Lifelong Scholar Society

Florida Tech’s Lifelong Scholar Society is a community of curious minds who are passionate about sharing knowledge. Throughout the year, the society hosts a series of lectures. Due to COVID-19, lectures will be virtual until it is safe for social gatherings. Topics range from historical writers and contemporary art to the Florida habitat, space exploration, and more. Join us and become part of a world of exciting people!

Upcoming Lectures:

April 1, 6 PM EDT - Living in the Zika Latitudes: A Brief History of Mosquito Control in Florida by Dr. Gordon Patterson 

Living in the Zika Latitudes: A Brief History of Mosquito Control in Florida with Dr. Gordon Patterson. This lecture will discuss how Florida overcame the challenge of mosquitos, perhaps the most vexing struggle humans encountered in the past two centuries. As vectors of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, mosquitoes, and our species’ effort to institute mosquito control played a crucial role in Florida history. Climate change, rising sea levels, and globalization present a host of new challenges for controlling the six-legged-blood-sucking pest in the 21st century for those of us living in the Zika latitudes. 

About Dr. Gordon Patterson: Gordon M. Patterson is a professor of history at Florida Tech, where he has taught since 1981. In addition to his work at Florida Tech, he holds an appointment as a Vector Historian at the Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University. Before coming to Florida, Professor Patterson was a lecturer at the University of Maryland from 1974 until 1981, and an instructor at UCLA in 1973. He holds two graduate-level degrees from UCLA, as well as a BS from Northwestern University. 

Patterson spent eight years in Europe working in Vienna and Heidelberg. He held a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Heidelberg and received a Fulbright Travel grant for work in Malaysia and Indonesia. 

At Florida Tech, Patterson has received the faculty excellence award for service; the faculty excellence award for teaching; as well as the Sustained Commitment to Student Life Award; the Florida Tech Student Alumni Award for Outstanding Teaching; the Lamda Chi Alpha fraternity Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Alpha Pi Foundation Chapter Award for Excellence in Teaching.



April 22, 6 PM EDT - "I went to Mars…Habitat That Is" by Dr. John Deaton

About the lecture: Dr. Deaton spent two weeks in an isolated Mars habitat in the Utah desert. He documented his experiences in photos. The question that will be focused on in his presentation is whether we should have manned-flight crews go to Mars and, if so, what to expect.

About the speaker: Dr. John Deaton joined the Florida Institute of Technology in 2001 and is a Professor of Aviation Human Factors in the College of Aeronautics. Dr. Deaton is a retired Navy Commander and a designated Aerospace Experimental Psychologist, including the completion of basic flight training and semi-finalist for the Astronaut Training Program. He has over 35 years of experience working in human factors/performance and has conducted investigations in human factors/performance for the FAA, the Department of Defense, and small businesses. Past research activities have included researching for the FAA associated with NEXGEN technologies, mitigating strategies for runway incursions, and of late, examining the effects of long-term space flight in collaboration with Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon. His Ph.D. is in Applied Experimental Psychology, and he has over 100 publications.