The Beatty Memorial Lectures committee presents 'The End of Science'
John Horgan, Scientific American senior writer, will present this year's Beatty Memorial Lecture on "The end of science."
With Scientific American senior writer John Horgan
Tuesday, January 21,1997 at 6:00 p.m.
Leacock Building (corner of McTavish Street and Dr Penfield Avenue)
The public is welcome. No tickets required
Is the great era of scientific discovery already behind us? Yes, answers John Horgan, Scientific American senior writer, in his book The End Of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge and the Twilight of the Scientific Age. According to this two-time winner of the AAAS/Westinghouse Science Journalism Award listed in the 1994 edition of the Forbes Media Guide as one of Americas most influential journalists, "Science has been so spectacularly successful at describing the principal features of the universe, on a scale from quarks to the superstructure of galaxies, that the entire enterprise may well end up the paradoxical victim of its own prosperity. Further research may yield no more great revelations or revolutions but only incremental, diminishing returns."
The Beatty Memorial Lectures Committee has invited John Horgan to further discuss his claim that scientists themselves are sensing the beginning of the end of the great era of scientific discovery. Given the American scientific communitys reaction to The End of Science since its launching last July, it will be interesting to see whether or not Canadian scientists share their American colleagues strong reaction against Horgans book. The question period following Mr Horgans lecture might well be heated since a good proportion of the audience will have read The End of Science. According to the McGill bookstore manager, Horst Bitschofsky, "The hardcover copies sell steadily. I cant wait for the paperback edition."
The Beatty Memorial Lecture Series
Established in 1952 by Dr. Henry Beatty as a memorial to his brother Sir Edward Beatty, Chancellor of McGill University from 1920 to 1943, the Sir Edward Beatty Memorial Endowment Fund allows a committee of McGill academics and administrators to select a lecturer following three criteria:
- The lecturer must be eminent and not Canadian;
- The lecture or lectures must be held while students are in residence and be open to the public;
- There must be at least one public lecture on a subject of broad interest or at least of interest to more than a select few.