NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 23, 1995--A spirited discussion of how society will change as a result of the worldwide information explosion will take place in San Francisco, where futurists and industry visionaries will convene for Scientific American magazine's technology forum, `Wiring Society for the 21st Century.`

The public forum, to be held on April 11, 1995, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Palace of Fine Arts, will feature a panel of distinguished speakers who will present their views on what the worldwide explosion of information really means and how it will affect our lives. Scientific American Editor-in-Chief John Rennie will host the forum, and David Pearce Snyder, renowned futurist, will moderate the panel discussion. The discussion will address provocative questions that are at the heart of the impact of technology on society:

How will greater access to information change our lives and our

behavior?

In what ways will the structure of organizations and the

composition of the work force be altered?

What will the possibilities - and limitations - of new

technologies mean for freedom of speech, copyright protection,

and the right to privacy?

What can we do now to help ensure that our new,

information-intensive society is a just and fair one?

For the forum, Scientific American has gathered together leading

thinkers in information technology:

Stewart Brand, Principal, Global Business Network. Brand is an author and consulting authority on inventing a deeper future for personal electronics. In 1984, Brand founded the WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link), a computer teleconference system in San Francisco that now has 10,000 active users and is considered a bellwether of the genre.

Denise Caruso, president and editorial director, Technology & Media Group Inc. Caruso, a longtime commentator on the convergence of electronic media and digital technology, writes the Digital Commerce column in the Monday business section of the New York Times. She is also publisher of the San Francisco-based Technology & Media Group Inc., a newsletter and information services publishing company. Ralph Haller, deputy chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission. Haller is heavily involved in developing regulatory approaches for wireless communication technologies. In 1994, he chaired the FCC's Personal Communications Systems (PCS) Task Force that designed procedures for licensing new PCS stations, including the current FCC spectrum auctions.

Richard LeFaivre, Ph.D., vice president, Advanced Technology Group, Apple Computer Inc. LeFaivre is responsible for future directions in advanced systems, communications technologies, interaction technologies and user solutions. He also oversees Apple's corporate library, external research portfolio and the Apple research centers in Paris and Singapore.

John McCarthy, Ph.D., professor of computer science, Stanford University. McCarthy coined the term `artificial intelligence` in 1955. His research area has been the formalization of common sense knowledge. He invented the LISP programming language in 1958, developed the concept of time-sharing in the 1950s and '60s and has worked on proving that computer programs meet their specifications since the early '60s.

Gregory Riker, director, Advanced Consumer Technology Group, Microsoft Corp. Riker's current mission is investigating personal use devices that adapt to lifestyles. The results of this research influences development and marketing of consumer technology platforms that build on the personal computer. His focus is on two future technologies: wearable devices that augment daily tasks and interactive environments that adapt to individual use.

`Rapid progress in various critical technologies is expected to virtually transform society over the next few decades,` said Editor in Chief Rennie. `Exploring the effects on our society is essential and in keeping with our role as the voice of authority on scientific and technology advancements.`

`Wiring Society for the 21st Century` is the first in a series of three provocative round-table discussions to be held across the country, combining Scientific American's 150-year perspective on innovation with notable, forward-thinking visions of where technology will take us next. The other forums in the series are also scheduled for April:

`Infotainment in the 21st Century: The Impact of Information Technology's Evolution on Education, Entertainment and Marketing in the Next Century` will be held Tuesday, April 18, 1995, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sunset Village Auditorium, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif.

`Health and Medicine in the 21st Century: Ethical Challenges Implicit in Medical Innovation` will be held Tuesday, April 25, 1995, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the U.S. Navy Memorial Visitors Center in Washington, D.C.

The content of these forums is derived from the theme of Scientific American's special single-topic - and 150th anniversary - issue, `Key Technologies for the 21st Century,` to be published in September.

The forums are open to the general public and are free of charge; however, seating is limited. For more information or to register for any of the forums, call 800/275-0070.

Scientific American is the nation's oldest continuously published monthly magazine. It reaches more than a million people globally by subscription and on newsstands, and on America Onliner. Published in New York City by Scientific American Inc., the magazine celebrates its 150th year of publication in 1995.

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