In 1994, the Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence for the Integration of the Arts,
Rhetoric, and Science was named in honor of an individual who has continuously supported
the university over many years. This chair helps to bridge the gap in academia between
the sciences, the arts, and the humanities disciplines.
Chairholders serve for one semester, or the equivalent, allowing a number of individuals
from a variety of fields to participate over time. The primary duties of the chairholder
are to teach two courses, typically one undergraduate and one graduate, and to present
four public lectures/performances.
Nominations are solicited from faculty during the spring semester; notification is
distributed to the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences via e-mail. A nomination should
consist of a letter of nomination and the nominee's CV. The letter should justify
the choice, with emphasis on how the individual would contribute to the interdisciplinary
nature of the position, and should address his/her public speaking and ability to interact with students. It will be assumed
that the nominator has consulted with the individual and determined that he/she would
be interested in the position, should it be offered.
Prof. Karl Heinz Hasenstein
Wayne G. Basler Chair of Excellence in the Arts, Rhetoric and Science
Dr. Karl H Hasenstein is an Endowed Professor and Slemco/LEQSF Regents Professor of
Science, Department of Biology at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a world-class
Gravitational Plant Biologist with wide-range of scientific and artistic interests.
Dr. Hasenstein grew up in a little town in Germany and attended the University of
the Saarland in Saarbrücken. He studied Biology, Physics, and Chemistry and received
his diploma (equivalent to M.S.) in 1977. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1982, he worked
as post-doc in the laboratories of David Rayle (San Diego State University) and Michael
Evans (Ohio State University) before accepting a faculty position at the University
of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1988. Dr. Hasenstein is a recipient of “Distinguished
Professor Award” from ULL in 1999, "Chance Endowed Professorship in Biology" in 2007
and “Slemco/LEQSF Regents Professor of Science” in 2015.
Dr. Hasenstein’s background in Physics and Chemistry, in addition to Biology enabled
him to become a unique, interdisciplinary scientist. He and his team of scientists
have been participating in the Life Sciences program at NASA for three decades. Although,
a decade worth of research that led to a flight experiment was lost with the Columbia
shuttle, Dr. Hasenstein continued his studies on parabolic flights and a Space-X3
flight. He trained more than 15 graduate students and seven postdoctoral researchers;
his research work was presented in more than 180 talks or posters; he gave more than
60 lectures at national and international venues. He received more than six million
dollars in grant support from NASA, NSF and DOE and published more than 100 peer-reviewed
journal articles. Among other things, Dr. Hasenstein was the recipient of 2009 Founder's
Award, from American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (the highest award
given by the society) and served as an Editor for COSPAR Advances in Space Research;
he is currently Associate Editor for Life Sciences in Space Research.
As a free-lance photographer, Dr. Hasenstein used his artistic talent extensively
in science. During his time as a Basler Chair, he will present a series of four public
lectures reflecting a general theme of “Creativity – Bridges between Arts and Science.”
His lectures will explore various aspects of biology that depend on creative problem
solving, and outline the journey of an engaged scientist.
Click here to listen to a recent interview with Dr. Karl Hasenstein.