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Speakers from Taiwan, Yale to give memorial lectures at UCD

By March 3, 2011

Taiwan’s Academia Sinica president and a Yale University professor will deliver this year’s R. Bryan Miller and Edwin Lemert lectures at the UC Davis.

The Miller lecture, on chemistry, is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday while the Lemert lecture, on sociology, is set for 4 p.m. Monday. Both talks are free and open to the public.

The R. Bryan Miller Symposium honors the chemistry professor who died in 1998. He was chairman of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate at the time of his death. The symposium focuses on pharmaceutical and biological chemistry, and includes speakers from both academia and industry.

Chi-Huey Wong, president of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s equivalent of the United States’ national academies and laboratories, is scheduled to give the plenary address: “New Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry.”

Wong’s visit comes amid a growing relationship between UCD and the Academia Sinica, a high-profile institution. Wong’s predecessor as Academia Sinica president, Yuan T. Lee, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus, shared the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1986 — becoming the first native Taiwanese to win a Nobel.

A group of UCD undergraduates and professors is due to spend this spring quarter at the Taiwanese institute, studying pharmaceutical chemistry.

Wong is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science and also is a professor of chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute and National Taiwan University. He was appointed to head Academia Sinica in 2006.

“He’s very interested in our pharmaceutical chemistry program,” said Winston Ko, dean of the division of mathematical and physical sciences, “as one of the mandates of his presidency is to build up the island nation’s biotechnology industry.”

As well as attending the symposium, Wong is scheduled to meet with researchers at the UC Davis Health System and Cancer Center. A reception at the chancellor’s residence is planned.

The Academia Sinica comprises 24 institutes and seven research centers dealing with the physical sciences, biology and humanities, and gets funding directly from Taiwan’s president.

Wong’s talk will be given at the UCD Conference Center, at the campus’ south entry. The event is free and open to the public.

The annual Lemert seminar honors the late Edwin Lemert, founding chair of the department of sociology. This year’s speaker is Elijah Anderson, one of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States. He plans to give a talk centered on his new book, “The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life,” due out this month.

His other publications include “Code of the Street: Decency, Violence and the Moral Life of the Inner City,” winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; “Streetwise: Race, Class and Change in an Urban Community,” winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of urban sociology; and the classic sociological work, “A Place on the Corner.”

Anderson, the William K. Lanman Jr. professor of sociology at Yale, has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and is a former vice president of the American Sociological Association.

He has served as a consultant to the White House and Congress, and the National Academy of Science and the National Science Foundation. He formerly served as a member of the National Research Council’s Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior.

Anderson’s talk will be given at International House, 10 College Park, Davis. It is free and open to the public.

— UC Davis News Service

Special to The Enterprise

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