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Crazy Ideas in Science' author to speak at UNI

April 2, 2003

Jill Trainer, interim associate dean, UNI College of Natural Sciences, (319) 273-6187
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS -- Rating crazy ideas on a scale of up to four 'cuckoos' may not sound like something a typical scientist would do, but Robert Ehrlich probably wouldn't be described as typical. The author of 'Nine Crazy Ideas in Science-- A Few Might Even Be True,' Ehrlich will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Center for Energy and Environmental Education auditorium on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

A professor of physics at George Mason University, Ehrlich demonstrates in everyday terms how to weigh arguments about a few bizarre notions that are currently receiving serious attention by some scientists. Some of the ideas covered in his book include 'more guns mean less crime' and 'sun exposure is beneficial.'

'Dr. Ehrlich is an entertaining speaker who uses scientific methodology to examine ideas,' said Jill Trainer, interim associate dean of the UNI College of Natural Sciences and coordinator of the capstone program, which is sponsoring the event with the college.

Ehrlich's research has focused on particle physics, including possible evidence for faster-than-light tachyons, hypothetical subatomic particles. The author of 19 books, he also has worked on arms-control issues and physics education.

The talk is open to the public free of charge, with a book signing to follow. Off-campus visitors may park in the lot between the Industrial Technology Center and the Biology Research Complex, accessible from College Street.