Leading minds tackle topics

The origin of life and finding new drugs in dirt are among the topics of a science symposium to be held on campus May 3.

Sponsored by the Royal Society of Canada's Academy of Science, the day-long gathering will feature six presentations by eminent Canadian and US scientists. The symposium wraps up with an evening address by Thomas Brzustowski, president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), called "Discovery: A Feat of Technology, or a Genie Out of the Bottle?"

Prof. Steve Calvert, symposium organizer and fellow of the Royal Society, says the event is the second, biannual symposium presented by the Academy of Science.

"The purpose is to discuss exciting new research and the ramifications this research will have on society," says Calvert, who studies the chemistry of oceans in the Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Symposium speakers and titles are: Stuart Kauffman, Santa Fe Research Institute, "Complexity and Origin of Life;" George Boer, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, "Climate Models and Climate Change Prediction;" Jamie Smith, UBC Dept. of Zoology, "Bears, Birds, Bugs and Biodiversity: Debunking the Myths of Biological Conservation;" Julian Davies, UBC Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, "New Drugs from Dirt;" Physicist Martin Duncan, Queen's University, "New Perspectives on Planet Formation;" and Indira Samarasekera, UBC Centre for Metallurgical Process Engineering, "Materials: Enhancing Our Lives from Travel to Communication."

Registration for the symposium, which begins at 9 a.m. in the Ponderosa Building, is $40, $20 for students.

For more information call Steve Calvert at 822-5210.