Mailed 5/13/96



Upton, NY -- Sir John Maddox, former editor of the prestigious scientific journal, Nature, will present a series of three lectures at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Sir John will speak on "Science in the Twenty-First Century: New Issues and Old Questions," on three consecutive evenings -- June 11, 12 and 13. Each talk will begin at 8 p.m. in the Laboratory's Berkner Hall, and the public is invited free of charge.

On Tuesday, June 11, Sir John will reflect on the wealth of scientific discovery and innovation that has changed the world in the twentieth century, as well as speculate on the important scientific problems that still have to be resolved. In this talk, called "Perspective and Prospect," Sir John will discuss the most important problems in physical science that need to be addressed: How did the universe begin, and what is the nature of matter?

In his Wednesday, June 12 lecture, titled "Understanding Living Things," Sir John will discuss the strides made in biology over the last century, as well as the questions that still remain to be answered. While the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953 provided a framework for the understanding of all living processes, much remains to make that goal attainable. For example, scientists still do not comprehend the origin of life on the surface of the earth, the process of biological species formation, or the working of the human brain.

On Thursday, June 13, Sir John will discuss what he foresees as the technologies of the twenty-first century in a talk, entitled "Improving on the Real World." He will suggest that the machines and devices developed in the century ahead will depend increasingly on analogies with biological structures. He further predicts that physical science will become increasingly occupied with environmental problems, including the threat of global warming.

In this final talk, Sir John will also focus on two issues: the organization and funding of research worldwide and the social and economic benefits likely to follow from scientific research in the twenty-first century.

Sir John Maddox was editor of Nature, the 125-year-old journal that is among the most influential in science, for 22 years -- from 1966-73, and from 1980-95. While retired from his position at Nature, Sir John still remains active as a writer, editor and lecturer.

Sir John was educated in chemistry and physics at King's College and Oxford University. His first position was that of assistant lecturer in the Theoretical Physics Department at the University of Manchester from 1949-55. Then he switched careers, becoming a science correspondent at the Manchester Guardian from 1955-64. For the next two years, he was assistant director for the Nuffield Foundation before he became the editor of Nature. He interrupted his editorship to become chairman of Maddox Editorial Ltd., from 1973-75, and then to become director of the Nuffield Foundation, from 1975-80.

For more information about the lectures, call Brookhaven's Public Affairs Office at (516)344-2345. The Laboratory is located on William Floyd Parkway (County Road 46), one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 of the Long Island Expressway.