Dr. John H. Gibbons, former science advisor to President Clinton, will give his first talk as the 1998-1999 Karl Taylor Compton Lecturer on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 4pm in the Tang Center's Wong Auditorium. His talk is entitled "21st Century: Will Science and Technology Contribute to Society, or Scuttle It?"
Dr. Gibbons was science advisor from the beginning of President Clinton's term in 1992 until early 1998. Before joining the administration, he was director of the Office of Technology Assessment in Congress for 13 years. An accomplished nuclear physicist, Dr. Gibbons worked earlier at Duke and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, where he did pioneer work in energy conservation research and development.
His talk will focus on the global climate change and loss of biodiversity accompanying growth of the human population. Questions he will discuss include the implications for humanity, possible technical solutions, and whether such slowly changing phenomena can be effectively addressed by political institutions.
The Karl Taylor Compton Lectures honor the memory of MIT's ninth president by bringing to campus some of the world's great minds. The lectures dramatize the combined scientific, cultural and philosophical concerns which Karl Compton diligently sought for the Institute during his 25 years of leadership. This year's Compton Lecture Series is being sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Department of Political Science.
President Charles M. Vest will introduce the event, which will will be followed by a question-and answer period and a reception will immediately follow. The public is invited.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 7, 1998.