Historical Content Note: The following material is reprinted from publications from throughout Fermilab's history. It should be read in its original historical context.

Fermilab Lecture Series Begins Seventh Year

Over the past 6 years, the Fermilab Lecture Series has presented 38 lectures. Such renowned speakers as Jane Goodall, Carl Sagan, and John Callaway have packed Ramsey Auditorium to overflowing for their lectures on primate behavior, the origin of life, and the nature of news gathering. Leon Lederman was the most recent lecturer to fill the house for his talk on the nature of matter and the relationship of the research at Fermilab to our understanding of the evolution of the universe.

These lecturers and other outstanding speakers have come to Fermilab to present Friday evening talks which are open to the general public as well as the Laboratory community. Under the direction of Jeff Appel, the Lecture Series started with partial funding from the Illinois Humanities Council. Since its inception, the series has concentrated on lectures on science and technology and their effect on our lives and our society. A very loyal and enthusiastic audience has developed for these lectures over the years.

The lecture series, like the arts series and exhibits, is a part of the Auditorium Committee's work. The choice of a topic and lecturer is made following discussions by committee members. Frank Cole, who has directed the lecture programs for the past 3-1/2 years, contacts the speakers, explains the character of the series to them, and acts as host for the speaker and the audience. Once the arrangements are made, Angela Gonzales designs a unique poster to announce the program.

Producing the lecture series has allowed those involved with it to savor success and, on occasion, to rise to the challenge of the moment. January lectures are historically "weather disasters," and the committee recalls one year when a speaker got only as far as the Boston airport where he spent all day as he could neither get to Fermilab nor return home! Another speaker spent 3-1/2 hours in a limousine lost between O'Hare and the Laboratory while Auditorium Committee members waited less than patiently.

Impressed by the quality of the series and the loyalty of the audience, the Illinois Humanities Council awarded five separate yearly grants to the Laboratory for the lecture program. Regardless of whether the presentation is a "big-name" personality or a less well-known expert with a valuable message, nearly every seat in the auditorium is filled. Everyone has his own favorite talk, but many fondly recall lectures on such diverse topics as photography from space, earthquakes, and the beauties of the Tutankhamen treasures.

During the five years of funding from the Illinois Humanities Council and with additional support from Universities Research Association, the lectures were free. When the Illinois Humanities Council decided that the lecture program was strong enough to stand on its own, it was decided to ask the audience to share in the expense of having the lectures brought to the Laboratory since Department of Energy funds cannot be used for such activities. The success of the program and the appreciation of the audience are born out by the fact that the house is still filled. The Auditorium Committee is continuing its efforts to bring the kind of lectures which both delight and inform. The series remains true to its themes of science, technology, and human values; it continues to have the support of both Laboratory audience and neighbors from the surrounding communities. It is a credit to the Laboratory and to the dedication of the group of volunteers on the Auditorium Committee who make it all possible (see August 5, 1982, issue of Ferminews for story on the Auditorium Committee).