MBL | Biological Discovery in Woods Hole Contact UsDirectionsText SizeSmallMediumLarge

Resources for Reporters:

MBL Publications:

Join the Conversation:
Facebook Twitter Youtube Wordpress

Nobel Laureates

press releases

For further MBL News and Media Information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu.

June 18, 2003
Marine Biological Laboratory Kicks Off Friday Evening Lecture Season June 20th

WOODS HOLE, MA - Martha K. McClintock, the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology, and the Director of the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago will present the first lecture in the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) 2003 Friday Evening Lecture Series this Friday, June 20. The lecture will be held at 8:00 PM in the MBL's Lillie Auditorium, located on MBL Street in Woods Hole. The presentation is free and open to the public. Dr. Jelle Atema, Professor of Biology and Director of the Boston University Marine Program will introduce Dr. McClintock.

Dr. McClintock’s talk is titled "Scents and Sensibility: Pheromones and Social Odors in Humans and Other Animals." Pheromones are specialized social chemical signals that regulate fertility, sexual motivation, and emotions. Miniscule amounts exert their effects unconsciously. Body scents are consciously detectable as odors, and yet can also provide unconscious information such as genetic compatibility between people. Dr. McClintock will speak about a newly discovered type of chemical signal, vasanas, which is an odor at high concentrations, yet has unconscious effects at low concentrations. Each of these subtle unconscious signals may inform our social choices and modulate our emotional reactions.

Friday Evening Lectures are a long-standing tradition at the MBL, dating back to the turn of the last century when they were delivered by such outstanding scientists as Jacques Loeb, Thomas Hunt Morgan, and Charles O. Whitman. McClintock’s lecture is named the Lang Lecture, held in memory of Dr. Fred Lang, a neurobiologist with the Boston University Marine Program at the MBL who was killed tragically in an automobile accident in December 1978.

Martha K. McClintock is the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology, and the Director of the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago. She received an A.B. degree in Psychology from Wellesley College in 1969 and studied Experimental Psychology and Sociobiology in Harvard University’s Graduate Program. McClintock received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. McClintock’s ongoing research programs include pheromonal communication, immune function and susceptibility to disease, psychosomatics in obstetrics and gynecology, sexuality, labor complications and neural development of human infants. Dr. McClintock is the recipient of numerous academic honors, including the Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association (1982); the MERIT Award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (1992); the Edith Krieger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor (Northwestern University (1993 and 2000); and the Henry G. Walter Sense of Smell Award, Sense of Smell Institute (2001). She is a member of several professional societies and has been awarded many fellowships including NIMH Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowships, the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship and an open fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences from Stanford University. Dr. McClintock teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, faculty seminars, is a regular guest lecturer and member of student thesis committees. She has served as consultant to the Museum of Science and Industry Exhibit on "Learning and Learning Disabilities: Explorations of the Human Brain"—which won the 1990 American Association of Museums Exhibit Award—and currently serves on eleven advisory and editorial boards including the Society for the Study of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology and General Psychology Review.

The Friday Evening Lecture Series will continue throughout the summer at the MBL. The lectures in the series are:

June 27
"From Mad Cows to 'psi-chotic' Yeast: Strange Diseases and Strange Genetics"
Susan Lindquist, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

July 4
"Climate Change and Human Health: The Picture Begins to Clarify"
Tony McMichael, Australian National University

July 11
"Making an Effort to Listen: Mechanical Amplification by Novel Molecular Motors in the Ear"
James Hudspeth, The Rockefeller University

July 17
Forbes Lectures
"Brain to Brain: A Neurobiology of Vocal Communication"
Darcy Kelley, Columbia University

July 18
"Generating Male and Female Brains: A Molecular Alphabet for Sexual Differentiation"
Darcy Kelley, Columbia University

July 25
Glassman Lecture
"Addressing the Threat of Anthrax"
R. John Collier, Harvard Medical School

August 1
"Intraflagellar Transport and Cilia-Dependent Diseases"
Joel Rosenbaum, Yale University

August 8
"Regulation of Aging by SIR2"
Lenny Guarente, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

August 15
"Gene Action in the Pathobiology of Aging"
George Martin, University of Washington

The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, that undertakes the highest level of creative research and education in biology, including the biomedical and environmental sciences.