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February 1, 2006 09:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2006-08

Lecture Series Promotes Respect in the Workplace

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Lecture Series Promotes Respect in the WorkplaceView this image

Today's workplace for "hard-discipline" organizations, such as science, technology, engineering and medicine requires a more diverse and balanced set of skills for success than at any other time in history. Organizational dynamics, diverse cultures, genders, professions and backgrounds, as well as environmental, consumer and business demands require an emphasis on interpersonal, ethical, and relational competencies as well as traditional technical orientations.

Several organizations and institutions, including the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, will address these issues in a six-part lecture series entitled "Hard Science/Soft Skills: Fostering Civility in the Scientific Workplace."

Dr. P.M. Forni, a leading advocate for promoting civility in the workplace, will kick off the series Feb. 7. Lectures will begin at 4 p.m. in the institute's auditorium, 3700 San Martin Drive. Admission is free.

The lectures series is aimed at promoting an awareness of the need for and benefit of enhanced civility in science, medicine, technology, and engineering workplaces, both for the individual as well as for the organization. The series will identify issues, suggest solutions, and feature successes.

Dr. Forni is a professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins University and co-founder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project. Other speakers in the series include Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli, a clinical psychologist and an instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, on Feb. 28; Dr. Mark Donohue, Associate Dean for Research, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, on March 28; and Dr. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist and director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, Mass., on April 27. Another talk is planned for May 30. The final lecture in the series is a panel discussion that will focus on strategies for improving interpersonal behavior at work.

The series sponsors are the Space Telescope Science Institute, the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University; the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University; the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore; and Dr. Stephen Reich of the Maryland Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

For more information, call 410-338-4209, or visit the lecture series website at:


Donna Weaver
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
(Phone: 410/338-4493; E-mail: