Nobel Laureate to visit WCU April 2

Sir Harold Kroto

Sir Harold Kroto

Sir Harold Kroto, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for chemistry, will visit Western Carolina University on Monday, April 2, to help scientists and laymen alike better understand their respective responsibilities to wisely use the tools of modern technology while preserving the world’s natural resources.

Kroto, a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for his role in the discovery of a new form of carbon, will speak on “Science, Society and Sustainability” in a free public program to begin at 11:15 a.m. in the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

“Society has the power to use technology so that it can benefit us or be detrimental. It is now clear that our technologies also have catalyzed a mindless, mass production-driven plundering of the planet’s resources, which could be hurtling us toward disaster. We don’t need an asteroid,” Kroto said.

“For a 50-50 chance of surviving into the next century, every segment of society – from industrialists, engineers and scientists to politicians, farmers and fishermen – must now take this matter as the most serious issue the world has ever confronted,” he said.

A professor of chemistry at Florida State University, Kroto will lead a seminar geared toward the scientific community. The talk, “Architecture in NanoSpace,” will begin at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of WCU’s Natural Sciences Building. While at Western, he also will meet with faculty members and students from the scientific disciplines.

“This is a rare opportunity for students and faculty at WCU and from schools and colleges across Western North Carolina to hear from a Nobel Laureate,” said David Butcher, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Dr. Kroto will be speaking about a very timely and important topic that should be of interest to us all.”

For more information, contact the College of Arts and Sciences at (828) 227-7646.