Dr. J. Roger P. Angel


Roger Angel has developed concepts and technology for some of the most powerful astronomical telescopes, including the Large Binocular Telescope and the planned Giant Magellan Telescope. Today he is working on a novel telescope that harvests solar energy by focusing sunlight onto small but powerful photovoltaic cells. These “energy telescopes” are designed for mass-production in huge volume for solar farms, at a cost low enough to make unsubsidized solar electricity highly competitive.

Co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the Kavli Foundation.

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Dr. Michael Grätzel


Learning from the techniques used by green plants and algae to harvest sunlight and convert it to fuels, Dr. Grätzel has developed a new solar cell that converts ambient light very efficiently into electric power and can drive electric power-producing windows and glass facades. The concepts behind these cells have also been applied to the production of hydrogen from sunlight and water, and to battery manufacturing—critical components of future energy systems.
Co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with the Embassies of Italy and Switzerland, and the Balzan Foundation.


Dr. Andrea Ghez

Lurking at the center of our galaxy is its most massive object—a supermassive black hole. More than a quarter century ago, astronomers first imagined that galaxies such as our own Milky Way might harbor massive, though possibly dormant, central black holes. Definitive proof lay in assessing the distribution and motion of matter at the center of the galaxy. Based on 15 years of high- resolution imaging, Dr. Ghez’s team has moved the case for a supermassive black hole at the galactic center from a possibility to a certainty. Although the stars orbiting close to the black hole appear to be massive and young, their origins are difficult to explain. Understanding them may provide key insights into the black hole’s evolution.


Dr. Elaine Fuchs


Elaine Fuchs is internationally known for her research in skin biology and associated human genetic disorders, which include skin cancers and life-threatening genetic syndromes such as blistering skin disorders. Her pioneering work on stem cells of the skin has been useful in identifying stem cells in other tissues of the body. Her research holds promise for regenerative medicine, such as burn therapy, blindness and baldness.
Co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation and the Biotechnology Institute.


Dr. James Gates, University of Maryland, Department of Physics
Dr. Larry Gladney, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Dr. Herman White, Jr., Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory


Stunning new discoveries at the frontiers of physics, including the discovery that dark energy and dark matter constitute 95% of the universe, have profoundly challenged our understanding of fundamental physics. Either our view of empty space at the very smallest scales is wrong or our view that Einstein’s theory of gravitation works on large distance scales is incorrect. The Three Cosmic Tenors will touch on string theory, particle physics and mathematical astrophysics to illuminate what the universe is made of and how it is evolving.



Join us for a screening of the documentary film “Carl Djerassi—My Life,” a portrait of the brilliant scientist turned science-in-fiction writer Carl Djerassi. After the screening, Dr. Djerassi, inventor of the first oral contraceptive pill, will engage in a conversation with Madeleine Jacobs, Executive Director and CEO of the American Chemical Society. Co-hosted by the Carnegie institution for Science with the office of Science & technology at the Embassy of austria, the austrian Cultural Forum Washington, and the American Chemical Society.

Co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with the Office of Science & Technology at the Embassy of Austria, the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington, and the American Chemical Society.


Streaming video on demand:

Also available from iTunes U.

Dr. Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado

What good is long life without youthful vigor? When the goddess Eos fell in love with Tithonus, a mere mortal, Zeus granted him the imperfect gift of immortality: Tithonus lived forever but did not stop aging, thus condemning his existence to one of eternal decrepitude. In nature, organisms exist that can be said to remain perennially youthful, and consequently die young as late in life as possible. Learn what fundamental lessons such an organism is teaching us about our own biology.