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Saturday U: Free One-Day College Education Program Oct. 29 in Jackson

October 25, 2011
English Professor Caroline McCraken-Flesher will discuss "Jekyll and Hyde: Science and Scandal," one of three lectures by UW professors during Saturday's program. (UW Photo)

Early human life in Wyoming and a new take on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are among topics Saturday, Oct. 29, for the fall term of Saturday U -- the University of Wyoming's free one-day college education program.

A half-day of college classes and discussion begins with refreshments at 8:30 a.m., followed by a welcoming address at 8:45 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art Cook Auditorium.

Three representatives from UW will then present lectures, followed with a free lunch and a question and answer session.

Saturday U is a collaborative program that connects popular UW professors with life-long learners in Jackson Hole. Offered three times a year, Saturday U is sponsored by the university, the UW Foundation and Wyoming Humanities Council and presented by Central Wyoming College (CWC), the National Museum of Wildlife Art and Teton County Library Foundation.

Listed are program topic descriptions and UW representatives lecturing:

9-10 a.m. -- "From Big Bang to Big Mac: Stable Isotopes and the Fabric of the World," Carlos Martínez del Rio, Department of Zoology and Physiology professor. We can tell a lot about ourselves and life on this planet by counting the number of neutrons in atoms. By analyzing the chemistry of birds' feathers, we can find out the routes they take as they commute across a continent. By analyzing a tiny piece of fingernail, we can know if a person is a vegetarian, carnivore or fast food junkie. Discover the three simple, yet profound observations that make these miraculous insights possible.

10:15-11:15 a.m. -- "Wyoming's Bighorn Basin: 14,000 Years of Climate and Human Population Change," Robert L. Kelly, Frison Institute director and Department of Anthropology professor. We can now reconstruct changes in the size of human populations, accurately over thousands of years, with a new method developed by UW faculty members. Combined with new UW research into past climate change, we can also examine, more precisely than ever before, the relationships between human population size and climate change. Find out what these new insights from Wyoming's Bighorn Basin could mean for the Rocky Mountain region.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. -- "Jekyll and Hyde: Science and Scandal," Caroline McCracken-Flesher, Department of English chair and professor. Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," could easily be re-titled "Mr. Jekyll and Dr. Hyde." A widely-published specialist in 19th century British literature, McCracken-Flesher shows how Hyde reveals the dark side of 19th century doctors, linking medicine and murder, drugs and dreadful deeds. By delving into medical history, modern brain theory, pharmacology and 19th century scandals -- from murderous dentists to a notorious dissectionist -- discover how Stevenson's universally popular tale reflects contemporary and evolving, societal beliefs about medicine and drugs.

12:30-1:30 p.m. -- Lunch and speaker roundtable moderated by Jean Garrison, director of UW International Studies Program and Department of Political Science professor, plus  audience question and answer session in the Wapiti Gallery.

Participants may attend one, two or all three lectures, plus the final roundtable. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, or to register for college credit or Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) credit, call Susan Thulin, CWC outreach coordinator, (307) 733-7425.

For more information about Saturday U, visit the website at or contact Teton County Library Adult Humanities Coordinator Oona Doherty at 733-2164 ext. 135 or email


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