In 1971 at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC), the computer scientist Dr. Alan Kay famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Forty-seven years later, Dr. Kay came to the National Library of Medicine to give a lecture he called, “If the best way to predict the future is to invent it, is it too late to invent a healthy future?”
With insight into his own childhood, a bit of humor, quotations, and advice, Dr. Kay had a lot to say about a healthy future.
Kay spoke before a full auditorium on September 26 as the guest speaker for the third Annual Donald A.B. Lindberg and Donald West King Lecture.
The lecture, named in honor of Donald Lindberg, MD, former director of NLM, and Donald West King, PhD, former deputy director of research and education at NLM, supports the mission of NLM. It was co-sponsored by NLM, the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, and the American Medical Informatics Association.
A child prodigy, Dr. Kay was an original member of the seminal Xerox PARC group. For his myriad innovations in computer science, he was awarded computer science’s highest honor: the Turing Prize. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Arts. Dr. Kay is also the president of the Viewpoints Research Institute and an adjunct professor of computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles.
All event photos by Marleen Van den Neste