Five Hillsdale College members of the American Chemical Society attended a science talk Sept. 19 in Detroit, Michigan.
Christine Aush­erman | Courtesy

What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning or lost all its water at once? David Con­siglio, an Oakland Com­munity College pro­fessor and high school science teacher, may have the answer.

Con­siglio gave a talk about these and other ques­tions addressed in his book “Spoiler Alert: Everyone Dies: The Lighter Side of Global Anni­hi­lation” Sept. 19 in Detroit, Michigan. Five members of Hillsdale College’s chapter of the American Chemical Society attended the talk, which was spon­sored by the national ACS.

Consiglio’s book revolves around addressing imag­inary sce­narios based on real prin­ciples of physics and chem­istry. For example, one question Con­siglio answered was whether the Earth’s pop­u­lation had enough com­bined strength to pull the moon toward the Earth using an unbreakable rope.

Con­siglio first began answering these hypo­thetical ques­tions on a blogging website called Quora. After answering a few ques­tions online, Con­siglio made con­nec­tions across the world with people who either agreed or dis­agreed with his answers to quixotic ques­tions, which explain whim­sical sce­narios using real sci­en­tific prin­ciples.

“They’re all very inter­esting,” said senior Christine Aush­erman, sec­retary of Hillsdale’s ACS chapter. “They’re all strange and weird, but he takes the time to describe the physics and to a certain extent, the chem­istry behind these phe­nomena.”

Hillsdale ACS pres­ident senior Andrea Lee said she felt the event would be a great way to meet other ACS members.

“We’ve never inter­acted with other ACS chapters in the state,” Lee said. “As one of the goals for this year, I wanted to try and get more involved with other chapters.”

The talk was one of a series of chem­istry-related events the national ACS sponsors each month. “When I heard about this, I was really excited because I feel like a lot of the sci­en­tific field is based on com­munity, hearing what other people are doing, meeting other stu­dents, and inter­acting with people,” freshman Gabrielle Grayson, who attended the talk, said. “It sounded really fun and inter­esting.”

Aush­erman said the event was a good oppor­tunity to meet other ACS members, although Consiglio’s talk con­tained less chem­istry-spe­cific topics.

“Next month’s talk is very much a chem­istry research topic involving car­bo­hy­drates and cancer research,” Aush­erman said. “So I’m looking forward to that talk if we do end up going again.”