Nobel Prize winner speaks about science and society

Harold KrotoNobel Prize winner Harold Kroto will speak at Linfield College on Thursday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and the public is invited.

The celebrated scientist and lecturer will present “Science, Society and Education in the 21st Century.” Kroto believes we stand at a watershed moment in human history. Science, he says, can provide the tools for humanitarian relief, and for our very survival, but science cannot advance within anti-libertarian, anti-democratic regimes where intellectual and personal freedoms are restricted. Progressive, democratic societies are a necessary requirement for the scientific creativity that provides sustainable solutions.

Kroto was a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his shared discovery of buckminsterfullerene, a form of pure carbon better known as “buckyballs.” According to the Nobel committee, news of the discovery created a sensation, and for chemists, “the proposed structure was uniquely beautiful and satisfying.”

He was knighted for his contributions to chemistry and received the prestigious Michael Faraday Award in 2001 from the Royal Society, given annually to a scientist who has done the most to further public communication of science, engineering or technology in the United Kingdom.

Kroto is a passionate advocate for science education. In 1994 he teamed up with BBC producer Patrick Reams to found the Vega Science Trust, which produces science programs for television. The trust aims to create a broadcast platform for science, engineering and technology communities, enabling researchers to communicate technical expertise via TV and Internet.

Kroto currently serves as the Francis Eppes Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Florida State University and directs the Florida Center for Research in Science Technology and Math Education. He has developed a highly popular series of public lectures and visits schools to promote science education.

Linfield is one of only five sites in the world that has been endorsed by the Nobel Foundation for Nobel Laureate Symposiums. The sciences at Linfield have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, with students and faculty across the scientific disciplines co-authoring papers and presenting their findings at national conferences.

Kroto’s lecture will be in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall on the Linfield campus, at 900 SE Baker Street in McMinnville. For information contact Mardi Mileham at or 503-883-2498.

Learn more about Harold Kroto and the Nobel Laureate Symposium at Linfield College.