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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

October 28, 1997
CONTACT: Emil Venere

Media Advisory

What's the news?
Johns Hopkins evolutionary theorist Steven Stanley will be among four people to receive awards for overcoming their learning disabilities and forging successful careers despite educational obstacles.

Who is giving the award?
The Lab School of Washington will present Stanley with an Outstanding Learning Disabled Achiever Award. The other award recipients will be actor, director and producer Henry Winkler; New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy; magician and illusionist Jonathan Pendragon.

When will it be presented?
Monday, Nov. 3, 1997
7:45 p.m.
Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert St., Northwest
Washington, DC 20008

Background on Steven Stanley:
At the age of 56, Steven Stanley is widely recognized for his work tracing the history of life and ecosystems. His theories about evolution and extinction have sparked debate around the world.

Nine years ago he learned that he has attention deficit disorder, a condition that makes it difficult to study and memorize. Although he has always excelled in analytical thinking, the affliction forced him to study twice as hard as other students in high school and college, and he was often teased about being absent minded.

"I worked five and a half hours a day just to try to memorize stuff," he says. "I would get C's in history automatically because I couldn't memorize dates. I'd get C's in algebra sometimes, or in arithmetic when I was younger because I was careless."

Later, as a student attending Princeton University, he found that the only way he could study effectively was to shut himself in his dorm room.

"I didn't know why, but I just knew that was the only way I could get anywhere," says Stanley, who later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Yale University and rise to the top of his field.

Stanley, a professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His latest book, Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve (April 1996), offers a new theory about what caused global climate change, ultimately producing environmental conditions favorable for humans to evolve.

About the Lab School:
The non-profit Lab School of Washington serves learning disabled children and currently enrolls nearly 300 students attending Kindergarten through the 12th grade. The school also provides evening classes for adults with learning disabilities. Each year since 1985, the school has chosen a few people to honor with the awards.

More Information:
Emil Venere
Johns Hopkins University
Office of News and Information
(410) 516-7160

To cover the event:
Journalists interested in covering the event may contact the school by calling (202) 965- 6600.

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