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Tech Day speakers offer a look at research directions, ethical issues

The annual Technology Day program on Saturday will feature researchers from each of the five MIT schools discussing their current work, future directions in the field and ethical issues associated with the research.

"Fast Times at MIT: What's New, What's Next--Now What?" is one of the events planned for alumni attending Tech Reunions this weekend. The symposium, which typically draws nearly 1,000 people, will take place in Kresge Auditorium from 9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3:30 p.m.

"We like to think of this program as a 'Whitman's Sampler' of MIT, if you will," said Kimberly-Ann Francis (S.B. 1978), chair of the Technology Day committee, the group of alumni that plans the symposium. "It showcases the full spectrum of research going on here. We all know MIT's an incredibly dynamic place. The program is representative of the exciting and diverse work going on at the Institute, and also looks at the ethical issues that arise in these research areas."

The morning session features presentations by Professor Lawrence J. Vale (S.M. 1988), head of urban studies and planning; Stephen D. Ansolabehere, professor of political science; and Rudolf Jaenisch, professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Vale will speak about "Housing the Lowest-Income Americans: The Past, Present and Future of Public Housing." Ansolabehere will address "Political Advertising: Free Speech and the Problem of Campaign Reform." Jaenisch's presentation will be on "Mammalian Cloning and Stem Cell Therapy: Problems and Promise."

Afternoon session

The afternoon speakers are Richard M. Locke (Ph.D 1989), the Alvin J. Siteman '48 Professor of Entrepreneurship and Political Science at the Sloan School; and Edwin L. Thomas, the Morris Cohen '33 Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN).

Locke will discuss "Globalization and the Future of Corporate Citizenship," and Thomas will speak about "The ISN: Taking Nanotechnology from the Laboratory to the Soldier."

President Charles M. Vest will open the program and James A. Lash (S.B. 1966), president of the Alumni Association, will serve as the moderator. Members of the MIT community, including graduating seniors and their parents, are welcome to attend. A detailed description of the program is available at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 4, 2003.

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