ASU News

Science minds gather for 'origins' symposium

March 2, 2009

A public symposium that will convene some of the greatest minds in science, including six Nobel Laureates, to discuss the origins of everything, from the universe to humanity, will be held Monday, April 6, in ASU Gammage.

The Origins Symposium will include discussions by some of the world’s most noted scientists, authors and public intellectuals, including Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Donald Johanson, Brian Greene, Craig Venter and Lawrence Krauss.

Six Nobel Laureates – Baruch Blumberg, Walter Gilbert, Sheldon Glashow, John Mather, David Gross and Frank Wilczek – will be part of a Nobel panel discussion on the key mysteries in science and moderated by NPR’s Ira Flatow.

There is a special evening event with Stephen Hawking, who will speak about black holes, extra dimensions and the origin of the universe. There also will be a magic demonstration by Jason Latimer, a world champion of magic.

“This inaugural symposium of the new Origins Initiative at ASU will provide an unprecedented opportunity for students, staff, faculty and the public to have direct exposure and interact with some of the world’s leading scientists and scholars,” said Krauss, professor and director of the Origins Initiative at ASU.

Tickets for the symposium go on sale at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 4, for the ASU community at ASU Gammage. Ticket sales to the general public begin 10 a.m., Friday, March 6 through Ticketmaster.

Prices for discounted tickets for the ASU community range from $6.25 to $40 depending on the session. Top tier evening tickets are $125. Ticket prices for the general public range from $12.50 to $125. There is a $3.50 facility charge per ticket. There is a limit of four tickets per person and ASU community members must present their ASU ID when purchasing tickets.

More information about the symposium is at:">"> For ticket information for the ASU community, call 480-965-3434; for general public ticket information call Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787, or go to">">

The schedule for the event includes:

9 a.m.
• Welcome Download Full Image

9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• Steven Pinker: Origin of Language and Consciousness;
• Donald Johanson: Human Origins, Lucy, etc.;
• Brian Greene: Fabric of the Cosmos/String Theory

1:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
• Richard Dawkins: Evolution;
• Craig Venter: Human Genome and Engineering New Life Forms;
• Lawrence Krauss: Life, the Universe and Nothing – The Beginning and End of the Universe;
• Nobel Panel, moderated by Ira Flatow: What are the key outstanding mysteries in science? How much progress have we made? How does our understanding of Origins impact on our ability to understand the future? How do creative people approach big problems? Includes: Baruch Blumberg, Walter Gilbert, Sheldon Glashow, John Mather, Frank Wilczek

7:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
• World Champion of Magic, Jason Latimer;
• Panel on Science, Science Fiction, Technology and Culture: How do discoveries in science impact upon our understanding of ourselves? How do they affect your work? Do normal people need to know anything about deep questions? What about science and God? What do you most want to know about? Does science really have anything to do with culture? Moderated by Aaron Brown, discussants include Christopher Hitchens, Ann Druyan and others;
• Stephen Hawking: Black Holes, Extra Dimensions and the Origin of the Universe.


Media contacts:
Carol Hughes, (480) 965-6375;">">
Skip Derra, (480) 965-4823; skip.derra">">

Associate Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications