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President's Report available this week

The Report of the President for the 2002-04 academic years is being mailed to faculty and staff this week. It will also be available in many of the campus lobbies where Tech Talk is usually found. In his essay, outgoing President Charles M. Vest reflects on qualities about which he has learned a great deal in his 14 years at MIT: excellence, perseverance, boldness and optimism.

The report will be available online at It will also appear as the concluding chapter of "Pursuing the Endless Frontier: Essays on MIT and the Role of Research Universities," the full collection of Vest's annual reports, to be published in the fall by the MIT Press.

Faculty meeting next Wednesday

A regular meeting of the faculty will take place on Wednesday, April 21 at 3:30 p.m. in Room 10-250. Agenda items will include:
- Report from the Committee on Nominations, by Professor Terry Knight, associate dean of the School of Architecture and Planning
- Report on Lincoln Laboratory's Homeland Security Initiatives, by Dr. Lee Upton, associate director of Lincoln Lab
- Report on Accidental Disclosure of Personal Information and Follow-up, by Dr. Jerrold Grochow, vice president for information services and technology
- Report of the Edgerton Faculty Achievement Selection Committee, by Professor John Sterman of the Sloan School.

Fourth EnviroForum scheduled

The fourth MIT EnviroForum--a series of events for members of the MIT and Cambridge communities interested in the environment, sustainability and related issues--will be held on Tuesday, April 27 from 4-6 p.m. in the Ida Green Lounge (Room 54-923). The topic is "Toxic Use Reduction in Academic Laboratories." The form will feature research results from the chemistry department and the Environmental Programs Office project on Hazardous Waste Reduction in Academic Research Laboratories.

Quality-of-life focus groups scheduled

The Staff Quality of Life Committee is holding focus groups to update the 2001 Staff Quality of Life survey. All administrative, research and support staff, and postdocs are encouraged to attend.

Participants may discuss any aspects of quality of life at MIT with which they're satisfied or dissatisfied, and make suggestions on ways to increase satisfaction.

The committee, co-chaired by Professor of Management Thomas Kochan and Francine Crystal of Human Resources, has already made recommendations on three needs identified by the 2001 survey: backup child care, elder care and clarification of MIT's severe-weather policy. Those recommendations are being reviewed by Human Resources.

E-mail Crystal ( to attend one of the focus group sessions below. Each session will accommodate 15 participants; others may submit comments electronically.

Thursday, April 15--1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Room 4-206
Friday, April 16--9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Room 4-206
Thursday, April 22--3 to 5 p.m., Room 16-151
Friday, April 23--1 to 3 p.m., Room 16-151
Tuesday, April 27--1 to 3 p.m., Room 4-206
Friday, April 30--2 to 4 p.m., Room 16-151
Monday, May 3--9 to 11 a.m., Room E19-207

Science in an age of terrorism

Can scientists limit the spread of dangerous technologies and still keep science open? Do scientists approach this question from a universal perspective or do geography and culture play roles? A panel of faculty and students will discuss these questions on Wednesday, April 21 in Wong Auditorium from 6 to 9 p.m.

Presentations at this "Conversation Among Future Scientists on Science in an Age of Terrorism" will be made by professors Rosalind Williams of the Program in Science, Technology and Society and Stephen Van Evera of the Center for International Studies; Gregory Koblentz, a doctoral student in political science and expert on biowarfare; Sandy Brown, a Ph.D. candidate in the history of technology from New Zealand; and Julien Bachmann, a Swiss graduate student in inorganic chemistry. Audience members can offer opinions and the conversation will continue over refreshments.

The event is organized by the CIS Starr Forum and the International Students Office to foster a greater sense of community among MIT's diverse student body in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 14, 2004.

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