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March 19, 2008

BIOLOGIST, PHILOSOPHER FRANCISCO J. AYALA TO DELIVER INAUGURAL LEVINE –
DE BEER GENETICS LECTURE APRIL 1 AT CCNY

NEW YORK, March 19, 2008 – Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at The University of California at Irvine, will deliver the inaugural Louis Levine – Gabriella de Beer Lecture in Genetics 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall at The City College of New York.

Professor Ayala’s topic will be “Design without Designer: Darwin’s Most Significant Discovery.”

A native of Spain who has lived in the United States since 1961, Professor Ayala is a philosopher as well as a biologist. He has published more than 900 articles and is the author or editor of 31 books.

His research focuses on population and evolutionary genetics, including the origin of species; genetic diversity of populations; the origin of malaria; the population structure of parasitic protozoa, and the molecular clock of evolution. He also writes about the interface between religion and science, and on philosophical issues concerning epistemology, ethics and the philosophy of biology.

Active nationally in the scientific community, Professor Ayala served from 1994 to 2001 as a member of the U.S. President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is a past President and former Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993 – 1996). For 2004 – 2005 he was President of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society of the United States.

In 2002, President Bush bestowed the National Medal of Science upon him in a White House ceremony. His other honors include memberships in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the American Philosophical Society as well as numerous foreign academies. He earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1964.

The Louis Levine – Gabriella de Beer Lecture in Genetics was established by Ms. de Beer in memory of her husband, Professor Louis Levine. A graduate of The City College who also earned a Ph.D. from Columbia, Professor Levine conducted research on population studies of drosophila and behavior genetics of mice. He taught in the CCNY Department of Biology and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. 

The aim of the lecture series is to perpetuate Professor Levine’s lifelong interest in the ever-expanding field of genetics. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is presented by CCNY President Dr. Gregory H. Williams and The City College Fund.

About The City College of New York

For more than 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 14,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.

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