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Wonderfest 98 hits Stanford, Bay Area

"Step back. . . . Gaze at the world and yourself intently: the intricacy of life, the grandeur of a starry sky, the marvel of mind."

That is the official introduction to Wonderfest 98, a Bay Area festival of science that is being held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15 and 16, on the Stanford, University of California-Berkeley and UC-San Francisco campuses.

Related Information:

A nonprofit educational project administered by the San Francisco University High School, the event consists of a series of panel discussions by eminent scientists on a number of hot scientific topics. Subjects include: Do genes largely determine human behavior? How is the quest for artificial intelligence progressing? Is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence dangerous? Do we understand the fallibility of memory? Does more than one universe exist?

The panels being held at Stanford are:

Saturday, Aug. 15

10 a.m.: "Is Alternative Medicine Worthy of Further Research?"
Wallace Sampson, Stanford Medical School
Dean Ornish, Preventive Medicine Research Institute

1 p.m.: " Do We Understand the Origin of Life on Earth?"
Sherwood Chang, NASA Ames Research Center
Andrew Pohorille, NASA Ames Research Center

3:30 p.m.: "Would Life on Other Worlds Be Like Life on Earth?"
Richard Zare, Stanford
David Deamer, UC-Santa Cruz

Sunday, Aug. 16

10 a.m.: "Will Einstein's Dream of a Unified Theory of Everything Be Realized in Our Time?"
Helen Quinn, SLAC
Nima Arkani-Hamed, SLAC

1 p.m.: "Is There More to the Universe Than We Observe?"
Andrei Linde, Stanford
Joel Primack, UC-Santa Cruz

The discussions will be held in the Science and Engineering Quad's Teaching Center, room 200. The Teaching Center is at Serra Street and Via Crespi. General admission tickets are $9 per lecture and can be ordered by phone at (415) 392-4400. The organizers advise advance purchase.

A number of Stanford scientists also are participating in discussions at other venues. At UC-Berkeley, John McCarthy will discuss the quest for artificial intelligence. At UC-San Francisco, John Gabrieli and Barbara Tversky will debate "Do we understand the fallibility of memory?" and Roger Romani will address the topic "Does more than one universe exist?"


By David F. Salisbury

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