Date: March 18, 2008

Contact: Janet DeMint, Program Administrator

Distinctive Voices@The Beckman Center      
949-721-2267; e-mail <>




Lectures explore topics ranging from archaeology to wine


IRVINE, Calif. – Distinctive Voices@The Beckman Center announced today its exciting spring lecture series.  The events feature diverse subjects sure to interest anyone who is curious about science, technology, and medicine.  The programs will explore ancient Egypt, wine and health, population research, animated medical cartoons, the mathematics of elections, and more.  Audiences will hear from award-winning scientists and engineers about recent findings and research developments.


A dessert reception following each event provides attendees with further opportunity to continue the stimulating conversations sparked by the presentations.  The events are free and open to the public; for more details, visit  A list of the spring events follows:


Saturday, April 5, 7 p.m.

Discoveries in the Desert: The North Kharga Oasis Survey, presented by Salima Ikram, Ph.D.


Wednesday, April 16, 7 p.m.

Chaotic Elections! A Mathematician Looks at Voting, presented by Donald Saari, Ph.D. (NAS member)

Wednesday, April 23, 7 p.m.

Cartoon Medicine Show: Animated Cartoons from the Collection of the National Library of Medicine, presented by Michael Sappol, Ph.D.


Wednesday, May 7, 7 p.m.

Natural Disaster Diplomacy: Helping Developing Countries Cope with Earthquakes and Tsunamis, presented by Brian Tucker, Ph.D.


Wednesday, May 21, 7 p.m.

How Long Will We Live? presented by John Bongaarts, Ph.D. (NAS member)


Wednesday, June 4, 7 p.m.

Elixir of Life: Wine and Health, presented by Francisco J. Ayala, Ph.D. (NAS member)


Wednesday, June 11, 7 p.m.

How the Great Pyramids Were Built, presented by Craig B. Smith, Ph.D.


Distinctive Voices@The Beckman Center was started in 2006 to highlight innovations, discoveries, and emerging issues for the general public in an engaging forum.  For more information about Distinctive Voices, visit


The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council perform unparalleled public service by bringing together experts in all areas of science and technology who serve as volunteers to address critical issues and offer unbiased advice to the federal government and the nation.


Editor’s Note: Members of the media who wish to arrange an interview with the presenters are encouraged to call Janet DeMint at 949.721.2267.


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