Public Release: 

USC and AAAS/Science convene leading innovators to discuss challenges to US preeminence

MSNBC's Chris Matthews moderates closing discussion at April 11 event in Los Angeles

Goodman Media

Washington, DC -- The University of Southern California (USC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), publisher of the journal Science, will bring together some of the world's most innovative thinkers and futurists on 11 April to raise the nation's awareness of global challenges in science and innovation. The event, held as USC and the journal Science celebrate their 125th anniversaries, addresses potential changes in America's position of global leadership in scientific and technological competitiveness and innovation.

The one-day event, Global Horizons: America's Challenge in Science and Innovation, will take place on Tuesday, 11 April, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PDT, at the Davidson Conference Center on USC's University Park Campus. The event will include:

  • Two panel discussions:
    -- Stem Cell Research: Are We Bystanders or Key Players?
    -- China and India: New Challengers or Partners?
  • A keynote luncheon speech by Raymond Kurzweil, the inventor and futurist, whom Bill Gates calls "the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence;"
  • A closing discussion moderated by Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," that will push the limits of the panel's knowledge, from the biological and social sciences to education and technology to the environment, to help reveal the answers to the questions: Where is science leading us? Where will the next great innovations come from? Who will benefit?

Other featured participants include:

  • John Seely Brown, former chief scientist of Xerox Corp. and director of its Palo Alto Research Center; co-founder of the Institute for Research on Learning;
  • Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, co-founder and chairman of Sycamore Networks, Inc., for whom the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT is named;
  • Peter J. Donovan, developmental biologist and pioneer in stem cell research, University of California, Irvine;
  • John Harlow, Los Angeles bureau chief, The Sunday Times of London;
  • Donald B. Kohn, director of the Gene, Immune and Stem Cell Therapy Program at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and former president of the American Society of Gene Therapy;
  • Robert Lawrence Kuhn, an international investment banker and corporate strategist with extensive activities and relationships in China; a scientist and scholar with a doctorate in anatomy; and the author or editor of 25 books;
  • Alan I. Leshner, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of the journal Science;
  • Rosie Mestel, deputy editor of the health section, Los Angeles Times, who has a doctorate in genetics;
  • George A. Olah, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry;
  • Martin F. Pera, director of the USC Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and former director of Embryonic Stem Cell Research at the Australian Stem Cell Center;
  • Steven B. Sample, president of USC, an inventor and a member of the National Academy of Engineering;
  • Mangalam Srinivasan, a fellow of Harvard University, former adviser to Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and a member of the Board of Directors of Satyam Computer Services Ltd., one of the largest global information technology services and software corporations;
  • Andrew Viterbi, co-founder of Qualcomm Inc., a developer and manufacturer of mobile satellite communications and digital wireless telephony.
  • An agenda is available at The event is being held in response to a broad consensus that the United States must strengthen research and ensure that Americans are able to compete in a global economy where success is tightly tied to an ability to learn, invent and adapt to new ideas.


    About USC
    The University of Southern California is a major center for scientific research. With a total of $420 million of funded research in 2005, it ranks among the Top 10 private research universities in the United States. USC's scientific research is spread primarily across the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; the Graduate School; the Keck School of Medicine; the Viterbi School of Engineering; the Davis School of Gerontology, and the Schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry. Located in Los Angeles and on the Pacific Rim, USC plays a particularly prominent role internationally, with more foreign students than any other American university. About AAAS
    The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

    For additional information on this event or to attend, please contact Beth Olsen at Goodman Media International at 212-576-2700 x243 or

    Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.