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Science Historian James Burke to Speak at Moravian College

The 23rd annual Cohen Lecture —“Staying Ahead:  Innovation for the Day after Tomorrow”

James Burke Bethlehem, Pa., September 12, 2006—Moravian College will celebrate the 23rd year of the Cohen Arts and Lecture Series with a presentation by science historian and author James Burke titled, “Staying Ahead:  Innovation for the Day After Tomorrow.”  The lecture will be held on Tuesday, October 3 at 8:00 p.m. in Johnston Hall, on Moravian’s Main Street Campus.  General admission is $15 with proceeds benefiting the Moravian College Scholarship Fund.

Hailed by the Washington Post as “one of the most intriguing minds in the Western world,” James Burke takes audiences on a creative journey through the history of science, technology and social change. Burke is the creator, producer and host of many award-winning TV series including Connections (PBS), Connections2 and Connections3 (Discovery), The Day the Universe Changed (PBS), After the Warming (PBS) and Masters of Illusion, for the National Gallery of Art.    

With a unique and entertaining perspective on how people and institutions change, Burke has been a popular speaker for such companies as IBM, NASA, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Cisco and countless universities and museums. He has also produced customized videos for companies seeking to explain new technologies and ideas.

His latest book, Twin Tracks, explores the surprising connections among the seemingly unconnected people, events and discoveries that have shaped our modern world. In 2007, he will launch an innovative project, www.k-web.org, an online interactive teaching tool. Users of this revolutionary educational resource will journey through a 3-dimensional web, made up of 2,500 of history’s key personalities interlinked over 20,000 ways, to discover the remarkable serendipity behind humankind’s tireless commitment to invention and innovation.

Drawing upon a wealth of knowledge and dazzling insights, Burke humorously includes such momentous historical coincidences as: “How the popularity of underwear in the 12th century led to the invention of the printing press” or “How the arrival of the cannon led to the development of movies.”

Burke is the bestselling author of Connections, The Day the Universe Changed and The Knowledge Web. His other books include The Pinball Effect, The Axemaker’s Gift and Circles, a collection of his Scientific American monthly columns that ran for six years. He also wrote the introductions in Inventing Modern America (MIT, 2002), and was a contributing author to Talking Back to the Machine (Copernicus, 1999) and Leading for Innovation (Drucker Foundation, 2002).

Burke has advised the National Academy of Engineering, The Lucas Educational Foundation and the SETI project.  He is currently a contributor to TIME magazine and in 2007 will release his next book, American Connections, about the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The Cohen Arts and Lecture series have featured a host of outstanding speakers and performers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Tom Friedman; television journalist David Brinkley; folk singer Burl Ives; scientist Carl Sagan; feminist writer and lecturer Gloria Steinem; political analysts Andrea Mitchell, David Gergen, and Tom Wicker; former president Jimmy Carter; pianist Vladimir Feltsman; the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; and the New York Philomusica chamber ensemble; author Kurt Vonnegut; a political panel comprising commentator Cokie Roberts; former New York governor Mario Cuomo; political consultant James Carville, and former governor and presidential chief of staff John Sununu; former ambassador Andrew Young; environmental activist Joseph P. Kennedy II; best-selling author Anna Quindlen; and CNN Crossfire’s Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. Last year, Richard Leakey, one of the foremost authorities on wildlife and nature conservation, presented “Human Origins and the Survival of the Species.”

The program was established at the college in 1984 through the generosity of Bertha F. (Berte) Cohen ’37 and the late Bernard L. Cohen, to express personal appreciation for their longtime association with the College and the Bethlehem community. Bertha Cohen is a 1937 Moravian graduate and a former member of the college’s board of trustees. Bernard Cohen was a member of the Lehigh University class of 1936.

Proceeds from the Cohen Arts and Lectures Series support the Cohen Arts and Lectures Scholarships awarded to high-achieving full-time Moravian College seniors. More than 50 Moravian students have been recipients of the scholarships.

Tickets for the lecture may be purchased at the HUB desk in the Haupert Union Building, located at the corner of Monocacy and West Locust Streets, or with credit card by phone (610-625-7880) during normal business hours. A free ticket is available for Moravian students, faculty, and staff, emeriti, honoraries, retirees, as well as, LVIAC students, faculty, and staff.  Complementary tickets may be picked up at the HUB desk. For information, call 610-861-1491.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. For more information call (610) 861-1491 or visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.