Wake Forest continues science and technology theme

Science and Technology: The Next MillenniumWake Forest University will continue to celebrate “Science and Technology: the Next Millennium” with a variety of spring semester events centered on science and technology topics such as computer security issues, women in science and the state of the environment.

The university is devoting the 1999-2000 academic year to a celebration of scientific inquiry in the coming millennium.

“The change of the new millennium seemed like a 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.

Spring events will begin in January with a symposium addressing “Living in a Networked World: Community, Security and Privacy.” Computer scientists and others will visit campus to discuss topics such as computer encryption, artificial intelligence, and computer security, privacy and censorship. Featured speakers will include George Dyson, author of the book, “Darwin Among the Machines,” who will speak on Jan. 18.

S. Brent Morris, senior mathematician at the National Security Agency, will discuss “Classic Encryption” on Jan. 25. A security software expo, held in conjunction with the event, will include demonstrations of encryption systems, face and fingerprint recognition software and the PC “smart card.”

Astrophysicist Michael S. Turner, co-author of the book, “The Early Universe,” will give a public lecture on Jan. 26. Turner, a professor at the University of Chicago,

writes extensively about the form and evolution of the universe, including the big-bang theory, dark matter and dark energy.

Michael Posner, co-author of the book “Images of Mind,” will discuss “Educating the Human Brain” on Feb. 5. Posner was a pioneer in capturing images of brain activity. In 1996, he received the Charles Dana Foundation Award for his contributions to health and neuroscience. Posner is director of the Sackler Institute for Human Brain Development at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Award-winning scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki will give Wake Forest’s Founders’ Day Convocation address at 11 a.m. on Feb. 10. Suzuki has hosted 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. Suzuki is the author of 28 books, including “Introduction to Genetic Analysis” and 10 books for children.

A two-day “Women, Science and Technology” symposium (Feb. 21-22) will bring Georgia Tech sociologist Mary Frank Fox and Glaxo Wellcome scientist Penelope Manasco to campus. Sue Rosser, dean of Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College and author of “Re-Engineering Female Friendly Science,” will also speak.

In March, a musical installation, “Ultimate Symphonius II,” will feature the electronic music of composers Bart and Priscilla McLean. The interactive work demonstrates the use of technology in the service of creative expression, says Louis Goldstein, Wake Forest professor of music and organizer of the event.

The year will conclude in April with a “State of the Environment” symposium featuring the president of the Sierra Club, Adam Werback, and speakers addressing environmental economics and environmental ethics.

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).

For more information on the year’s events and a complete calendar, visit the Web site, www.wfu.edu/wfunews/yosthome.htm, or call 336-758-5788.

Categories: Events, Research, University Announcement