Farouk El-Baz to deliver free public lecture, meet with CWRU students, and participate in academic symposium panel discussion; Inamori Center to host its first essay contest related to the award, with cash prizes
For more than 50 years, Farouk El-Baz has paired his powerful imagination with a deep knowledge of the sciences, helping transport humankind to its furthest reaches and provide new access to such life-giving forces as water and education.
“Dr. El-Baz showed ethical leadership when he taught the Apollo astronauts to see themselves as part of a global endeavor, and later when he used his skills to look for groundwater in conflict regions like Darfur,” said Shannon French, director of the Inamori Center and the Inamori Professor in Ethics at Case Western Reserve.
“Dr. El-Baz did not stop serving humankind after he helped take us to the moon. After leaving NASA, he asked how he could use space technology to save lives right here on Earth—and he found a way,” said French, who is also a professor of philosophy and a professor of law at the university.
2018 Inamori Prize events
Each year since 2008, Case Western Reserve has awarded the Inamori Ethics Prize to honor lasting and significant contributions to ethical leadership on the global stage.
Inamori Ethics Prize Ceremony and Recipient Lecture, “Groundwater for Thirsty Lands,” on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel at Case Western Reserve (1855 Ansel Road, Cleveland);
Academic symposium “Ethical Leadership: Science Serving Humanity,” on Friday, Sept. 14, at 12:45 p.m., at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland).
About the Inamori Ethics Prize
The Inamori Center was endowed by a generous gift from Kazuo Inamori, who established the Kyocera Corporation and is a global telecommunications leader and founder of the Inamori Foundation that presents the annual Kyoto Prize in Kyoto, Japan.
El-Baz also will meet with Case Western Reserve student leaders in engineering and global health during his visit, in keeping with his mentorship of countless students and professionals.
To the moon (and the movies)
Hailing from a small Egyptian town in the Nile Delta, El-Baz credits his sense of curiosity and fascination with the physical world to his father’s dedication to teach his wife and their nine children to read and write.
In his late 20s, El-Baz helped choose landing sites for the first manned mission to the moon, Apollo 11. In the early 1970s, he helped establish and direct the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution—and later helped pioneer the use of IMAX movies.
A geologist and clear-water advocate, El-Baz advised the president of his native Egypt, Anwar Sadat, from 1978 to 1981, to seek ways the country’s inhabitants could loosen their dependence on the Nile Valley.
His scientific and historic achievements have not escaped the notice of popular culture, including a portrayal of El-Baz training NASA astronauts in the Tom Hanks-produced HBO series From the Earth to the Moon—and a spaceship bore his name in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
First Inamori Ethics Prize essay contest
The Inamori Center also will host its inaugural essay contest, inviting Case Western Reserve and local high school students to write about what ethical leadership means to them, while drawing the examples El-Baz or a past recipient of the Inamori Ethics Prize.
Two awards ($500 for first place, $250 for runner-up) will be given in each student category (high school, undergraduate and graduate/professional).
Any current graduate, professional and undergraduate student at Case Western Reserve, or high school student in the Northeast Ohio region, is eligible.