Issued 2/12/99

Contact: Diane Greenberg (516) 344-2347 or Mona S. Rowe (516) 344-5056




Upton, NY - Graciela Chichilnisky, a mathematician and economist at Columbia University, will present a series of three lectures at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. Chichilnisky will speak on "Biosphere and Society" on March 12, 15 and 17. Each talk will begin at 5 p.m. in the Laboratory's Berkner Hall. The public is invited free of charge.

In her first lecture, entitled "Economic Returns from the Biosphere," on Friday, March 12, Dr. Chichilnisky will address the economic forces that are driving unprecedented change in the biosphere - the ecosystem comprised of the earth and its living organisms - and how these forces can be harnessed toward satisfaction of basic human needs and economic progress in harmony with nature.

On Monday, March 15, Dr. Chichilnisky will discuss "The Kyoto Protocol and the Carbon Cycle." In the Kyoto conference on climate change held in December 1997, the global community created policies in response to the potential impact of human activities on the carbon cycle and the global climate change that may occur as a result of these activities. There is no political consensus on the issue, however, nor is there a resolution of the key conflicts between industrial and developing nations. Dr. Chichilnisky will discuss how the Kyoto Protocol may handle these conflicts in the future.

In her final lecture on Wednesday, March 17, Dr. Chichilnisky will give her views on "Resilience and the Knowledge Revolution." As the new millennium approaches, information technology is leading to physical and social changes in the biosphere with the potential to match those of the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Humanity is living in a period of rapid change in which knowledge itself replaces land and capital as the main input of production. Dr. Chichilnisky will explain what she believes this "knowledge revolution" means for the resilience of human societies and for the ecosystems that sustain them.

Dr. Chichilnisky earned two Ph.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Her doctorates in mathematics and economics were awarded respectively in 1971 and 1976. She has taught at Harvard, Essex and Stanford Universities and, from 1985-90, she was chair and chief executive officer of FITEL, a financial telecommunications corporation in New York, London and Tokyo. She is a former member of the Presidential Cabinet of the Central Bank of Argentina and an active consultant to the United Nations on international trade issues and the global financial industry.

A tenured professor at Columbia University since 1980, Dr. Chichilnisky has been the Director of its Program on Information and Resources since its founding in 1994. Since 1995, she has held the UNESCO Chair of Mathematics and Economics at Columbia. The author of seven books and some 150 scientific articles in preeminent academic journals covering economics, finance and mathematics, Dr. Chichilnisky is on the board of directors of the National Resources Defense Council and is a member of the editorial boards of many professional journals.

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.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.