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Phi Beta Kappa Hosts Technology Historian George Dyson for Lecture

Photo of George Dyson. The University of South Dakota Phi Beta Kappa society hosts visiting scholar George Dyson, a technology historian, for a lecture Sept. 21.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Phi Beta Kappa society hosts visiting scholar George Dyson for a lecture entitled “Project Orion: A Path Not Taken into Space” from 5-6 p.m. this Thursday, Sept. 21. The event is located in Churchill-Haines Laboratories, room 118.

Dyson, a historian of technology, will discuss his research into a small group of scientists who launched a deeply classified attempt to build a 4,000-ton interplanetary spaceship propelled by nuclear bombs in 1957. After seven years of work, the technical challenges appeared surmountable, but resistance from NASA brought the project to a halt.

Phi Beta Kappa is the most prestigious academic society for undergraduates in the United States, and USD is the only institution of higher learning public or private in the state of South Dakota with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Alpha Chapter, chartered in 1926, has enrolled some of the most distinguished graduates in the history of USD.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News