The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

57° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

‘Meteorite Men’ visit Science CafǸ

Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Geoffrey Notkin, science writer and professional meteorite hunter, demonstrates how to use a magnet to test if a meteorite is real during a Science Cafe talk at Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Notkin spoke about a new show he co-hosts called Meteorite Men and answered questions from diners eager to learn more about meteorites.
Lisa Beth Earle
Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Geoffrey Notkin, science writer and professional meteorite hunter, demonstrates how to use a magnet to test if a meteorite is real during a Science Cafe talk at Cushing Street Bar and Restaurant on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Notkin spoke about a new show he co-hosts called “Meteorite Men” and answered questions from diners eager to learn more about meteorites.

Geoffrey Notkin holds aloft a smooth, polished-looking rock in front of a packed house at the Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant in downtown Tucson on Tuesday night.

“”Meteorites are my passion,”” he says. “”I search the surface of the Earth for them; I collect them; I buy, sell, and trade them; I write about them; I make television documentaries about them; and sometimes I even wear one around my neck.””

Notkin, the star of “”Meteorite Men,”” a new series on the Science Channel, was brought to Cushing Street to participate in Science Café, a monthly series of talks sponsored by the Flandrau Science Center at the UA.

According to Alexis R. Faust, the executive director of the Flandrau Center, Science Café is a program which seeks to foster academic discussion in an intimate setting.

“”What we’re trying to do here is get people to talk with, not at, people,”” Faust said.

Since its inception two years ago, Science Café has gathered scholars and citizens alike to discuss a wide variety of topics from arthritis to the human brain to this most recent presentation on meteorites.

Notkin works as a professional meteorite hunter with his partner Steve Arnold, who is the second of the “”Meteorite Men.”” During their searches, Notkin and Arnold filmed segments about their work for several different television programs before deciding to put together a proposal for a regular series of their own. After several rejections, the series was picked up by the Science Channel and “”Meteorite Men”” was born.

“”I always wanted to be in television,”” Notkin said. “”I thought it would be great fun with all kinds of celebrity parties I could drive to in fancy cars. In fact, I spent the last four months out in the screaming wilderness with a crew of filmmakers.””

Notkin realized his passion for meteorites at a young age after numerous childhood trips to the Geological Museum in London with his mother, where he became entranced by the Hall of Meteorites.

“”I was allowed to go up to them and touch them, all the while expecting some museum guard would come up behind me and say, ‘You can’t touch that, son!'”” Notkin said. Notkin’s 15-minute presentation was followed by a question and answer session, which took up the majority of the allotted event time. The assembled crowd of approximately 60 people had no shortage of questions for Notkin and discussion ranged from information about his upcoming show to proof that an audience member’s meteorite was anything but.

Faust was unsurprised by the reaction.

“”There’s a lot of mystique surrounding meteorites,”” she said.

The Science Café series will continue having monthly presentations until June. The next presentation will be focused on Mars and will be held in conjunction with the Tucson Sky Center on Jan. 29.

Next Science Lecture:

What: Science Café discussing Mars

Where: Tucson Sky Center, Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant

When: Jan. 29, 6 p.m.

 

More to Discover
Activate Search