MARCH 29, 2003

Media Contact:
Victoria Downing
(214) 768-3355


DALLAS – On April 2, 2003, The Kilby Awards Foundation continues its pilot program to provide live interactive video-broadcasts which engage underserved high school students with extraordinary role models from the worlds of science, technology, innovation, invention, and education.

Following earlier successful staged Broadcast events in Dallas and Los Angeles, the Foundation is responding to requests from educators across the country, focusing on Texas students for this first broadcast. The 2003-2004 Series is dedicated to the celebration of Jack St. Clair Kilby's 80th birthday.

The April 2 video-broadcast features Kilby Laureate and Swiss scientist, Dr. Hans Herren, in a live interview from studios at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The audience will include over a thousand Texas students from Dallas inner-city schools, Region 10 area towns, and rural schools.

Herren's brilliant and innovative use of biological intervention where pesticides had failed provided the basis of a project. Ultimately his project fully eradicated the cassava mealybug, which was destroying a major food staple throughout Africa and threatening millions with starvation. For this valiant effort, the Kilby Awards recognized Herren in the early 90's. Later, among other honors, he received the World Food Prize and the Brandenberger Preis.

Currently, Herren is the 2003 recipient of the Tyler Prize for environmental achievement. Region 10, which includes Dallas, Richardson, Irving, and surrounding towns, will introduce Herren to students through two live programs scheduled to broadcast at 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM central time assisted by Dallas video-conference leader, Connexus, in collaboration with Region 10 and Ednet.

Prior to the broadcast, students will be given preliminary information about Dr. Herren and his work through curriculum developed by a team of local educators in support of the Kilby project. Texas teacher, Judith Davenport, Coordinator for Gifted & Talented Program, Greenville ISD, said "This is a chance in a lifetime for our students to participate in a live video-broadcast with a person of the caliber of Dr. Hans Herren."

The Video-broadcast will originate in Los Angeles on the University of Southern California campus. Victoria Downing, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kilby Awards Foundation, will host Dr. Herren and mediate questions and comments from students and teachers in approximately 25 sites.

Dr. Herren is in California to receive the coveted Tyler Prize for the Environment, on April 4.

Said Downing, "We are greatly privileged and truly delighted to have our Kilby Laureate, Hans Herren, generously donate his time to join young students across Texas to discuss the broad implications of the use of biological intervention to address the major agricultural crisis affecting millions of lives in the developing countries of Africa. Herren exemplifies the power of one individual to make a positive difference on our planet through the imaginative and persistent application of excellent science."

Vicki Wilson, Cedar Hill, Texas, Gifted & Talented Specialist, says, "This program is a fantastic experience for students, but also a gift to teachers who realize a great resource in Dr. Hans Herren, a person whose visionary impact is profound. We are preparing our students to meet this distinguished Kilby Laureate, which through his work reflects a huge range of related topics including the environment, biology, ecology, agriculture, health and food issues in developing countries."

The "International Champions of Creativity" program is an outgrowth of the Kilby International Awards, created in 1990 and named in honor of Jack St. Clair Kilby, inventor of the "Chip." The Awards have recognized 50 individuals across the world for their contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention and education. Since 1997, the Kilby International Awards have annually been named one of the top 116 awards in the world by the International Congress of Distinguished Awards.

The Foundation, a 501c3 organization, is funded through the generous contributions of the founding committees, Trustees, private philanthropists, corporations, and private institutions. Those interested in sponsoring broadcasts in the 2003/2004 series and participating in the Jack Kilby 80th Birthday Broadcast Series are invited to contact the Foundation at (214) 768-3355 or


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