Rorschach Lectures

Rorschach Lectures

Harold Emil ("Bud") Rorschach, Jr. (1926-1993) was a passionate educator and an enthusiastic and broadly knowledgeable mentor to his colleagues. During his career at Rice he taught more than five thousand undergraduates in his courses. He guided twenty-seven students to the Ph.D. degree in his areas of research, experimental low temperature physics and biophysics, and he was a leader and moral force among the faculty. Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rorschach served as an electronics technician in the Navy during World War II. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, completing his studies there in 1952. At Rice, he rose from Instructor to Professor, and was named Sam and Helen Worden Professor in Physics in 1981. He served twice as chair of the Physics Department (1966-73 and 1991-93) and was Visiting Professor of Physics and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1961, won Rice's George R. Brown teaching awards six times, and was a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Bud Rorschach had the remarkable quality that made the many people he met think they commanded his entire attention and thoughtful involvement, yet he devoted himself to a surprisingly wide spectrum of constituencies, including his family and friends, his colleagues at all levels at Rice University and in the academic and research world beyond, his church, and the Houston community. The Rorschach Lectures are intended to reflect his broad concerns and interests, including the impact of physics on the greater body of knowledge and culture.

Kelvin Droegemeier
Science Advisor to President Donald Trump and Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
A Bold New Era of American Science and Technology
November 12, 2019
Presentation Materials: Video

Meg Urry
Professor, Yale University; Director, Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics
Equity and Inclusion in STEM: What, Why, How 
October 12, 2018

France A. Cordova
Director, National Science Foundation
TEN BIG IDEAS: Realizing NSF's Vision for Future Research and Discovery
April 10, 2017

Cherry A. Murray
Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
Educating the 21st Century Scientist and Engineer
September 15, 2014

Jane Lubchenco
Former Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Behind the Scenes in DC: Tales from the Science-Policy Interface
April 15, 2013

Phil Plait
Death from Above
November 14, 2011

Malcolm Ross O'Neill
Assistant Secretary, United States Army
Science and Technology Contributions to the Soldier
January 24, 2011

Ralph Cicerone
President, National Academy of Sciences
Climate Change and Constraints on Energy Policy and Practices
October 20, 2009

Norman R. Augustine
Princeton University & Lockheed Martin
Science And Public Policy Who Cares?
October 8, 2008

John M. Deutch
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Energy Security
January 19, 2007

Charles M. Vest
President Emeritus and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Science, Technology, Ethics, and Public Decision Making
October 9, 2006

Sheila E. Widnall
Institute Professor and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Columbia Accident: Lessons Learned
April 21, 2004

Ernest Moniz
Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Power:  When You Find Yourself in a Hole, Stop Digging
January 27, 2003

Harold Varmus
Nobel Laureate and President, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Former Director of the National Institutes of Health
Globalizing Science
April 1, 2002

Lawrence Krauss
Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Case Western Reserve University
Author of The Physics of Star Trek
Science, Non-Science, and Nonsense:  From Aliens to Creationism
March 19, 2001

Robert L. Park
Professor of Physics, Director of the American Physical Society
Placebos Have Side Effects
October 11, 1999

Leon M. Lederman
Nobel Laureate and Director Emeritus of Fermi National Laboratory
Oh no! Not Another Effort at Science Education Reform
November 3, 1998

James Randi
The Amazing Randi
Science and the Chimera
September 29, 1997

Neal F. Lane
Director, National Science Foundation
Secrets of Scientific Success
November 13, 1996

Nils L. Muench
Executive Director, Research General Motors Research Laboratories
Should a Physicist Stick to Physics?
November 6, 1995