Email Print Share

Media Advisory 08-034

From the Expanding Universe, to the Quantum Realm and Many Points in Between

2008-2009 NSF Lectures explore the mathematical and physical sciences

Photos of MPS 2008 - 2009 Distinguished Lecture Series Speakers

MPS 2008 - 2009 Distinguished Lecture Series Speakers

October 27, 2008

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites media and members of the public to a series of lectures sponsored by its Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The talks will help promote a national discussion of issues that scientists believe will shape research in the years to come.

The first talk 10 a.m., Monday, Oct. 27, by Steven Koonin, chief scientist at British Petroleum in London, is titled "Energy, Environment, Security: Can We Have It All?" The world's demand for energy will grow by some 60 percent in the next 25 years. Satisfying that demand in an economical and environmentally acceptable manner is one of the most significant challenges facing society. New technologies will play a central role in meeting this challenge, albeit conditioned by the economic, social, and political contexts in which they are developed and deployed. Koonin's presentation will focus on the major forces shaping the world's energy future and the technologies required to respond to them.

All lectures will be held at NSF headquarters, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va., and attendees must have a visitor's pass to gain access.  Please contact Public Affairs Specialist Lisa-Joy Zgorski at 703-292-8311, or, to register for a talk and obtain a pass.

Complete Schedule of Lectures

"Energy, Environment, Security: Can We Have It All?"
Steven Koonin (chief scientist, British Petroleum, London, England)
10:00 a.m., Oct. 27, 2008, Room Stafford II-555
NSF Event and Lecture Slides

"Global Energy Perspectives"
Prof. Nathan Lewis (Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology)
2:00 p.m., Dec. 15, 2008, Room 375

"My Half-Century Experience in Technology and Diversity"
James West (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Johns Hopkins University; National Medal of Technology; National Inventors' Hall of Fame)
2:00 p.m., Jan. 12, 2009, Room 375

"When Plasmons Interact, Worlds Collide: The Emerging Field of Nanophotonics"
Naomi Halas (Department of Chemistry, Rice University)
2:00 p.m., Feb. 23, 2009, Room Stafford II-555

"Measurements of the Expanding Universe"
Wendy Freedman (director, Carnegie Observatories)
2:00 p.m., March 9, 2009, Room 375

"Nanowire Building Blocks for Photonics and Energy Conversion"
Peidong Yang (Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley; NSF Waterman Award Winner)
2:00 p.m., April 20, 2009, Room 375

"A Sharper Image: Adaptive Optics Views of Black Holes in Nearby Galaxies"
Claire Max (NSF Center for Adaptive Optics, University of California, Santa Cruz)
2:00 p.m., May 18, 2009, Room 375

"Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Networks"
Jennifer Tour Chayes (managing director, Microsoft Research New England)
2:00 p.m., June 22, 2009, Room 375

About the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The Math and Physical Sciences Directorate comprises the divisions of Astronomical Sciences, Chemistry, Materials Research, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities. These divisions provide the basic structure for support of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and education. The scope of scientific and educational activity supported is enormous, ranging from phenomena at cosmological distances, to environmental science on the human scale, through quantum mechanical processes in atomic and subatomic physics, to phenomena of the unimaginably small. Researchers explore abstract ideas, concepts, and structures of mathematics as well as more tangible "stuff" that includes the materials used in our everyday lives. Their tools range from desktop instruments to synchrotron light sources, accelerators, radio and optical telescopes and high magnetic fields. The rapid development of computational and communications capabilities also is leading to the development of a new set of tools that enable new a new kind of science--cyberscience.


Media Contacts
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, email:

Program Contacts
Andrew J. Lovinger, NSF, (703) 292-4933, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website:
NSF News:
For News Media:
Awards database:

Follow us on social