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Week of 28 March 2003· Vol. VI, No. 26

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Nobel laureate to deliver 2003 Pardee Center lectures

Murray Gell-Mann


Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann joins the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future as a visiting professor this spring, succeeding Amartya Sen, the center’s first visiting professor of future studies. Gell-Mann received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his “eightfold way theory,” which brought order out of the chaos created by the discovery of some 100 particles within the atom’s nucleus. Perhaps his greatest contribution, however, was his conclusion that all of these particles, including the neutron and proton, are composed of fundamental building blocks, which he dubbed “quarks.” Gell-Mann’s interests extend far beyond theoretical physics. He has explored topics such as archaeology, linguistics, evolution, and complex adaptive systems. In his popular book The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex, he finds connections between the “simple” laws of elementary particles and complex phenomena such as a prowling jaguar, avalanche mechanics, and Gilbert and Sullivan.
As visiting professor, Gell-Mann will study a research topic of his choosing related to the center’s mission, and report his conclusions in a series of lectures and meetings with faculty, students, futurists, and other audiences. “Dr. Gell-Mann has peered deeply into the interior of nature, and has come back to explain it to us,” says David Fromkin, director of the Pardee Center. “At the same time he has blazed a trail, he has offered guidance in undertaking complex inquiries. We are grateful to the generosity of Frederick S. Pardee and proud of the distinguished lecture series which brings Dr. Gell-Mann to us.”

Murray Gell-Mann will deliver the 2003 Pardee distinguished lecture series, entitled Regularities and Randomness in the Past and the Future, on Monday, April 14, and Tuesday, April 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., in the School of Management Auditorium. A public reception will follow each lecture in the SMG atrium. RSVP by April 7 to 358-4000.


28 March 2003
Boston University
Office of University Relations