Rice University
Rice University 100 Years 1912-2012



The Centennial Lecture Series brought to campus international angel investor Esther Dyson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President and physicist Shirley Ann Jackson, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas,  Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. and human genome pioneer J. Craig Venter. 

All five speakers gave full lectures during their visit to campus, and four of them participated in an evening of short talks October 10 from 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.  (Chief Justice Roberts was unable to participate in the short talks due to the Supreme Court being in session that week.)  The lecture series was be held in Autry Court in Tudor Fieldhouse.  To celebrate Rice’s 100-year anniversary, friends and community members were invited to join us for the visionary Centennial Lecture Series, the timely Presidential Panel  as well as very relevant Three Decades of Executive Leadership at Rice Panel.  


J. Craig Venter  

"From Reading to Writing the Genetic Code," Wednesday, October 10, 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m., Autry Court, Tudor Fieldhouse 

Perhaps most famous for being among the first to sequence the human genome, Dr. Venter in 2010 created the first cell with a synthetic genome. He has been listed as one of the world's most influential people by both Time magazine and the British New Statesman.  Venter also is tackling energy (stating that algae show promise); last year he published a high-profile paper on the first creation of synthetic life that included then-Rice student Thomas Segall-Shapiro as an author. 



Four Short Talks: An Evening with Visionary Leaders Esther Dyson, Shirley Ann Jackson, Rem Koolhaas and J. Craig Venter  

Wednesday, October 10, 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., Autry Court, Tudor Fieldhouse 



Rem Koolhaas  

"Architecture as a Global Practice," Thursday, October 11, 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.,Autry Court, Tudor Fieldhouse 

One of the founders of OMA, a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas worked as a journalist and script writer before becoming an architect. A graduate of the Architectural Association in London, he summarized the work of OMA in his 1995 book, “S,M,L,XL,” a novel about architecture.  In addition to the Pritzker Prize, Koolhaas received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture. 

This talk is not webcast at the speaker's request. 


Esther Dyson  

"Traveling Behind the Scenes," Thursday, October 11, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m., Autry Court, Tudor Fieldhouse  

A lifelong self-educator, angel investor Dyson supports and advises companies engaged in information technology, private aviation and space travel, health and other areas. A former journalist with Forbes, Dyson has edited the computer industry newsletter Release 1.0 and written columns for the New York Times and Huffington Post.  In a New York Times op-ed, Paul Krugman noted that Dyson predicted accurately in 1994 “that the ease with which digital content can be copied and disseminated would eventually force businesses to sell the results of creative activity cheaply, or even give it away.”'



Shirley Ann Jackson  

"Valuing Science: Exploring our Past, Securing our Future," Thursday, October 11, 3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m., Autry Court, Tudor Fieldhouse 

Described by Time magazine as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science,” Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President and theoretical physicist Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., chaired the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1995-1999), serves on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and is a member of the International Security Advisory Board to the U.S. Department of State.  Her research and policy focus includes energy security, the national capacity for innovation and the “Quiet Crisis” of looming gaps in the science, technology and engineering workforce and reduced support for basic research.



Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.  

"A Conversation with the Chief Justice," Wednesday, October 17, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Autry Court, Tudor Fieldhouse 

Roberts received his law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of Harvard Law Review. He has served as special assistant to the attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice, as associate counsel to President Ronald Reagan and as principal deputy solicitor general for the U.S. Department of Justice. Roberts was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003. President George W. Bush nominated him as Chief Justice, and Roberts took his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005.