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Release: Aug. 31, 2001

Nobel Prize economist Robert Fogel at College of Law

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Robert Fogel, the economic historian and theorist who shares the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, will discuss issues concerning biotechnology and the burden of age-related diseases Thursday, Sept. 6 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the University of Iowa College of Law.

Fogel's lecture is the 2001 John F. Murray Lecture, which will be given in the Levitt Auditorium of the Boyd Law Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Fogel, a professor at the University of Chicago, and UI Law Professor Peter Blanck recently collaborated on a published study whereby Blanck, in an analysis of the treatment of persons with disabilities prior to passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, examined information about Civil War disabled veterans after the war's end. Blanck, drawing in part from Fogel's knowledge as an economic historian, concluded the public's attitudes one century ago, not unlike today, perpetuates "attitudinal barriers and unjustified attitudes" towards disabled Americans in various facets of life.

Fogel has, over the past four decades, written extensively on political, social and economic history, and has written and presented more than 200 papers and comments on the topics. For him, what began as an interest in discovering the fundamental forces that determined technological changes over the ages and the hope of finding solutions to economic instability and inequity, has led to a life-long scholarly study of economic theory and history.

In 1993 Fogel and his colleague, economist Douglass C. North, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, were awarded the Nobel Prize for "having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change," according to the Nobel proclamation.

Fogel holds numerous honorary doctorate degrees, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and has held chairmanship positions on various social science boards and other associations.

The Murray lecture, which began in 1952, is the oldest of the lecture series presented by the College of Law. The series was established in honor of John F. Murray, a native of Iowa and founder of the American Home Products Co., by his wife, Bessie Dutton Murray, through gifts to the UI.