(Credit: Anthony Ayiomamitis)
We would like to note the passing of members of the Origins community...
Myron "Mike" Lecar (1930-2011)
Founding member of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative and Steering Committee member.
Mike's research interests included gravitational dynamics, planet formation, and the dynamics of our solar system. During his career he authored or co-authored more than 90 scientific articles. Among those is a series of elegant papers, written with Fred Franklin and Marc Murison, establishing a relation between the time scales of dynamical chaos and long-term stability in the solar system. Another article, written with Paul Gorenstein and Daniel Fabricant, was selected as one of the fundamental papers published in the 20th century in the Astronomical Journal and Astrophysical Journal, and reprinted in the AAS Centennial Issue, 1999. Among his many accomplishments, Mike was particularly proud of his role in establishing the first astronomical observatory in Israel. The Wise Observatory, located in the Negev desert, was dedicated in 1972 and is still operational today.
Lynn Margulis (1938-2011)
Origins Forum speaker, May 14, 2008
Renowned evolutionary biologist and author, Lynn Margulis was a Distinguished University Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a National Medal of Science recipient. Her publications span topics from cell biology to microbial evolution. Margulis authored and co-authored hundreds of research papers, reviews, non-technical articles and many books, including "Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution" and "Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origin of the Species." Most recently, with UMass Amherst alumnus Michael J. Chapman, she wrote "Kingdoms & Domains: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth." Several of her books were co-authored by her son, Dorion Sagan.
Robert Shapiro (1935-2011)
Origins Forum speaker, October 15, 2008
Professor Emeritus with the New York University Department of Chemistry. He held a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health and was awarded (with physicist Paul Davies) the Trotter Prize in Complexity, Information and Inference in 2004. Author of over 125 publications, primarily in the area of DNA chemistry, and in the origin of life. In particular, he and his co-workers studied the ways in which environmental chemicals can damage our hereditary material, causing changes that can lead to mutations and cancer. In addition to his research, he wrote four books and several magazine articles for the general public.