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Hamden Hall Country Day School
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A Nobel Prize-Winning Event: American Science in the 21st Century

Hamden Hall Country Day School will host three Nobel Prize winners during its American Science in the 21st Century panel discussion on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

The event is part of the school’s Beckerman Lecture Series, which promotes engaging conversations about topics and themes that have shaped our world and continue to impact our place in the global community.

On hand for the panel discussion will be Dr. Sidney Altman, Dr. Martin Chalfie, and Dr. Thomas A. Steitz, all of whom have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

“Part of Hamden Hall's mission is to teach our students to be good global citizens. To this end, we fully embrace our responsibility to be a private school with a public purpose. We are honored to have three Nobel Prize recipients speak to our school community and to provide the public with this type of educational opportunity. One of our core values at Hamden Hall is 'excellence' and these three men surely embody that standard," said Head of School Bob Izzo.

Dr. Altman is the Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Professor of Chemistry at Yale University. He won the Nobel Prize in 1989 for his discovery of catalytic properties of RNA.

Dr. Chalfie is the former Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. He won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for his introduction of Green Fluorescent Protein as a biological marker. Dr. Chalfie is also a former Hamden Hall faculty member – having taught under the pines in the 1970s. At that time, he taught a social sciences course that was a combination of sociology, anthropology, and psychology.

Dr. Steitz is the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Chemistry at Yale University. He won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for his work describing the structure and function of the ribosome.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Hamden Hall alumnus Alex Buhimschi, Class of 2013, who graduated from Yale University in 2017.

Science teacher Dr. Frank Gasparro, who serves as the director of Hamden Hall’s premier Science, Innovation & Design Program, noted that the United States has dealt with various science matters and issues during the course of the country’s history. He maintains that the U.S. is now confronted with what some have called our greatest challenge: addressing the issue of man-made climate changes at a time when our commitment to maintain the powerful scientific prowess we have developed as the world's wealthiest country is being questioned.

“As we ponder these issues, it is important to remember that the people to be most affected by the outcome are today's students. We need the best and brightest of them to choose careers in science so that once again the U.S. can forge new paths. This event will expose our students to the musings of three great American Scientists,” said Dr. Gasparro.

This event is open to the public and a reception will be held prior to the panel discussion in Swain Library at 7 p.m. The panel discussion will take place in Hamden Hall’s Taylor Performing Arts Center at 1108 Whitney Avenue, Hamden. To reserve a seat or for more information, call 203.752.2616.

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