Scholars Trace New Jersey’s History as Innovation State

Paul Israel, director and editor of the Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University, will trace the history of New Jersey, as the Innovation State at a special program celebrating New Jersey’s 350 years, being held on Thursday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m., Highland Park Public Library, 31 North Fifth Ave.

Beginning with the 18th century, Dr. Israel will trace the state’s history of inventors. The 50-minute talk and Q and A will also include two Highland Park Nobel Prize winners, Arno Allan Penzias of Bell Labs and Selman Abraham Waksman of Rutgers University. Dr. Penzias, a physicist and radio astronomer, discovered the cosmic microwave background radiation that helped establish the Big Bang Theory.

Dr. Waksman and members of his Rutgers University laboratory isolated Streptomycin and then discovered several life saving antibiotics. Dr. Israel will also explore why institutions such as Bell Labs and Rutgers University provided such fertile ground for scientific innovation in New Jersey.

This program was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

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