Professor Allan Chapman delivers traditional fall lecture, Sept. 19

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sept. 12, 2011) — Professor Allan Chapman of the University of Oxford, lead lecturer on Bemidji State University’s Eurospring Program, will be presenting his annual lecture to the Bemidji community on Monday, Sept. 19.

From Wadham College of Oxford University in England, Chapman presents an annual fall program at Bemidji State while on campus to discuss Eurospring, Bemidji State’s oldest international study program which is offered during the spring semester.

Chapman’s 2011 lecture is entitled “Aliens: Fact, Fiction, and Fallacy.” It will begin at 3 p.m. in Sattgast Hall 208; it is free and open to the public.

Chapman’s lecture will look at the fundamental questions of why people are fascinated by the idea of alien beings, and whether they can possibly exist, from various perspectives.

“It is important to remember that the idea of life on other worlds goes back a good 400 years, to the time of the invention of the telescope, when astronomers first realized that the planets actually were worlds and asked the question ‘Are they inhabited?’,” Chapman said. “If so, could we perhaps communicate with the inhabitants, or even fly through space to meet them?”

Chapman’s lecture will look at aliens in a historical context, along with their impact on literature, philosophy and religion. He also will share his own thoughts on whether or not human beings might have cosmic companions.

Eurospring originated in the mid 1970s, and over the decades hundreds of Bemidji State students have taken advantage of the benefits that international study brings through the program.

Chapman has been with Eurospring from its inception, and his involvement has been one of its strongest components. His annual lecture is considered one of the highlights of the academic year at Bemidji State.

The main lecturer for Eurospring, he is the author of “Mary Somerville and the World of Science.” He has made two television series, “Gods in the Sky” and “Great Scientists,” and has been featured on several BBC radio discussions on history.

He has served as visiting professor in the history of science at Gresham College, a 400-year-old London institution of considerable academic prestige, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Central Lanchashire.

Chapman was invited by the Danish government and the Danish Crown to write on Danish scientific connections with China from 1600 to the present, and also was invited to lecture in Copenhagen in 2006 at the Nils Bohr Institute as part of the same project.

More information on the lecture and on Eurospring is available by contacting Bemidji State’s International Program Center at (218) 755-4096.