Bruce Margon, astronomer, Hubble Telescope expert, and vice chancellor of research at the University of California at Santa Cruz, will present "Rocket Science and Communicating Science: Closer Than You Think" on March 19 at 4 p.m. in Alumni Hall at The Inn at Virginia Tech.

He will also be talking with professional writing students, faculty members, and others while at Virginia Tech.

Formerly the associate director of science with the Space Telescope Science Institute, Margon’s expertise is in high-energy astrophysics, particularly the late stages of stellar evolution and compact stars. As a champion for the Hubble Telescope, he spent many years sharing the wonder of this window on deep space through interviews in major national media outlets, such as The Washington Post and National Public Radio.

“As an astrophysicist and an administrator who has been involved with the Hubble Space Telescope for over 25 years, “Dr. Margon is particularly adept in delivering information to non-scientists and others, particularly the nation’s decision makers,” said James M. Dubinsky, who heads the professional writing program at Virginia Tech, one of the largest such programs in the nation.

“He understands why Hubble matters to all of us, and his skill in communicating science was important when critical decisions had to be made about repairing it. Dr. Margon believes that learning to explain disciplinary knowledge to the public is critical because individuals require an understanding of science to be responsible citizens,” said Dubinsky. “We are pleased to have him visit because we believe he has much to teach professional communicators, scientists -- particularly publicly supported researchers at institutions like Virginia Tech, and graduate students."

Margon continues to write for general magazines, such as Space and Telescope, as well as scientific journals. Two of Margon’s public talks -- "Hubble Space Telescope: Glimpsing of the Birth of the Universe" and "Cosmic Recycling: We Are Made of Stars" -- can be viewed on the Research Channel online.

At Santa Cruz, Margon provides executive leadership and coordination for research administration and planning. He has extensive management experience, including service on national advisory and policy boards, plus a long history of effective work with key federal funding agencies. The quality and societal impact of research at the University of California at Santa Cruz has continued a remarkable upward trajectory, with a 28 percent increase in research funding achieved in the last year and approximately 88 percent increase in research funding in the last five years.