posted on Jan. 14: Nobel laureate speaks about technology, tolerance and terror


Nobel laureate John Polanyi will present the J. W. Hodgins Memorial Lecture Tuesday on How Discoveries are Made and Why it Matters: Technology, Tolerance and Terror.

The lecture is Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Health Sciences Centre, Room 1A1.

Polanyi is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. His research is on the molecular motions in chemical reactions in gases and at surfaces.

Educated at Manchester University, England, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University and the National Research Council in Ottawa.

His awards include the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society of London and some 30 honorary degrees from six countries.

Polanyi was a founding member of both the Committees on Scholarly Freedom of the Royal Society and an international human rights organization, the Canadian Committee for Scientists and Scholars. He is the current president of this committee.

As well, he was the founding chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group in 1960 and has been active for 40 years in International Pugwash. He has written extensively on science policy, the control of armaments and peacekeeping. Polanyi is the co-editor of a book, The Dangers of Nuclear War and was a participant in the recent Canada 21 study of a 21st century defence posture for Canada.

The J. W. Hodgins lectureship was established by the Faculty of Engineering in 1983 and supported by donations from corporations and friends, as a memorial to J. W. Hodgins, McMaster's first dean of engineering. The focus of the lectureship is on the engineer in society.