, Chief Wonder Officer, Science Museum of Virginia.
Dr. O’Bannon presents Superconductivity and String Theory: A Crash Course in Modern Theoretical Physics on Wednesday, December 12, at noon as part of the Lunch Break Science program. The Freeman High School graduate is excited to share his work as a postdoctoral researcher in the place that nurtured his love of science. Growing up the Museum was a strong presence in his life, including field trips, visits to watch giant screen films on the IMAX®DOME, and working as a volunteer in Museum exhibits. He was studying physics in high school, but it wasn’t the same as the thrill of interacting with science.
“The Science Museum, in conjunction with my science classes in school, put the hook in me,” says O’Bannon. “The thrill of discovery that I felt at the Museum when I was a child hasn’t changed. Though the equations today are more complicated than they were when I was twelve, science is still fun, exciting, challenging, and rewarding.”
After he graduated, O’Bannon earned his Bachelor’s degree in physics and the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. After obtaining his doctorate in physics from the University of Washington, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich before moving to Cambridge. Now when he visits his sister and her family, they all come to the Museum where O’Bannon enjoys seeing the next generation experience the same excitement he had as a kid and he is pleased they have access to the Science Museum. He says, “the fact that the Science Museum of Virginia exists is a statement that science has a central place in society and that science should be available to anyone and everyone.”