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Lecture Previews

When Einstein Came to Town

Today at 4:30 p.m.

Kresge Auditorium

(College of Fine Arts)

In December of 1934, almost exactly 75 years ago, Albert Einstein arrived at Carnegie Mellon (at the time, Carnegie Tech) to deliver what is now regarded as one of the most famous lectures of all time. Einstein came to Pittsburgh as the highlight of an important four-day scientific conference. Einstein’s lecture came at the height of his fame. He was undoubtedly a celebrity coming to Pittsburgh; he was on the front page of the newpaper and interviewed by several reporters.

For his lecture in Kresge Auditorium, 1000 people crammed into a room made for 400. It was history in the making: Einstein explained his derivation of the legendary equation, E = mc2. 75 years later, David Topper, a University of Winnipeg professor, will put on a presentation that will take us back three-quarters of a century via pictures and documents to Einstein’s historic Pittsburgh visit.

Uncertainty In Action

Wednesday, Feb. 17

at 4:30 p.m.

Gregg Hall (Porter Hall 100)

Joseph “Jay” B. Kadane, instructor and academic administrator at Carnegie Mellon, will discuss how uncertainty is a common aspect of everyone’s life. Kadane has focused his teachings on making good decisions while dealing with uncertainty. He will speak about his personal and professional encounters with uncertainty.

Professionally, Kadane found that he had to set aside some two-thirds of what he learned as a graduate student because it no longer made sense to him. Personally, he has used his increasing sense of uncertainty in his work as a student activist in graduate school and as a strategic planner in the Navy.

Genes, Germs and the Environment: An Ecological Perspective on Health and Disease

Thursday, Feb. 18

at 4:30 p.m.

Gregg Hall

(Porter Hall 100)

John McLachlan, Weatherhead Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies, professor of pharmacology, and director of the Center for Bioenvironmental Research at Tulane University and Xavier University, is a pioneer in the emerging field of environmental endocrinology, dealing with endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

McLachlan, a research scientist and high-level administrator, is known worldwide as an expert on estrogenic mechanisms. His revolutionary research involves environmental chemicals that imitate estrogen, a hormone produced in females. With this research and discovery, McLachlan organized the first meeting regarding environmental estrogen in 1979.

McLachlan spent 20 years at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, where he was named scientific director in 1989.

He also holds an influential role in the New Orleans community, having established the Program in the Environment and Women’s Health, the country’s first Center in Environmental Astrobiology, and having created the Mississippi River Interdisciplinary Research Program.

McLachlan received a B.A. in liberal arts from the Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from George Washington University.

Thursday’s lecture is part of the Environmental Distinguished Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Institute for Green Science; the Chemistry Department, the department of civil & environmental engineering; and the Shaw Group.