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April 2, 2004

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Donald Simanek will give the lecture, "Perpetual Motion, Perpetual Obsession: A History of Impossible Machines," Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 268, Olin Science Building, at Bucknell University.

The lecture, which is open to the public without charge, is part of Bucknell's Martin and Arlene Cummings Lectureship Series.

Professor emeritus of physics at Lock Haven University, Simanek is co-author with John Holden of Science Askew. A graduate of the University of Iowa and Penn State University, he taught physics for more than 37 years.

Simanek also is curator of The Museum of Unworkable Devices, which he calls "a celebration of fascinating devices that don't work. It houses diverse examples of the perverse genius of inventors who refused to let their thinking be intimidated by the laws of nature." The museum may be found at

His educational website, which has received favorable notice in Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Physics Teacher and The London Sunday Times, may be found at

Simanek also will give the class seminar, "Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of Science History," during his visit.

The Martin and Arlene Cummings Lectureship was established in 1995 to provide annual lectures and residencies by distinguished scholars who will discuss and speak on the history of science, scientific inquiry and the effects of science on culture, politics and the human condition.

Previous speakers in the series were Daniel Boorstin, former Librarian of Congress; Howard Gest, an early member of the Manhattan Project who signed the Szilard petition against using atomic weapons; and Ronald Green, a biomedical ethicist who discussed the Human Genome Project.


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