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Tech to host New Horizons science briefings

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 10 - October 30, 1997

Next week, science and technology writers from such prestigious publications as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post Magazine, Business Week, San Francisco Chronicle, World Book Publishing, and the Dallas Morning News will travel to the Virginia Tech campus to participate in the 1997 New Horizons in Science briefings.
New Horizons is organized by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW), based in New York. CASW accepted Virginia Tech's invitation to host "New Horizons in Science" six years ago. This event will mark the meeting's 35th anniversary, and the second time it is held in Virginia. Virginia Tech also hosted the first meeting in Virginia in 1983.
New Horizons is the only meeting held nationally that is designed to cover the complete spectrum of science and technology for journalists without advocating a particular cause or viewpoint. The meeting has maintained more than 30 years of success as a powerful avenue for scientists and engineers to communicate with the news media, as a unique educational experience for science and technology writers, and as an effective method for increasing the public understanding of science.
Historically, this conference has drawn the nation's most influential and distinguished scientists and engineers and the leading journalists in the scientific world. A conference of this caliber illustrates Virginia Tech's commitment to science and technology.
CASW officials invite the speakers to each annual meeting. To develop the annual agenda, the program chair meets with scientists, engineers, and journalists, attends scientific and technical meetings, and identifies subject areas most likely to have an impact on society. However, these topics should not have been covered in-depth by the general press. Researchers in the forefront of these areas are invited to make the presentations.
From Virginia Tech there will be seven keynote presenters: William Velander of chemical engineering; Rick Claus and Ted Rappaport of electrical and computer engineering; Tracy Wilkins of the biotechnology center, and Harry Gibson and Karen Brewer of chemistry. Other presenters during the four-day meeting include Nobel Prize-winning physicist James Cronin; MIT's Steven Pinker, director of its Center for Cognitive Neuroscience; and Allan Spradling of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Virginia Tech's Marshall Fishwick of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies will present the November 4 banquet talk entitled "Everything Nailed Down is Coming Loose," a preview of the techno-cultural future.
For this year's meeting, in addition to Virginia Tech's sponsorship, benefactors are: Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the University of Virginia, the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, Monsanto, and American Electric Power of Roanoke.
Among the universities that have hosted this meeting in the past are: Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, Duke, University of California at San Diego, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Colorado.
Chairing the 1997 meeting for Virginia Tech is Lynn Nystrom, director of news and external relations for the College of Engineering, along with Susan Trulove, public-relations coordinator for Research and Graduate Studies.