Eight Nobel Laureates and the directors of two of the country's top scientific research offices will join hundreds of scientists from around the world for the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy June 12-16 at The Ohio State University.

This year marks the 50th meeting of the conference, an annual showcase of a scientific field that gave birth to laser technology and weather and aircraft radar systems.

Molecular spectroscopy is the study of the basic interactions between electromagnetic radiation, such as radio and microwave frequencies, and molecules. Basic spectroscopy provides detailed information about a molecule by allowing scientists to study the radiation it emits or absorbs. Scientists can study molecules in space, for example, to learn more about the formation of stars.

Speakers at the conference will include Neal Lane, director of the National Science Foundation, and Gerald Iafrate, director of the Army Office of Research. The plenary session will feature lectures by eight Nobel Laureates, including Kenneth G. Wilson, The Ohio State University; Dudley Herschbach and Norman F. Ramsey, Harvard; Gerhard Herzberg, National Research Council of Canada; Yuan T. Lee, Academia Sinica in China; Charles H. Townes, University of California at Berkeley; John Polanyi, University of Toronto; and George Porter, Imperial College in London.

The symposium is sponsored by the Ohio State's Office for Research, the College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the Departments of Chemistry and Physics; and the U.S. Army Research Office.

Contact: Terry Miller,(614) 292-2569

Written by Kelli Whitlock,(614) 292-9475



More than 300 physicians, scientists, family members and other experts in the field of mental retardation will meet at Ohio State University next month to develop the first-ever guidelines for prescribing psychiatric medications for the

mentally retarded.

People with mental retardation are among the nation's heaviest consumers of psychoactive drugs, such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, said Steven Reiss, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State and director of the Nisonger Center, the university's primary center devoted to teaching and research on mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

However, Reiss said, physicians prescribing psychoactive drugs for these patients are often poorly trained about mental retardation.

The upcoming conference will address this problem. The International Consensus Conference on Psychopharmacology, which will meet June 15 and 16 at Ohio State and will be co-hosted by the Nisonger Center, University of Cincinnati's Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders, and Arc of Ohio (formerly known as the Association for Retarded Citizens), will include presentations by 21 working committees on such topics as drug types, past research, ethical issues and issues of best practice.

After the conference, the reports of the committees will be compiled into a handbook of consensus expert opinion on the appropriate use of each medication for people with mental retardation. The handbook will be distributed worldwide.

For more information about the conference, call Steven Reiss at the Nisonger Center at (614) 292-8365 or at home at (614) 885-4114.

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Contact: Steven Reiss, (614) 292-8365

Written by Kelly McConaghy Kershner, (614) 292-8308