The origin of the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series goes back to the fall of 1979 when the late Nobel Laureate Physicist Paul Dirac accepted an invitation to deliver a lecture on "the Discovery of Anti-Matter."
His talk combined scientific and personal reminiscences to present a view of modern science rarely seen by the general public—science as a record of personal achievement as well as a body of facts and knowledge. Professor Dirac’s lecture drew an audience from throughout the East Coast, and its success inspired the establishment of the Bard Center Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series. The first two years of the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series were supported by the Pre-College Teacher Development in Science Program of the National Science Foundation.
For all those interested in the field of science–students, teachers, researchers, professionals in scientific industries and lay people–the series provided a rare opportunity for first-hand contact with people who shaped modern science–the chance to see how they thought and worked, how they viewed their own achievements, and how they assessed the challenges that scientists faced, back then and in the respective future.