WFU preparing for focus on science, technology

Science and Technology: The Next MillenniumWake Forest University will address some of the most significant issues facing scientists and society during its yearlong celebration of “Science and Technology: The Next Millennium.”

During the 1999-2000 academic year, Wake Forest will feature a series of speakers, events and activities focusing on science and technology topics including cloning, computer security issues and the state of the environment.

“The change of the new millennium seemed like the perfect time to discuss the achievements of science and technology and to look toward the future and what it might hold,” said Wake Forest Professor of Biology William E. Conner, chair of the theme year committee.

The year will begin with a symposium on “Cloning and the Human Genome Project” in early October. Specific speakers will be announced later.

A special art exhibit, “Fusion: Art & Science,” will run from October through December in the Wake Forest Fine Arts Gallery. The exhibit will feature seven artists who use scientific principles in the creation of their work.

In January, a symposium addressing “Living in a Networked World: Community, Security and Privacy” will bring computer scientists and others to campus to discuss topics ranging from computer privacy issues to the latest in computer security technology. Featured speakers will include S. Brent Morris, senior mathematician at the National Security Agency, who will discuss “Classic Encryption.” Also scheduled is George Dyson, author of the book, “Darwin Among the Machines.”

Noted astophysicist Michael S. Turner, a University of Chicago professor, will give a public lecture in early February.

Award-winning scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki will give Wake Forest’s Founders’ Day Convocation address on Feb. 10. Suzuki hosts the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s television program, “The Nature of Things,” and PBS’s “The Secret of Life.” A professor in the Sustainable Development Research Institute at the University of British Columbia, he is well known for exploring the relationship between science and society and explaining the complexities of the natural sciences in a compelling and easily understood way. He is the author of 28 books, including “Introduction to Genetic Analysis” and 10 books for children.

In March, a musical installation, “Ultimate Symphonius II,” will feature the electronic music of composers Bart and Priscilla McLean. “Its demonstration of a use for technology in the service of creative expression relates to the science and technology theme,” said Louis Goldstein, Wake Forest professor of music and organizer of the event.

Professor of Biology William E. ConnerIn April, the university will celebrate Earth Day with a series of events dedicated to the “State of the Environment.”

Throughout the year, individual academic departments such as biology, mathematics and computer science, physics, chemistry, health and exercise science, and psychology will sponsor events in conjunction with the theme year. A special film series will focus on the science and technology theme. Seminars on science and technology topics will be offered to Wake Forest freshmen. Seminar topics include “Scientific Serendipity: Accidental Science,” “Exploring the Limits of Computing,” “Science and Technology: Debates on Controversial Issues,” and “Science, Technology and Gender.”

“Our students and the community will learn about many of the new and exciting things happening in the fields of science and technology,” said Conner. “We will also explore the important roles of science and technology in a liberal arts education, ” he added.

Each year, a series of events is developed around a common theme as part of Wake Forest’s Undergraduate Plan, an initiative to enhance undergraduate education. “Science and Technology: The Next Millennium” is the fourth theme year. Previously, the university celebrated the Year of Globalization and Diversity (1998-99), the Year of Religion in American Life (1997-98), and the Year of the Arts (1996-97).

Categories: Events, University Announcement