Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to Discuss Dark Energy, Biology, Nanoscience at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — The director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Charles V. Shank, will deliver the 2001 S. Town Stephenson Distinguished Lecture at Washington State University. His address, “Extraordinary Scientific Pursuits for the 21st Century: A Personal Perspective,” is slated for 7 p.m. April 10 in Webster Physical Sciences, Room 16. A reception follows.

Shank, a pioneer in laser development and ultrafast phenomena, will describe three scientific challenges and how they are being pursued at the LBNL. He will discuss how the discovery of “dark energy” has deepened understanding of the universe’s evolution and how the convergence of the life and physical sciences has led to dramatic advances in biology. Shank also will discuss how nanoscience is leading to the creation of new materials.

Since 1989, Shank has been director of the LBNL in Berkeley, Calif. He holds a triple appointment as professor of physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering and computer sciences at the UC at Berkeley. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1965 and went on to receive his master’s and doctoral degrees there in 1969.

During his 20-year career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, he made pioneering contributions to the study of ultrafast events and the development of fiber-optic communications. He served on numerous national committees and chaired the National Research Council’s Committee on Optical Science and Engineering. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Optical Society of America.

The Stephenson Lecture, sponsored by the WSU physics department, honors the late S. Town Stephenson, who came to WSU in 1934 and served as chair of the physical sciences division, dean of faculty and vice president. Stephenson, noted for his research on propagation of radar waves and low-energy X-rays, died in 1964.