Amy Kehs(703) 920-5918
Melinda Machado(202) 357-3129
Smithsonian holds forum with Nobel Laureates to celebrate 100th anniversary of prize
The Smithsonian's Lemelson Center will host a closed forum with three Nobel laureates and two Lemelson-MIT Prize winners on Wednesday, April 25, at 9 a.m. at the National Museum of American History.
The five prize-winning investigators and humanitarians will consider the impact of social and scientific breakthroughs in the new century and discuss these topics with invited dignitaries and guests. Lemelson-MIT prize winners Carver Mead (Lemelson-MIT Prize Winner, 1999) and Robert Langer (Lemelson-MIT Prize Winner, 1998), and Nobel laureates Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry, 1981), Phillip Sharp (Physiology and Medicine, 1993) and Nicolas De Torrente--a representative from Doctors Without Borders (Peace, 1999) will address moral, ethical and technological issues that frame the future of innovation, from bioethics and artificial intelligence to the global digital divide. Well-known facilitator Meryl Comer will moderate the forum.
"Inventing the 21st Century: A Forum on the Future of Innovation" marks the opening of the Lemelson Center exhibition, "Nobel Voices: Celebrating 100 Years of the Nobel Prize" and will be followed by an 11 a.m. press preview of the new exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, April 26 at the National Museum of American History.
The Nobel Prize, established by Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) in his 1895 will, is an ongoing tradition which records and celebrates achievements that change the way we live. The first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901. More than 700 prizes have been awarded since its creation 100 years ago.
The Lemelson-MIT Prize is the world's largest single annual prize for invention and innovation. In 1994, Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson approached the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish an annual award that would recognize outstanding American inventor-innovators. Winners receive a cash reward and the opportunity to serve as role models to ambitious young creators and to excite them about science, engineering, technology, medicine and entrepreneurship.
Among the invited guests who will ask questions of the panel is Neal Amin, a winner in last year's Discovery Young Scientist Challenge, a national science contest for middle school students sponsored by Discovery Communications, Inc. Amin won the opportunity to spend a day with a Nobel laureate for his science project, "Curry for Cure: Does Turmeric Powder have the Power to Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers?" as well as for his excellent performance during three days of intense science competition held at the Smithsonian Institution last October. Other guests include philanthropic donor and co-founder of the Lemelson Center Dorothy Lemelson, Norwegian Ambassador Knut Vollebaek, and the 2001 Lemelson-MIT prizewinner who will be announced on Tuesday, April 24.
The Lemelson Center was established in 1995 with a gift from the Lemelson Foundation, a private philanthropy founded by one of the country's most prolific inventors, Jerome Lemelson, and his family. The Center is dedicated to exploring invention in history and encouraging inventive creativity in young people.