Celebrate life and legacy of Leon Lederman Sept. 25 in Chicago

Celebrate the extraordinary life of Nobel laureate and former Fermilab Director Leon Lederman in Chicago Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Lederman was one-of-a-kind. He was a brilliant physicist, winning the Nobel Prize in 1988 for discovering one of the most elementary particles in the universe.

He was one of the founders and served as the second director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia.

As a champion for science education, he helped start the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora.

As an educator himself, he spent decades teaching at the Illinois Institute of Technology, inspiring young minds to consider physics as a career.

He also was, according to the people who knew him, a character in the best sense of the word.

Many of those people will be on hand at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, for a special event celebrating Lederman's life and legacy and looking forward to the future of particle physics.

Presented by the Chicago Council on Science and Technology and Fermilab, in conjunction with the Chicago Public Library, the program will include presentations, a question-and-answer panel with physicists and a miniature physics slam featuring students from IMSA.

On hand to share stories and discuss Lederman's life will be two scientists who worked closely with him, Rocky Kolb and Michael Turner of the University of Chicago, who started Fermilab's astrophysics program under Lederman's leadership.

Fermilab Deputy Director Joe Lykken will give an overview of the laboratory's work from Lederman's era to the present and the future, and Fermilab scientists Kirsty Duffy, Jessica Esquivel and Don Lincoln will join Turner on the ask-a-physicist panel.

As a special treat, three IMSA students will join three Fermilab researchers in a physics slam, a fun competition that pits teams against one another to see which one can explain a scientific concept or principle in the most entertaining and informative way.

The audience will then choose the winner.

Fermilab hosts a physics slam every year as part of its Arts and Lecture Series, and it is one of the lab's most popular events.

This event is free and will be held in Pritzker Auditorium at the Harold Washington Library, 400 State St., in Chicago. Check-in and exhibit viewing begins at 5:30 p.m.

Registration is required for this event on

For more information, visit the C2ST website at

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