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B. Gentry Lee, noted science fiction novelist and space-systems engineer, will deliver the John and Muriel Landis Lecture at Lafayette College at 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Lee’s talk, entitled “Challenges of the 21st Century: Revolutions in Bioengineering, Revolutions in World Networks/Communications, Revolutions in Environmental Engineering,” is free and open to the public. Established by Trustee Emeritus John Landis, a member of Lafayette’s Class of 1939, the Landis Lectureship focuses on issues of technology and international cooperation.

Lee has played a key role in space exploration for more than 25 years. In December 1995, he was chief engineer of the Galileo mission that encountered Jupiter and its moons. He also held a variety of leadership positions on the historic Viking project, including director of science analysis and mission planning. Viking landed two spacecraft on the surface of Mars in 1976. From 1978 to 1981, Lee teamed up with astronomer Carl Sagan in the creation, development, and production of Cosmos, the most widely watched science television project in American history and winner of many awards, including three Emmys and a Peabody.

Still an active consultant for NASA, Lee has recently garnered acclaim as a science fiction author. His four collaborative novels with Arthur C. Clarke, Cradle (1988), Rama 11 (1989), The Garden of Rama (1991), and Rama Revealed (1994) were all New York Times bestsellers. Lee’s solo novels have also been well received. Bright Messengers (1995) was a national science fiction bestseller and was followed by a sequel in 1997, Double Full Moon Night.

In addition to lecturing frequently in the United States and abroad, Lee recently signed on as chief designer with Sierra On-Line, the world’s leading producer of personal-computer-based entertainment and education products.

Lee holds a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin. Lee also attended the University of Glasgow on a Marshall Fellowship.

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