From a View of the Grand Canyon
to a Vision of Science in the Twenty-first Century

Photo album of the lecture
Full text of the lecture

John Firor envisions the future of science . . .

When Vannevar Bush wrote of science as an "endless frontier" at mid-century, John Firor had already staked his career claim. John reflected on his last 50 years as a scientist, leader, and writer in the second Walter Orr Roberts Distinguished Lecture, part of UCAR/NCAR's 40th anniversary celebration. He spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on Tuesday evening, 19 October, at the Boulder Public Library. John discussed his days in graduate school at the high-powered University of Chicago, his years at the High Altitude Observatory, and his time in the late 1960s and early 1970s as NCAR's second director, working closely with Walt Roberts. He also pondered what new conceptions of science might replace Bush's "endless frontier" in a world where science is no longer assumed to be a value-free, completely objective enterprise. John's talk was flanked by two valued friends of NCAR: he was introduced by former U.S. Senator Tim Wirth and followed by comments from Janet Roberts.
Photo by Carlye Calvin.
Article edited by Bob Henson for UCAR Staff Notes Monthly, November, 1999.