1996-1997 indexDistributed August 26, 1996
233rd Opening Convocation
Nobel laureate Joshua Lederberg to deliver Opening Convocation address
Joshua Lederberg, Nobel laureate and former president of Rockefeller University, will address students, faculty, administration and guests at the 233rd Opening Convocation of Brown University, 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, on The College Green.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Joshua Lederberg, Nobel laureate and former president of Rockefeller University, will address students, faculty, administration and guests at the 233rd Opening Convocation of Brown University. The convocation will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, on The College Green (rain site: Meehan Auditorium) and is open to the public without charge. Lederberg's address is titled "In Praise of Ignorance: Science Challenges the Young."
Opening Convocation is one of two ceremonies each year for which the University opens its ceremonial Van Wickle Gates. The Gates, on Prospect Street at the top of College Hill, will open inward, admitting nearly 1,500 members of the Class of 2000, among the largest entering classes in the University's history. (The Gates will open outward in May to mark the departure of the graduating Class of 1997). An academic procession of students, faculty and administrators will march through to The College Green, where Vartan Gregorian, Brown's 16th president, will declare the academic year open, welcome the new class and introduce the speaker.
Joshua Lederberg is the Sackler Foundation scholar and professor emeritus of molecular genetics and informatics at The Rockefeller University in New York. He was educated at Stuyvesant High School and Columbia College in New York. After a period of study at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, he received his Ph.D. in microbiology at Yale. Lederberg served as professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin and at the Stanford School of Medicine before moving to Rockefeller in 1978. He served as president of the university from 1978 until 1990.
Lederberg's lifelong research activity, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1958 at the age of 33, has been in genetic structure and function in microorganisms. He has also been involved in artificial intelligence research and in NASA's experimental programs seeking evidence of life on Mars. He has been a consultant on health-related matters for government and the international community, including six years of service to the World Health Organization's Advisory Health Research Council. His consultative role was recognized in 1989 when he received the National Medal of Science. Lederberg has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1957 and was a charter member of its Institute of Medicine. He has served as chairman of the President's Cancer Panel and of the Congressional Technology Assessment Advisory Council, among numerous consultative panels.
Lederberg is no stranger to Brown and Rhode Island. His brother, Seymour Lederberg, is a microbiologist and long-time member of the Brown faculty. His sister-in-law, Victoria Lederberg, a Brown alumna and former trustee, is a Rhode Island Supreme Court justice.######