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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Paige Garrido

FAU Presents Frontiers in Science Public Lecture Series with Professor Mario Motta

BOCA RATON, Fla. (February 4, 2014) – Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science continues its Frontiers in Science 2014 public lecture series with a presentation by Mario E. Motta, M.D., titled “Health Effects of Light Pollution.” The lecture will take place on Friday, Feb. 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Room 126, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

Motta, cardiologist in practice at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Mass. and associate professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, will focus his lecture on the negative effects of artificial night lighting on people, plants and wildlife.

“As an amateur astronomer and telescope maker, I knew of the adverse effect that light pollution has on being able to study the skies,” said Motto. “I began researching other harmful effects of light pollution, including the disruption of circadian biological rhythms or sleep, as well as the impact of headlamps, nighttime lighting schemes and glare on driving safety.”

A member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and elected member of the American Medical Association's (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health, Motta spent years encouraging members of the medical community to recognize the negative effects of glare on vision. In 2009, his campaign bore fruit with the unanimous passage of AMA Resolution 516 officially supporting light pollution efforts and glare reduction efforts.

Motto advocates for shielded lighting fixtures that point downward and focus on a specific area, as opposed to lighting the largest area possible.  He also encourages municipalities and builders to consider more efficient lighting as a way to reduce energy costs and reduce glare at night.

“Dr. Motto is at the forefront of the research about light pollution and its effects on our health and is an advocate for this issue,” said Eric Vandernoot, astronomy and physics lab coordinator within the department of physics in FAU’s College of Science.

 All Frontiers in Science lectures are free and open to the public.  No registration is necessary.  The series is sponsored by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and supported by FAU’s Lifelong Learning Society Endowed Professorship in Science. Printing and mailing of lecture series materials were made possible by a donation from Bank of America.

 For more information, contact Paige Garrido at 561-297-4526 or , or visit


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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