In the Spring of 1998, a group of educators and scientists gathered on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University to discuss how ongoing interactions could best be fostered between San Diego County science teachers and leading research scientists in Southern California. The participants at that meeting were: Jim Ballantine (Morse HS), Shauna Brammer (La Jolla HS), Walter Desmond (Lincoln HS), Chuck Downing (PLNU), Danine Ezell (San Diego Unified), Darrel Falk (PLNU), Bart Hays (Helix Charter HS), Christie Hoover (Monte Vista HS), Paul Loozen (San Diego Unified), Jim Patzold (Clairemont HS), Leonard Thomas (Madison HS), Mala Wingered (Bell Jr. HS), Bob Van Zant (San Diego Unified) and Moselio Schaechter (Adjunct Professor at SDSU and Chair Emeritus, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University). Their ideas, along with subsequent input and support from Patricia Winter, President of the San Diego Science Alliance, were instrumental in creation of the Perspectives on Science Lecture/Dinner Series, which was inaugurated during the 1998-1999 academic year. 

By the end of the 2015-2016 program, Perspectives on Science had enabled 537 science teachers, representing 191 community colleges, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools from throughout San Diego County, to be able to interact  with 143 prominent scientists, representing 29 different Southern California academic institutions and biotech companies.  The speakers to date have included five Nobel Laureates:  Francis Crick, who discussed the mechanism of vision in 1999; Sydney Brenner, who in 2003, group photoprovided an “eye-witness” account of the early discoveries leading to the development of the “Central Dogma” of molecular biology; Roger Tsien, who led off the 2006-07 POS program with a discussion of his research on green fluorescent protein; Kurt Wüthrich, who in 2013 spoke about the use of NMR for studying proteins; and Hamilton Smith spoke about the initial discovery of restriction endonuclease enzymes in 2014.   Thirty-four of the speakers are members of the US National Academy of Sciences and six are Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators.   The photo to the right shows teachers from Francis Parker School, posing with Dr. Jeffrey Bada (SIO), after his October, 2005 seminar entitled "Searching for Evidence of Life on Mars in the Coming Decade".  Complete information about the speakers from 1998 through 2016 is shown below.

Detailed Speaker History

2015-2016 POS Program
John Avise, UC Irvine; Jules Jaffe, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Al Pisano, UC San Diego; James Sheppard, San Diego Zoo Global;  Razelle Kurzrock, UC San Diego; David Nemazee, TSRI; Stephen Mayfield, UC San Diego;  Ethan Bier, UC San Diego

2014-2015 POS Program
Hamilton Smith, J. Craig Venter Institute; Forest Rohwer, San Diego State University; Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Maike Sander, UC San Diego; Anandasankar Ray, UC Riverside; Marisa Roberto, The Scripps Research Institute; Chris Lowe, CSU, Long Beach; Clodagh O'Shea, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

2013-2014 POS Program
Shang Ping Xie, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kurt Wüthrich, The Scripps Research Institute; Susan Golden, UC San Diego; Raffi Aroian, UC San Diego; Matt Anderson, San Diego Zoo Global; Anjana Rao, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology; Kevin Burns, San Diego State University; Orianna Bretschger, J. Craig Venter Institute

2012-2013 POS Program
Terrence Sejnowski, The Salk Institute; David Sandwell, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Kelly Stewart, SW Fisheries Science Center; J. William "Bill" Schopf, UC Los Angeles; Douglas Richman, UC San Diego; William Welsh, San Diego State University; Don Cleveland, UC San Diego; Andrew Viterbi, UC San Diego Professor Emeritus

2011-2012 POS Program
Eric Courchesne, UC San Diego;   Lynne Talley, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  Dan Moriarity, University of San Diego;  Gerald Joyce. The Scripps Research Institute;   Anca Segall, San Diego State University;   Linda Sherman, The Scripps Research Institute;   Jennifer Cha, UC San Diego;  Stuart Lipton,  Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute

2010-2011 POS Program
Anette Schneemann, The Scripps Research Institute; James Golden, UC San Diego; Bob Wiese, San Diego Zoo Global; Fred Levine, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute; Vilayanur Ramachandran, UC San Diego; Joseph Ecker, The Salk Institute; Wendy Saltzman, UC Riverside; James Nieh, UC San Diego

2009-2010 POS Program
Rommie Amaro, UC Irvine;  Martin Friedlander, The Scripps Research Institute;  Farrokh Najmabadi, UC San Diego;  Michael Dorrell, PLNU;   Roberta Gottlieb, San Diego State University;  Doug Bartlett, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  William McGinnis, UC San Diego;  Jeff Seminoff, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA - National Marine Fisheries Service

2008-2009 POS Program
Steve Kay, UC San Diego;   Stanley Maloy, SDSU;   Jack Johnson, The Scripps Research Institute;   Leanne Jones, The Salk Institute;  Martin Yanofsky, UC San Diego;  Lisa Balance, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;   Clifford Kubiak, UC San Diego;   Ralph Greenspan, The Neurosciences Institute of La Jolla

2007-2008 POS Program
James McGaugh, UC Irvine;  Sara Courtneidge, The Burnham Institute;  Douglas Forbes, UC San Diego;  Frank Vernon, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;   Peter Schultz, The Scripps Research institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation;  David Holway, UC San Diego;  Ajit Varki, UC San Diego;   Joanne Chory, The Salk Institute

2006-2007 POS Program
Roger Tsien, UC San Diego;   Mitchell Reff, Biogen-Idec Corporation;   Carolyn Kelly, UCSD School of Medicine;  Fred Bercovitch, CRES and the Zoological Society of San Diego;  Erica Ollman-Saphire, The Scripps Research Institute;  Donna Blackman, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  Thomas Albright, The Salk Institute;  Ram Ramanathan, Scripps Institute of Oceanography

2005-2006 POS Program
Jeffrey Bada,  Scripps Institute of Oceanography;   Tom Demere,  San Diego Natural History Museum;  Esther Rubin, CRES and The Zoological Society of San Diego;   Julian Schroeder, UCSD;   Lisa Tauxe, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;   Victor Nizet, UCSD School of Medicine ;  Lisa Stowers, The Scripps Research Institute ;  Nathaniel Landau, The Salk Institute

2004-2005 POS Program
Evan Snyder, The Burnham Institute;  Wendy Havran, The Scripps Research Institute; Katerina Semendeferi, UCSD;  Roger Sabbadini , San Diego State University;  Wolfgang Berger, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  Gerald Kooyman, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  Oliver Ryder, CRES and UCSD;   Eduardo Macagno, UCSD

2003-2004 POS Program
Ethan Bier, UCSD;  Milton Saier, UCSD;  Tracey Brown, Cal State San Marcos;  Ronald Evans, The Salk Institute;  Peter Vogt, The Scripps Research Institute;  Steven Briggs, Diversa Corporation;  Steven Hedrick, UCSD;  Alan Dixson, Director of CRES and The Zoological Society of San Diego

2002-2003 POS Program
Maarten Chrispeels, UCSD;  Russell Doolittle, UCSD;  Judith Zyskind, SDSU and Elitra Pharmaceuticals;  Charles Keeling, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  Allison Alberts, CRES and the Zoological Society of San Diego;  Sydney Brenner, The Salk Institute;  Fred Gage, The Salk Institute;  Richard Ogden, Agouron/Pfizer

2001-2002 POS Program
Moselio Schaechter, Tufts University (emeritus) and SDSU;  Immo Scheffler, UCSD;  Larry Goldstein, UCSD;  Gerald Joyce, The Scripps Research Institute;  Barbara Durrant, CRES and the Zoological Society of San Diego;  Paul Dayton, Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Michael Latz, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  Charles Cantor, CSO, Sequenom, Inc.

2000-2001 POS Program
Francisco Ayala, UC Irvine;  Walter Eckhart, The Salk Institute;  Jeffrey Graham, Scripps Institute of Oceanography;  Paul Zorner, The Dow Chemical Company;  Joan Stiles, UCSD; Nathan Zvailfer, UCSD;  Shirley Strum, UCSD;  Donald Mosier, The Scripps Research Institute

1999-2000 POS Program
Francis Crick, The Salk Institute;  Ann Bowles, Hubbs/Sea World Institute;  Christopher Wills, UCSD;  Joshua Fierer, UCSD School of Medicine;  Kurt Benirschke, CRES and the Zoological Society of San Diego;  Ann Feeney, The Scripps Research Institute;  James McGaugh, U. C. Irvine

1998-1999 POS Program
Gerald Joyce, The Scripps Research Institute;  Milton Saier, UCSD;  Roger Beachy, The Scripps Research Institute and Monsanto;  Helen Ranney, Alliance Pharmaceuticals; Flossie Wong-Stahl, UCSD;  Inder Verma, The Salk Institute;  Janis Jackson, The Scripps Research Institute;  Kurt Benirschke, CRES and Zoological Society of San Diego