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St. Olaf College Science Symposium
New Science for a New Century

New Science for a New Century
May 5-6, 2000

Four distinguished scientists, representing some of the most exciting and critical scientific issues of today and tomorrow, presented at this two-day conference. Charles DeLisi, a pioneer in the Human Genome project, explained the term genomics and helped us think about the long-term implications of this "tour-de-force" research. David Tilman, a distinguished ecologist talked about ecological challenges ahead and the ways thinking has changed in this complex field. Madeleine Jacobs, editor in chief of Chemistry and Engineering News, discussed the importance of science education in the development of a scientifically literate society and a source of research scientists. Finally, St. Olaf's own Doug Blanchard '67, Deputy Director of Public Affairs at Johnson Space Flight Center, will focus on the extraterrestrial programs, especially the Mars projects, and search for life elsewhere in the solar system.

 

 

Speakers

Charles DeLisi
Charles DeLisi is Arthur G. B. Metcalf Professor of Science and Engineering, and Dean of the College of Engineering at Boston University. Prior to joining Boston University he served (from 1987-1990) as Professor and Chairman, Department of Biomathematical Sciences, and Professor of Molecular Biology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

From 1985 -1987 Dr. DeLisi was Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) health and environmental research programs. As Director he set national science policy in health and environmental areas relevant to Department's mission, including global and subsurface environmental science, nuclear medicine, epidemiology, and molecular biology. In 1997, he received the US DOE Exceptional Service Award for his "seminal role...in proposing and initiating the Department's and the Nation's Human Genome Program." In 1999 he and several others accepted the Smithsonian Institution- Platinum Technology 21st Century Pioneer Leadership Award on behalf of the Project. Prior to assuming his position at DOE, he spent ten years in various scientific and administrative positions at the National Institutes of Health

From 1972-1975 Dr. DeLisi was a staff scientist in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. From 1969-1972 he was a postdoctoral fellow in Chemistry and Biophysics at Yale University, and in 1972, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering and Applied Science, where he taught digital electronics. He received his bachelor's degree in history and physics from the City College of New York, and his Ph.D. in physics from New York University. He and his colleagues have authored or edited six books and some 200 scientific papers in various areas of biophysics and applied mathematics.

In addition to his decanal responsibilities, he continues to direct an active research program in the Boston University Laboratory of Biomolecular Engineering, which he founded in 1990. In 1997 Dr DeLisi founded Pharmadyne Inc, a Biotech startup focused on antiviral therapies. In 1999 he instituted the All-University Ph.D. Program in Bioinformatics, which includes some 50 faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine.

G. David Tilman
G. David Tilman received his B.S. (1971), M.S. (1973) and Ph.D. (1976) degrees, all in Zoology, from the University of Michigan. Since then he has been on the faculty of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, where he now is a McKnight Distinguished University Professor and Director of Cedar Creek Natural History Area. For the past 18 years he has headed the Cedar Creek Long-Term Ecological Research project on grassland succession and biodiversity. He currently is the Editor of Issues in Ecology, a publication of the Ecological Society of America designed to foster communication among ecologists, the public, and governmental decision makers. He has served on the editorial boards of Science, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, The American Naturalist, Acta Oecologia (Par is) and Limnology and Oceanography. An author or editor of four books and more than 140 scientific papers, he was a member of the NAS panel on Pacific Northwest Forest Management Forestry (1993-1995) and on the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Panel of the U. S. President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) (1997-1998). Awards include Guggenheim Fellow (1984), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1985), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science (199 5), Pew Scholar in Conservation Biology (1995), and the ESA's Cooper Award (1989) and MacArthur Award (1996). An experimentalist and theorist, he is interested in biodiversity, in the controls of ecosystem stability and productivity, and in the long-term implications for society of human domination of global ecosystems.

Madeleine Jacobs
Madeleine Jacobs is the first woman to be appointed editor (and editor-in-chief) of Chemical & Engineering News magazine, the weekly newsmagazine of the chemical world published by the American Chemical Society for its members and ot her interested professionals. The magazine, with its staff of 44 people in seven news bureaus around the world, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1998. The current audited circulation is about 148,000.

Jacobs majored in chemistry at George Washington University and graduated with honors and distinction in 1968. She carried out graduate work in organic chemistry for a year at the University of Maryland, before joining the staff of C&EN in 1969. There, she was an assistant editor and writer where she covered 10 western states. She worked at C&EN for three years.

In 1972, she worked at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a writer and editor. In 1974, she joined the staff at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) where she rose to the position of chief of media liaison and general publications. She was the principal media spokesperson for NBS and oversaw the publication of a monthly research news magazine and numerous publications reporting on science research. She also fr eelanced for Physics Today and Smithsonian magazine. During these positions, she used her chemistry training and background to write about science developments for a general audience.

In 1979, she joined the Smithsonian Institution as the chief science writer, and was soon promoted to assistant director and then director of the Office of Public Affairs. Her work there included launching the nationally syndicated Smith sonian News Service (a monthly feature story service for 1,500 daily and weekly newspapers). In 1986, she became director of the Office of Public Affairs and became the principal media spokesperson for the entire Institution.

She returned to Chemical & Engineering News in 1993 as managing editor. She has spent the last seven years rebuilding and reorganizing the staff for greater flexibility and efficiency. She became editor in July 1995. In 1998, she also conceived of and coordinated C&ENās 75th anniversary celebration, which included a special issue, a symposium on the challenges for chemistry in the new millennium, and curriculum materials for high school chemistry teachers based on the special issue. The magazine introduced a fully interactive Web edition--Chemical & Engineering News Online.

Jacobs' professional interests include employment, minority representation, and gender equality of scientists. She has written about many of these topics for nearly 30 years. A native of Washington, D.C., Jacobs has been married to an artist for 28 years and has a stepson, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren, Matthew Jr., 15, and John, 10. Her hobbies include cooking, photography, swimming, gardening, writing poetry, and weight training.

Douglas P. Blanchard
Doug Blanhard is the Deputy Director for Public Affairs at the Johnson Space Center. Dr. Blanchard came to Johnson Space Center in 1973 directly from graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. He worked as a scientist and manager in the Earth Science & Solar System Exploration Division for 24 years. His present challenge is to communicate scientific and exploration challenges in the new era of the International Space Station. From 1990-1999, he servied as chief of the Earth Science & Solar System Exploration Division, which is widely recognized as "world class" in Astromaterials Science, Space Environment Science, and Earth Science from Space. In his new role as Deputy Director for Public Affairs, Dr. Blanchard shares the responsibility with the Director, Public Affairs, for planning, directing, and managing all public affairs activities for JSC.

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