Talk talk

A few of my colleagues are at the 2006 Society for Neuroscience meeting this week, and I think it’s really interesting that the SfN invited architect Frank Gehry to speak at their meeting (in the “”">Dialogues between Neuroscience and Society" lecture/section). This isn’t the first time they’ve invited a famous non-scientist to speak at the annual meeting – the Dalai Lama of Tibet spoke last year – and it’s not entirely clear if the lecture was a success: one neuro-blogger wrote that she “”">throuroughly [sic] enjoyed seeing the pictures of his work … [though he did not] attempt to draw his narrative into the realm of neuroscience."

This got me thinking – who could a large chemical society (like the ACS) invite to speak in a “Dialogues between Chemistry and Society” seminar? The late R. Buckminster Fuller would have been an obvious choice for chemists interested in nanotechnology, and the late Rachel Carson could have spoken in front of the Environmental Chemistry division… As for living non-scientists, maybe Tracy Kidder could speak in the Computers in Chemistry division?

If you were in charge of a “Dialogues between Chemistry and Society” seminar, who would you invite and why?


Joshua Finkelstein (Associate Editor, Nature)