Trotter Lecture Series To Feature 2 Nobel Prize Winners Feb. 25
COLLEGE STATION —
The Texas A&M University’s College of Science will commemorate the debut of a unique prize Monday (Feb. 25), and Brazos Valley science enthusiasts stand to be the big winners.
The college will host two Nobel Laureates, Francis Crick of The Salk Institute and Charles Townes of the University of California-Berkeley, who are co-recipients of the first-ever Trotter Prize in Complexity, Information and Inference.
By virtue of receiving Texas A&M’s Trotter Prize, they will deliver the inaugural Trotter Endowed Lecture, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in Rudder Theatre. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the College of Science in collaboration with the Dwight E. Look College of Engineering.
Crick won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his discovery of the structure of DNA, while Townes was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the laser.
“We are indeed fortunate to have two of the most influential scientists of the 20th century give jointly the first Trotter Lecture,” said H. Joseph Newton, interim dean of the College of Science.
Via videotape, Crick will present “The Astonishing Hypothesis,” in which he asserts that human consciousness – indeed the human soul – can be explained solely on the basis of molecular biology.
In a live address, Townes will deliver “The Convergence of Science and Religion,” which offers insight into modern science and its explorations of many aspects of the universe that are strongly related to religious views.
Since joining The Salk Institute, Crick has conducted theoretical work focusing mainly on the visual system of mammals and neurobiology. He hopes to bring together the molecular and cellular aspects of neurons, the observations of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, and the behavior of organisms as studied by psychologists.
Crick is widely published in many areas, including the neural basis of attention, REM sleep and the visual system of awareness. His current research is focused on discovering the neural correlate of consciousness.
Townes’ recent work at UC-Berkeley has focused on astrophysics. He notes that while at times it has appeared science and religion seem to clash, the two actually are closely related. Though they can appear very different, Townes claims there is much parallelism, as both science and religion are based on human abilities to understand using postulates or faith, intuition and inspiration, experimentation or observations, and logic or reason.
Endowed in fall 2001 to honor the memory of Dr. Ide P. Trotter Sr., former dean of the Graduate School at Texas A&M, the Trotter Endowed Lecture Series recognizes seminal contributions in complexity, information and inference. It was established by Trotter’s son, Dr. Ide P. Trotter Jr., and his wife, Luella H. Trotter, to increase awareness of the rapid advances in the physical, biological and information sciences and to promote dialogue within university communities and across disciplines regarding the overarching implications.
Intended to enhance the prestige of the lecture series, the Trotter Prize is awarded annually in recognition of pioneering contributions to the understanding of the role of information, complexity and inference in illuminating the mechanisms and wonder of nature. In addition to an invitation to deliver the Trotter Endowed Lecture, recipients receive a cash award plus travel expenses.
For more information regarding the Trotter Prize Lecture, contact the College of Science Communications Office at (979) 862-1237.
Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237, via e-mail email@example.com, or Sidney Outlaw, (979) 845-9642, via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office of University Relations
Texas A&M University
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