Mailed 5/21/97


Upton, NY -- Nobel laureate Arthur Kornberg will give a lecture on "Biotechnology: Biology or Technology?" at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory on Wednesday, June 11, at 4 p.m. in the Laboratory's Berkner Hall. The lecture is part of the BNL 50th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture Series, which features talks on various topics throughout 1997 to celebrate Brookhaven's beginning a half-century ago. The talks are open to the public free of charge.

Genetic engineering and related biotechnologies represent the most revolutionary advance in the history of biology and medical science. With the explosive growth of biotechnology and its potential for changing the basic nature of life, researchers must face societal concerns, including a questioning of the need for basic science, the pros and cons of biotechnology, and uses and possible abuses of advances in genetic knowledge.

In his lecture, Dr. Kornberg will discuss the implications of these concerns and reflect on the roots, current status and future directions of biotechnology. Also, he will discuss his beliefs about the importance of biotechnology and all forms of science.

After earning a B.S. from City College of New York in 1937 and an M.D. from the University of Rochester in 1941, and taking a year's internship in internal medicine, Dr. Kornberg served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1942 to 1953. He was first assigned to the Navy as a ship's doctor, and he later served as a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Kornberg then joined the Washington University School of Medicine in 1953, where he was Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology, and, in 1959, he became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine. Currently, he holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Stanford.

The author of six books, the latest of which is The Golden Helix: Inside Biotech Ventures (University Science Books, 1995), Dr. Kornberg has won numerous honors for his investigations into the nature of enzymes and DNA, among them the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1959, which he shared with Dr. Severo Ochoa, and the National Medal of Science in 1979. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Brookhaven National Laboratory carries out basic and applied research in physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. Associated Universities, Inc., a nonprofit research management organization, operates the Laboratory under contract with the Department of Energy.