Arthur M. Sackler, M.D.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Arthur M.Sackler was educated in the arts, sciences, and humanities at New York University. These interests remained the focus of his life, as he became widely known as a scientist, art collector, and philanthropist, endowing institutions of learning and culture throughout the world.
He felt that his fundamental role was as a doctor, a vocation he decided upon at the age of four. After completing his internship and service as house physician at Lincoln Hospital in New York City, he became a resident in psychiatry at Creedmoor State Hospital. There, in the 1940s, he started research that resulted in more than 150 papers in neuroendocrinology, psychiatry, and experimental medicine. He considered his scientific research in the metabolic basis of schizophrenia his most significant contribution to science and served as editor of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Psychobiology from 1950 to 1962. In 1960 he started publication of Medical Tribune, a weekly medical newspaper that reached over one million readers in 20 countries. He established the Laboratories for Therapeutic Research in 1938, a facility in New York for basic research that he directed until 1983.
As a generous benefactor to the causes of medicine and basic science, Arthur Sackler built and contributed to a wide range of scientific institutions: the Sackler School of Medicine established in 1972 at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Science at New York University, founded in 1980; the Arthur M.Sackler Science Center dedicated in 1985 at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts; and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, established in 1980, and the Arthur M.Sackler Center for Health Communications, established in 1986, both at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts.
His pre-eminence in the art world is already legendary. According to his wife Jillian, one of his favorite relaxations was to visit museums and art galleries and pick out great pieces others had overlooked. His interest in art is reflected in his philanthropy; he endowed galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Princeton University, a museum at Harvard University, and the Arthur M.Sackler Gallery of Asian Art in Washington, DC. True to his oft-stated determination to create bridges between peoples, he offered to build a teaching museum in China, which Jillian made possible after his death, and in 1993 opened the Arthur M.Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University in Beijing.
In a world that often sees science and art as two separate cultures, Arthur Sackler saw them as inextricably related. In a speech given at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Some reflections on the arts, sciences and humanities, a year before his death, he observed: “Communication is, for me, the primum movens of all culture. In the arts…I find the emotional component most moving. In science, it is the intellectual content. Both are deeply interlinked in the humanities.” The Arthur M.Sackler Colloquia at the National Academy of Sciences pay tribute to this faith in communication as the prime mover of knowledge and culture.
Self-Organized Complexity in the Physical, Biological, and Social Sciences
March 23–24, 2001
Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center, Irvine, CA
Organized by Donald L.Turcotte, John Rundle, and Hans Frauenfelder
Friday, March 23
James Bassingthwaighte, University of Washington
Assessing Biological Complexity via the Physiome Project
Ary Goldberger, Harvard University
Fractal Scaling in Health and its Breakdown with Aging and Disease
Joel Cohen, The Rockefeller University
The Distribution of Human Population Density
Hans Frauenfelder, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Protein Quakes Revisited
John J.Hopfield, Princeton University
On the Role of Collective Dynamical Variables in Neurobiological Computation
Gene Stanley, Boston University
Quantifying Fluctuations in Economic Systems by Adapting Methods of Statistical Physics
Didier Sornette, University of California, Los Angeles
Predictability of Catastrophic Events: From Rupture to Crashes
Doyne Farmer, Santa Fe Institute
Agent-Based Models of Price Dynamics
Jean Carlson, University of California, Santa Barbara
Complexity and Robustness
Walter Willinger, AT&T Labs
Scaling Phenomena in the Internet: When Criticality Is Not Critical
Steve Strogatz, Cornell University
Exploring Complex Networks
Mark Newman, Santa Fe Institute
Theories and Experiments in Social Networks
Saturday, March 24
Claude Allègre, IPGP, Paris
Geochemical Distribution in the Earth from Rocks to Ore Deposits
Per Bak, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine
Forest Fires, Measles, and the Structure of the Universe
Zellman Warhaft, Cornell University
Turbulence in Nature and in the Laboratory
David Campbell, Boston University
Solitons, Fronts, and Vortices: Emergent Coherent Structures in Nonlinear Systems
Lenny Smith, University of Oxford
Lifting the Excuse of Chaos: Predictability, Uncertainty and Error
Michael Ghil, University of California, Los Angeles
Bifurcations and Pattern Formation in the Atmospheres and Oceans
Susan Kieffer, S.W.Kieffer Science Consulting, Inc.
Understanding Old Faithful as a Complex System
John Rundle, University of Colorado at Boulder
Physics of Earthquakes
Charlie Sammis, University of Southern California
Why is Earthquake Prediction so Difficult?
Sidney Nagel, University of Chicago
Jamming: From Granular Materials to Glasses
Kenneth Slocum, SENCORP
Human Organizations as Fractally Scaled Structures
John D.Pelletier, University of Arizona
Signature of Self-Organization in Climatology and Geomorphology
Sarah F.Tebbens, University of South Florida
Self-Organized Complexity in the Marine Sciences
Donald L.Turcotte, Cornell University
Self-Organization of Natural Hazards
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Papers from the Arthur M.Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences