CORVALLIS - Daniel J. Kevles, a Yale University professor and leading authority on the politics of science, will discuss historical and contemporary perspectives on the Human Genome Project during a lecture on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Oregon State University.
His lecture, "Knowledge, Commerce and the Human Genome Project: A Case History of Post-Cold War Science," will begin at 4 p.m. in Memorial Union Room 206. It is free and open to the public.
Kevles' appearance is part of the 2001-02 Horning Lecture Series at OSU.
The Stanley Woodward Professor of History at Yale, Kevles is the author of several books. His latest, "The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science and Character," is a prize-winning study of the scientific and legal debates, and Congressional hearings, over charges of dishonesty in the laboratory of Nobel Prize-winning immunologist David Baltimore.
Kevles is regarded by his colleagues as perhaps the country's leading historian of the politics of American science, according to Mary Jo Nye, the Horning Professor of the Humanities and a professor of history at OSU.
His first book, she says, has become the "classic source for understanding the intellectual and political role of the American physics community." That book is titled "The Physicists: The History of Scientific Community in Modern America."
Kevles also is co-editor, with geneticist Leroy Hood, of a widely read collection of essays about the Human Genome Project called "The Code of Codes."
In his Horning lecture, Kevles will discuss the history of two major U.S. science projects that began in 1988 - the construction of a Superconducting Super Collider (or SSC), and the Human Genome Project, an unprecedented effort to map and sequence the human genome.
By 1993, Kevles points out, Congress had killed the SSC, but continued to support the Human Genome Project. Why? The difference, he says, lies in the intersection of science and the political economy.
Prior to joining the Yale faculty, Kevles was Koepfli Professor of Humanities at the California Institute of Technology, and director of Cal Tech's Program in Science, Ethics and Public Policy.