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Daniel J. Kevles, the country's leading historian of the politics of American science, will deliver Old Dominion University's Distinguished Presidential Lecture in Science, titled "Beyond Eugenics: Justice, Property and the Human Genome," at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building auditorium.

Kevles' research interests include the interplay of science and society past and present; the history of science in America; modern physics, modern biology and environmentalism; and scientific fraud and misconduct.

He is the author of numerous books, including "The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science and Character" (W.W. Norton, 1998), an account of allegations of scientific misconduct against Nobel Prize-winner David Baltimore and his collaborators.

The book raises issues about academic freedom and government control over science. After Baltimore's group published a paper in 1986 detailing how the body custom-tailors antibodies to fend off disease, a postdoctoral student alleged impropriety in their research, which touched off a series of congressional hearings.

Other topics of Kevles' writing include eugenics and the use of human heredity; the history of American physicists; science and politics; and environmentalism. His essays have appeared in publications ranging from The New Yorker and The Los Angeles Times Magazine to Physics Today.

Kevles is J.O. and Juliette Koepfli Professor of the Humanities at the California Institute of Technology. He earned both a bachelor's degree in physics and a doctorate in history from Princeton University. He also studied European history at Oxford University.

At CalTech, Kevles is the founder and current faculty chair of the Science, Ethics and Public Policy Program for undergraduate and graduate students. The program focuses on a broad historical and philosophical education in the social, economic, ethical and political issues that have arisen in the modern world in connection with the advance of science and technology.

For more information about the lecture, call 683-3116.

This article was posted on: January 18, 2001

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