Genome Center Director Eric Lander to Visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama

September 30, 2002

Tags: Awards + Announcements

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Genome Center got in touch with its spiritual side last week when it brought together Whitehead’s Tibetian employees—the largest Tibetan workforce in Cambridge—for afternoon tea.

Almost fifty members of the Whitehead Tibetan community joined Genome Center Director Eric Lander to discuss his upcoming visit with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Eric will be in Dharamsala, India, next week to participate in a series of dialogues hosted by the Mind and Life Institute exploring the nature of life and its relationship to matter.

Tashi Bayul, who organized the Tibetian group meeting with Eric last week, said the meeting provided them a unique opportunity to send their personal thoughts to His Holiness, with Eric Lander as their messenger.

"We are proud and honored that Dr. Lander is meeting with His Holiness because His Holiness is everything to us, our political and spiritual leader," said Tsering Bayul.

The group had several important messages they wanted Eric to communicate to their spiritual leader in person. They wanted His Holiness to know that the Tibetan community in Boston is flourishing and working hard to build a better life for themselves and, more so, for their children. In addition, they want to raise awareness of health problems in Tibetians living in India and find ways to encourage Tibetan children to pursue higher education and research, particularly in scientific fields.

The group presented Eric with the traditional white scarf to wish him a happy and safe journey and to go forward with a clear mind. They also offered a personal written message to His Holiness praying for peace and his long life, and included a card signed by everyone in the group, and a picture of the entire group at Whitehead for the Dalai Lama to see.

The meeting next week will address a variety of scientific topics, from physics and biophysics to origins of life, genetics, and genomics. In addition to Eric, four other speakers will be part of next weeks dialog with the Dalai Lama.

  • Stuart Kauffman, founder of Bios Group and an early member of the Santa Fe Institute, who will talk about self-organization, autonomous agents and the origins of the order required for life.
  • Per Luigi Luisi, Professor at the Institute for Polymer Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, who will talk about the nature and origins of life.
  • Ursula Goodenough, Professor of Biology at Washington University, St. Louis, who will talk about genetics and evolution.
  • Steven Chu, Professor of Physics at Stanford University, who will talk about our fundamental understandings of matter, and the transition from physics to biophysics


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