Tilghman launches interdisciplinary lecture series, Oct. 18

The lectures will be simulcast on Tiger Video Channel 7 and on Princeton community cable Channel A11. They also will be Webcast and can be viewed by clicking here .

A new lecture series designed to bring together faculty members from different disciplines at Princeton is being launched this month by President Shirley M. Tilghman.

The President's Lecture Series grew out of meetings Tilghman had earlier this year with faculty members, during which she asked for suggestions for new programs.

Professor of Economics Alan Krueger responded with a memo proposing the lecture series. "The basic idea was to try to provide a forum where faculty across the University can learn what types of research others are doing, and learn about the methods and issues that arise in other fields," he said.

Tilghman was quick to embrace the idea. "Faculty members tend to burrow into their own fields to get as deeply as possible into an idea or problem," she said. "Yet, many of the growth areas in higher education today are in interdisciplinary fields like genomics, where biologists, physicists, computer scientists, chemists, engineers and others work alongside one another. Some really exciting discoveries occur when we look at our work from different perspectives."

"Finally," she said, "there is so much richness in the work of our own faculty, it is a shame we have so few opportunities to hear one another."

Three lectures are planned for the 2001-02 academic year:

On Thursday, Oct. 18, Caryl Emerson, the Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, will speak on "The Fall of the Russian Empire, the Rise of Slavic Studies and the Relevance of Both for the Hardcore Humanities." She will discuss how her field of study has changed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, Angus Deaton, the Dwight Eisenhower Professor of International Affairs, will discuss "Inequality, Health and Wealth." Research shows that rich people live longer and are sick less often than poor people, and that people who live in areas where there is more income inequality die sooner than those who live where incomes are more equally distributed. Deaton will discuss these findings, and what, if anything, should be done about them. He also will address whether economic policy is more effective than health care in improving public health.

On Thursday, March 7, Princeton physicist Stewart Smith will talk about his work on an experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, where a striking new difference in the behavior of matter and antimatter was discovered this summer. He will relate this work to the disappearance of antimatter in the universe after the "Big Bang."

All lectures will begin at 4:30 p.m. The Oct. 18 address by Emerson will be in McCosh 10; the location for the other lectures will be announced. All will be open to anyone with a Princeton University ID card. Tilghman is planning to invite a small group of faculty members to Lowrie House following each lecture for dinner and further discussion.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601