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Odyssey Seminar Series starts Feb. 6

of the University's professional research, technical and library staffs with expertise in a wide range of disciplines will participate in a 14-part lecture series this semester.

The lectures, which have subjects ranging from the conservation of paper artifacts to the study of stem cells to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, will take place Thursdays from Feb. 6 to May 15, except for March 20, the week of spring recess. The talks will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Betts Auditorium of the School of Architecture. A complete list of lectures is available online .

The first lecture will be given by Ben Shedd, a senior research scholar in computer science, whose research involves the creative use of emerging video display technologies. Shedd won a 1978 Academy Award for his documentary, "The Flight of the Gossamer Condor," which was released 25 years ago and will be the subject of his lecture.

The series, called the Odyssey Seminar Series, was organized by Matthias Steiner, a research scientist in civil and environmental engineering, with support from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. Steiner said the effort grew out of his position as the professional research staff representative to the Council of the Princeton University Community .

"We wanted to increase the visibility of the professional staff and highlight their accomplishments," Steiner said.

The University's professional research staff has more than 450 members, which includes postdoctoral fellows. Of those staff members, about 50 have positions with continuing appointment similar to the tenure-level faculty positions of professor and associate professor. The University also has more than 150 technical staff members and more than 100 library staff members. The dean of the faculty appoints all of those positions.

Dean of the Faculty Joseph Taylor will make opening remarks at the first lecture.

"These lectures also are a platform for professional staff members to get to know each other," said Steiner. "There were certainly many people in this group I didn't know of when I started, and I am sure it is the same for many of us."

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601

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