>> From: "Kinch, David" <David.Ki...@edelman.com>
>> Subject: Dr J. Craig Venter To Update Erwin Schrodinger's Seminal 'What Is Life?' Lecture As Part Of Euroscience Open Forum 2012 In Dublin
>> Date: 28 June 2012 12:45:04 GMT+01:00
>> DR J. CRAIG VENTER TO UPDATE ERWIN SCHRODINGER’S SEMINAL ‘WHAT IS LIFE?’ LECTURE AS PART OF EUROSCIENCE OPEN FORUM 2012 IN DUBLIN
>> 28th June 2012 – Dr. J. Craig Venter, a leading scientist renowned for his contributions to genomic research, will participate in one of the greatest science events in the 21st Century when he delivers a lecture titled “What is Life? - A 21st century perspective” on Thursday, 12th July in Trinity College Dublin as part of the Science in the City festival which aims to provide an opportunity for Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012 delegates to engage with the Irish public.
>> The lecture will update the Irish event that inspired the discovery of the structure of DNA. In February 1943, one of the most distinguished scientists of the 20thCentury, Erwin Schrödinger, delivered a seminal lecture, titled “What is Life?”, under the auspices of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, in Trinity College, Dublin.
>> The lecture presented far-sighted ideas on how hereditary information could be encoded in a chemical structure (aperiodic crystal) in living cells. Schrödinger’s book (1944) of the same title is considered a scientific classic. The book was cited by James Watson and Francis Crick as one of the inspirations which ultimately led them to unravel the structure of DNA in 1953, a breakthrough which won them the Nobel Prize. Such was the significance of the lecture at the time, that the then Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Éamon de Valera, attended the lecture and an account of it featured in the 5 April 1943, issue of Time magazine.
>> Recent advances in genomics and synthetic biology mean that it is now timely to reconsider the fundamental question posed by Schrödinger 70 years ago.
>> Commenting about the event, Dr. Craig Venter, said “I am honored to be giving an updated version of Schrodinger’s “What is Life” lecture. This lecture and subsequent book have figured prominently in my thinking and direction as a scientist. I have reread the book numerous times and still today it stimulates my thinking on the definition of life. I don’t think Schrodinger would have been surprised by our work in constructing the first synthetic cell.”
>> Professor Patrick Cunningham, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Irish Government, added, “It is fitting that we mark the honour of Euroscience Open Forum 2012 taking place in Ireland by recreating one of the most important milestones in Irish scientific history. Just as Crick and Watson were inspired by Schrödinger’s insight, we believe that Dr. Craig Venter will provide the vision for the next generation of scientists to make a breakthrough of similar impact. The lecture will provide a lasting legacy for the conference and will be the most popular event during the Science in the City Festival.”
>> The Science in the City Festival will include a range of events that will engage and excite the public about science and technology as part of ESOF 2012. ESOF 2012, the largest general science event in Europe, takes place in the Dublin Convention Centre between 11th – 15th July. 5,000 delegates are expected to join this global gathering of Nobel laureates, leading researchers, policy makers and business leaders. Across the four days there will be over 120 science, careers and science-to-business sessions, with 400 plus speakers, including 23 keynotes speakers and five Nobel Laureates. Speakers include Jules Hoffmann, Rolf Dieter Heuer, Marcus Du Sautoy and James Watson. For more information please visit www.esof2012.org or www.dublinscience2012.ie
>> For further information please contact:
>> Piaras Kelly Breda O’Brien >> Edelman Head of Communications, ESOF 2012
>> 00353 1 6789333 00353 1 6073179
>> 00353 86 8131691 00353 87 3744190
>> piaras.ke...@edelman.com breda.obr...@chiefscientificadviser.ie
>> About J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.
>> J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., is regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research. He is Founder, Chairman, and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit, research organization with approximately 300 scientists and staff dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic and environmental genomic research, and the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics.
>> Dr. Venter is also Founder and CEO of Synthetic Genomics Inc., a privately held company dedicated to commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, new food and nutritional products, and next generation vaccines.
>> Dr. Venter began his formal education after a tour of duty as a Navy Corpsman in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. After earning both a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of California at San Diego, he was appointed professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In 1984, he moved to the National Institutes of Health campus where he developed Expressed Sequence Tags or ESTs, a revolutionary new strategy for rapid gene discovery. In 1992 Dr. Venter founded The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR, now part of JCVI), a not-for-profit research institute, where in 1995 he and his team decoded the genome of the first free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae, using his new whole genome shotgun technique.
>> In 1998, Dr. Venter founded Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome using new tools and techniques he and his team developed. This research culminated with the February 2001 publication of the human genome in the journal, Science. He and his team at Celera also sequenced the fruit fly, mouse and rat genomes.
>> Dr. Venter and his team at JCVI continue to blaze new trails in genomics since they sequenced the first genome of a living species in 1995. They have sequenced and analyzed hundreds of genomes, and have published numerous important papers covering such areas as the human microbiome, environmental genomics, the first complete diploid human genome, and the groundbreaking advance in creating the first self-replicating bacterial cell constructed entirely with synthetic DNA.
>> Dr. Venter is one of the most frequently cited scientists, and the author of more than 250 research articles. He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, public honors, and scientific awards, including the 2008 United States National Medal of Science, the 2002 Gairdner Foundation International Award and the 2001 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize. Dr. Venter is a member of numerous prestigious scientific organizations including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Society for Microbiology.
>> About Dublin City of Science 2012 Festival
>> The Dublin City of Science 2012 Festival programme was developed to mark the honour of hosting one of the most prestigious international science events, the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012, the largest general science event in Europe, taking place in Dublin in July.
>> Over the course of the year, the city will host a celebration of science with over 160 events and activities that cross the worlds of art and culture to entertain the public and bring science to life. The range of science related events include; photographic and art exhibitions, several theatre pieces, film festivals, tours, street performances, large-scale interactive installations and public talks.
>> The centre-piece, around which the programme was developed, the Euroscience Open Form (ESOF), will be held in the Convention Centre Dublin from 11th - 15th July 2012.
>> ESOF is an interdisciplinary, pan-European meeting, held under the auspices of Euroscience, which aims to:
>> · Showcase the latest advances in science and technology
>> · Promote a dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy
>> · Stimulate and provoke public interest, excitement and debate about science and technology
>> Dublin was awarded the honour of hosting this event following an open competition in 2008. The Dublin bid was led by Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Professor Cunningham, with the support of Forfás, Ireland’s national policy advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation (www.forfas.ie). The Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser is responsible for hosting ESOF 2012 and will coordinate activities and events in the Dublin City of Science 2012 programme with the support of Forfás.
>> ESOF 2012/Dublin City of Science 2012 has been brought about thanks to the support of The European Commission, IBM, Intel, Janssen, Science Foundation Ireland, Forfás, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Bord Gáis, Eirgrid, Abbott Fund, COST, Elseveir, Teagasc, McCann FitzGerald, Dublin City Council, Marine Institute and the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation.