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National Geographic Explorers And Nobel Laureates Are Featured In New Speaker Series


WASHINGTON - This season, National Geographic Live launched a new speaker series, “The Big Idea,” in partnership with the Nobel Prize Education Fund (, featuring Nobel Laureates in conversation with National Geographic Explorers. Under the unifying banner of exploration, these original pairings will be hosted and moderated by Boyd Matson, leading broadcast journalist for National Geographic. The venue for these three ticketed evening events, part of the National Geographic Live series for 2011, is Grosvenor Auditorium at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“The Big Idea: The Power of Choice,” the first in the new speaker series, was sold out weeks before the event on Oct. 26. It featured National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Jared Diamond and Laureate in Economic Sciences Daniel McFadden and examined why humans make decisions the way they do and what this means in the context of our current environmental challenges and the survival of the human species.

On Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., in “The Big Idea: Who Lives? Who Dies?”, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Beth Shapiro and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Martin Chalfie will explore clues to why only certain species survive and how species function, live and ultimately perish. Shapiro and Chalfie will reveal how they have used emerging science to forge a deeper understanding of life, its cycles and its secrets.

“The Big Idea: Exploring the Edge of Existence” is the topic to be discussed on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and noted deep-sea scientist Robert Ballard along with Nobel Laureate in Physics and NASA astrophysicist John Mather. They will discuss how technology can go where humans cannot, and how each has sought answers about the formation of the universe and life on this planet.

Tickets to each event are $18 for National Geographic members and $20 for the general public.

About the Nobel Prize Education Fund
The Nobel Prize Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) designated U.S. non-profit organization created to support educational outreach focused on Nobel Laureates and their achievements. For more information, visit

About National Geographic Live
National Geographic Live is a branded series of events including live concerts, films and dynamic presentations by today’s leading explorers, scientists, filmmakers and photographers, covering a wide range of topics such as exploration and adventure; wildlife and habitat; natural phenomena; and relevant issues such as climate change and energy conservation. Proceeds from speaker series ticket sales help fund future National Geographic initiatives in field research, exploration and education. For more information, visit


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