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Case lecture to focus on consequences of running out of oil

Image: Fill 'er up?For more than a century the world’s industrialized nations have relied on oil to grow their economies. But what happens when the supply of cheap, easily available oil runs out?

“Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil” is the topic of a lecture by David Goodstein, vice provost and professor of physics and applied physics at the California Institute of Technology. Goodstein will speak at Case Western Reserve University Thursday, August 26 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 108 of Clapp Hall, 2080 Adelbert Road. Goodstein’s talk will kick off the university’s annual “Frontiers in Chemistry” lecture series.

Goodstein will examine the reasoning of scientists who believe the world’s supply of easily accessible oil could dry up by the end of this decade, as well as the possibility of substituting other fossil fuels for oil. He will also look at possible consequences for when the world runs out of fossil fuels entirely.

A member of the Caltech faculty for more than 35 years, Goodstein was named the Frank J. Gilloon Distinguished Teaching and Service Professor in 1995. In 1999 he was awarded the Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and in 2000 the John P. McGovern Medal of the Sigma Xi Society.

Goodstein has served on and chaired numerous scientific and academic panels, including the National Advisory Committee to the Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate of the National Science Foundation. He is a founding member of the board of directors of the California Council on Science and Technology. His books include States of Matter (Prentice Hall, 1975, Dover, 1985) and Feynman’s Lost Lecture (Norton, 1996), written with his wife, Judith Goodstein. In the 1980’s he directed and hosted The Mechanical Universe, an educational television series that has been used by millions of students all over the world.

While continuing to teach and conduct research, Goodstein recently has turned his attention to issues related to science and society. In articles, speeches and colloquia he has addressed conduct and misconduct in science, the end of exponential growth of the scientific enterprise, and issues related to fossil fuel and the earth’s climate.

Now in its 64th year, the Frontiers in Chemistry lecture series has brought more than 400 renowned scientists to the Case campus, of whom 36 have been Nobel Prize laureates.

For more information, call (216) 368-1911.


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.