University Lectures Series Welcomes Biomimicry Expert

February 26, 2009

University Lectures Series Welcomes Biologist, Biomimicry Expert Janine Benyus on March 3

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Natural sciences writer and innovation consultant Janine Benyus envisions solar cells that mimic leaves, agriculture that models a prairie, and businesses that run like redwood forests.

These kinds of sustainable solutions, created by emulating nature’s designs and processes, are imagined within biomimicry, which Benyus established as an emerging discipline. Benyus will speak on “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature” in a University Lectures presentation on Tuesday, March 3, at 4 p.m. (new time) in Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel. A multimedia presentation will accompany Benyus’ lecture.

The event, sponsored in cooperation with the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems and the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, is free and open to the public. Reduced-rate parking will be available in the Irving Garage. A sign language interpreter will be available.

Benyus’ 1997 book “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature” (HarperCollins) established biomimicry as an emerging discipline. Since the book’s release, she has evolved the practice of biomimicry, consulting with sustainable business, academic and government leaders, serving on the Eco-Dream Team at Interface Inc., and conducting seminars on what people can learn from the genius that surrounds them.

In 1998, Benyus co-founded the Biomimicry Guild, an education and innovation practice of individuals and organizations dedicated to helping innovators learn from and emulate natural models, and to create products, processes and policies that create conditions conducive to life.

Benyus has delivered keynote addresses on biomimicry to audiences around the globe. A graduate of Rutgers University, she has received several awards, including the Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award, the Lud Browman Award for Science Writing, the Science Writing in Society Journalism Award and the Barrows and Heinz Distinguished Lectureship Award.

In addition to her biomimicry work, Benyus teaches interpretive writing, lectures at the University of Montana, and works toward restoring and protecting wild lands. Now in its eighth year, University Lectures maintains its tradition of bringing to the SU campus some of the most influential movers and shapers from around the world. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s trustees, alumni and friends. The final lecture of the 2008-09 season will be delivered by renowned oceanographer and photographer Robert Ballard, on March 24 at 7:30 p.m.