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Gore Will Speak Here Tomorrow

By Orli G. Bahcall
Staff Reporter

Vice President Al Gore and two MITNobel laureates are among the speakers at the fifth annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists, which began yesterday at MIT.

The conference continues through the weekend with presentations by other prominent figures from government and academia, including Elizabeth Dowdeswell, under secretary-general for the United Nations Environmental Program, and Harvard Professor Edward O. Wilson, a world-renowned expert on biodiversity.

The topic for Gore's speech will be environmental issues in the presidential campaign. The one-hour presentation, scheduled for tomorrow at 7:15 p.m., will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Members of the MIT community can register to attend the talk beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m. in McCormick Hall's dining hall. Seating, while limited, will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Society of Environmental Journalists aims to improve the quantity and quality of environmental coverage in the media by sponsoring such conferences over the past five years.

MITwas chosen as the site for the conference because of the Institute's "expertise on environmental issues," said conference chair David Ropeik, the environmental reporter for WCVB-TV Boston.

Topics for discussion will include Congressional action on environmental protection, building a sustainable society, and the property rights movement.

Molina, Dukakis to speak today

President Charles M. Vest will welcome over 500 journalists from the International Federation of Environmental Journalists this morning at Kresge Auditorium.

Professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Mario J. Molina, one of three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this year for disclosing the harmful affects of human activities on the ozone layer, will also speak at the welcoming ceremony.

Yesterday, participants took tours to local sites of environmental interest, including Harvard's experimental forest, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and Boston Harbor, which is in the midst of an extensive clean-up plan after being declared one of the most polluted regions in the country several years ago.

Today's opening session will feature a discussion of American public opinion toward the environment. A panel discussion will be moderated by former Massachusetts governor and 1988 presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis.

Panelists include Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner and 1990 Nobel laureate Professor of Physics Henry W. Kendall, of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The panel is expected to release a national poll on how Americans think the government and the media are doing on environmental issues.

The program also features a session exploring environmental journalism ethics featuring JohnStossel of ABC's 20/20.

Other MITspeakers include:EAPSResearch Scientist Heidi B. Hammel '82; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering David H. Marks, director of the Program in Environmental Engineering, Education, and Research; Professor of EAPSRonald G. Prinn, director of the Center for Global Change Science; and Professor of Management Henry D. Jacoby.

Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit will participate as a guest at a small closed group session tomorrow morning.