WFU celebrates science and technology year

Science and Technology: The Next MillenniumWake Forest University is celebrating “Science and Technology: The Next Millennium” through a series of speakers, events and activities during the 1999-2000 academic year.

From cloning to computer security, events will focus on a wide variety of science and technology issues. The majority of the events are free and open to the public.
“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 William E. Conner, a professor of biology at Wake Forest and chair of the theme year’s planning committee.

In the fall, the university will examine current genetic research and its implications in a series of events on “Cloning and the Human Genome Project.” Events include a lecture on capillary electrophoresis, which is used to analyze DNA, by Norman J. Dovichi, a professor with the University of Alberta. Also planned is a joint symposium with Wake Forest School of Law and School of Medicine on the legal ramifications of gene technology.

A weekend film series in October will explore the intersection of technology and the human body, as well as misrepresentation of science in film. Films include “Gattaca,” “Blade Runner,” “Alien Resurrection” and “RoboCop.” Faculty and student discussions are planned in conjunction with the films.

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, such as M.C. Escher, who use scientific principles in the creation of their work.

In January, several events are planned to address “Living in a Networked World: Community, Security and Privacy.” Events include a lecture by 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.”

In late January, noted astrophysicist Michael S. Turner, a professor at the University of Chicago, will give a public lecture on cosmology, the study of the universe’s form and evolution.

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, Suzuki is 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 Barton and Priscilla McLean. “Its’ demonstration of a use for technology in the service of creative expression relates to the science and technology theme,” said event organizer Louis Goldstein, professor of music.

In 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.

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.”

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).

Information about the year’s events is posted on the “Science and Technology” Web site. Event information is also available by calling 336-758-5788.

Categories: University Announcement