UMass Amherst to Show Live White House Conference with Noted Physicist Stephen Hawking

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts campus will be linked to a White House teleconference featuring noted physicist Stephen Hawking, Fri., March 6, according to communication professor Jarice Hanson, who is helping to set up the satellite downlink. The teleconference will air from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Herter Language Lab. The public is invited to attend.

Hawking’s talk is tentatively titled "Science and Creativity in the 21st Century."

The lecture is part of the White House Millennium Series, a group of about a dozen talks addressing issues that will confront society in the next century. The National Endowment for the Humanities and Sun Microsystems have underwritten the series, which will continue during the next two to three years. The series began earlier this month with a teleconference that featured historian Bernard Bailyn speaking on "The Living Past – Commitments for the Future." First Lady Hillary Clinton introduces the lectures.

"Usually the Millennium conferences allow the audience to send questions in real time on the Internet," says Hanson. "However, because Hawking uses a voice synthesizer to speak, the White House has asked that questions for him be e-mailed ahead of time."

People may send questions to Hawking by checking the White House Web site for instructions prior to March 6.

Hawking also has a Web site offering biographical and other information.

The Hawking lecture will be taped, as was the Bailyn talk, for future use on campus, says Hanson.