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ecognizing how important it is that graduate and medical students understand the history of the ideas upon which they depend, Dr. Richard Kessin, associate dean of graduate affairs, and Dr. Fred Loweff, assistant dean of graduate affairs, have planned four late-afternoon lectures focusing on critical ideas in the history of science. These lectures are designed for all people with an interest in science. Children are also welcome.

All lectures will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Hammer Health Sciences Center, Room 401.Refreshments will be served.

The first of the series, "The Cell Theory in Biology and the Germ Theory of Disease," will be presented by Dr. Donald W. King, former chairman of pathology, on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Future topics and speakers:

Thursday, Feb. 21: "A Brief History of Polio-myelitis: From Iron Lung to Eradication," by Dr. Vincent Racaniello, the Higgins Professor of Microbiology at P&S.

Thursday, March 14: "Origins and Evolution of Thoughts about Synaptic Transmission in the Brain," by Dr. Gerald Fischbach, executive vice president and dean.

Thursday, April 11: "Ancient Biology and Medicine: Part I, The Presocratics," by Dr. Argiris Efstratiadis, the Higgins Professor of Genetics and Development.

All members of the Health Sciences community are welcome to attend the lectures. More information is available from Dr. Kessin at (212) 305-5653 (ext. 5-5653) or rhk2@columbia.edu.