John Wesley Powell Memorial Lectures

The John Wesley Powell Memorial Lectures were inaugurated in 1929 in honor of the distinguished geologist and leader of the first expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Each year since then, with the exception of the years during WWII when the Division did not hold meetings, SWARM has invited a distinguished scholar to deliver a lecture at the Annual Meeting on a subject of his or her choosing. An attempt has always been made to select speakers who represent as wide a diversity of scientific endeavor as possible. Some of the previous Powell lecturers have included Oliver Sacks (2000), Holmes Rolston III (1998), Carl Sagan (1992), Lawrence Slobodin (1987), Paul S. Martin (1978), Eugene Odum (1968), A.H. Compton (1939), Otto Struve (1934) and Aldo Leopold (1933).

The Powell Fund was established in 1958 with Division funds that had accrued during the war years. For many years the interest from this fund was sufficient to finance an honorarium and expenses for the invited speaker. Due to increased expenses and in the amounts provided to speakers along with lowered interest rates, the interest is no longer sufficient to maintain the fund. The Division is asking for your help in augmenting the Powell Fund to a level where the interest can, once again, support the cost required to maintain the high quality of the Powell Lecture.

Suggestions for future Powell Lecturers are always welcome and can be sent to the Executive Director.