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Darrin Pagnac, Ph.D., a South Dakota School of Mines & Technology associate professor of geology, will present a talk on dinosaurs during the next STEAM Cafe event Jan. 15 in Rapid City.

Dinosaurs will be the focus of the next STEAM Café discussion event.

The event, set for 6 p.m. Jan. 15 at Hay Camp Brewing Company in Rapid City, will feature Darrin Pagnac, Ph.D., a South Dakota School of Mines & Technology associate professor of geology who specializes in paleontology. He teaches a course called “Dinosaurs” and recently had published a book on the subject, “Dinosaurs: A Catalyst for Critical Thought,” according to a press release.

One area Pagnac touches is the comparison of real scientific discovery regarding dinosaurs and that which is in science fiction.

“We now know what color some dinosaurs were,” he says in the press release. “I never in my lifetime thought we could have discovered this. The way we came about this knowledge, through the rigorous science of exploring and identifying microstructures in dinosaur feathers to discern color, is amazing. It’s better than anything ‘Jurassic Park’ could present.”

Pagnac’s emphasis on critical-thinking skills is to shed light on how they can make students improve as citizens.

“A citizen possessing acute critical thinking skills is best equipped to appreciate the value of science to society, can recognize false or manipulative claims, and will attune their information assessment ability not just to an interest in dinosaurs but also to the important societal issues we all face,” he says

The talk also will be broadcast live and archived on SD Mines’ YouTube site. For more information, find the event on Facebook.

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