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Energy & Environment

Science on Tap to Host Mining Forum

The popular science conversation series Science on Tap takes a different approach this week in tackling a controversial topic.  Instead of hosting one speaker at a brewpub, it’s assembled a panel at a large venue to discuss the proposed iron mine in the Penokee Hills. 

Organizer Tim Kratz says since the program began, people have been asking for a program about the Penokee Mine. 

“What we’re hoping is that we’ll have a comprehensive, value-neutral, scientifically based information presented about what we know and don’t know about mining in general and the Penokee Mine in particular.”

The talk will take place at the Campanile Center for the Arts.  With a capacity of about 450…Kratz says they’re prepared for a crowd. 

Panelists include experts on geology, mining operations, engineering, the local environment, economics.  DNR chief regulator Ann Coakley will also be present.

Kratz says Science on Tap is sponsored by the University of Wisconsin Madison, and so it’s motivated by the concept of the Wisconsin Idea.

“At the University we look forward to opportunities to be able to bring university expertise to bear on questions that are important to the citizenry of Wisconsin. So we view this as one of the most important Wisconsin Idea kinds of topics that maybe the university could help weigh in on.”

Kratz says representatives from mining company Gogebic Taconite declined to be part of the panel, but he thinks a diversity of perspectives will be represented. 

The panel discussion is Thursday evening at the Campanile Center.  

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