Mautner Perkins Memorial Lecture Series

The Mautner Lectures at UCLA were established in 1983 to recognize the importance of scientific thought and to provide a forum for the dissemination of scientific discovery to students and the informed public.

Since its inception, the lecture series has featured distinguished scholars in science and technology. Nobel Laureates, including physicist R.P. Feynman, molecular biologist Paul Berg, and chemist Roald Hoffman are among the renowned scientists who have given lectures for the series.

The objectives of the lectures are to transmit and translate scientific thought and accomplishment to UCLA students as well as the broader Los Angeles community. Traditionally, lecturers are asked to deliver two lectures, one for a public lay audience and the other for UCLA’s scientific community, its faculty and students. Both lectures are open to the public.

The Mautner Series fund seeks to preserve and enhance the value of the lectures by preparing them for publication and, where feasible, subsequent broadcast or for use as teaching materials.

Mautner Memorial Lecture Series
The Mautner Memorial Lecture Series

Former UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor Charles F. Kennel said, “The Mautners saw the need for a superb lecture series that would bring to campus international leaders in science to discuss their research and its societal impact. The first Mautner Lecturer was their close friend, Richard Feynman, one of the leading communicators of science. Feynman’s lectures are ones to which UCLA aspires with every lecture series.”

Additionally, there is recognition of the award recipients of a Mautner Graduate Award. The Mautner Graduate Awards recognize currently enrolled meritorious graduate students who are conducting research in the areas related to the topic of each Mautner Research Lecture.

The Mautner Memorial Lectures are held every two years, alternating between the Divisions of Physical and Life Sciences.

Leonard and Marguerite Perkins Mautner

Leonard and Marguerite Perkins Mautner
Leonard and Marguerite Perkins Mautner

Leonard was born in New York City and moved to Long Island, until he received a scholarship to M.I.T., where he graduated with a degree in electronics. Later, he worked in M.I.T.’s radiation lab on war priority projects, then joined the IFF group at the Naval Research Lab in Washington D.C. Leonard moved to LA to start his own company and became an advisor and lecturer at UCLA’s MBA program, where he started the Mautner Lectures at UCLA in 1983. In the following year, he met Marguerite, his wife. After battling cancer for 17 years, Leonard passed away in 2006.

Marguerite Perkins Mautner
Marguerite Perkins Mautner

Marguerite was born in Augsburg, Germany. She came to the US in 1936 when her family fled Nazi Germany. She grew up in Illinois, attended Northwestern University’s School of Speech and Journalism as a tennis pro, and began her professional career in radio and television in Chicago. She met Leonard Mautner in 1984, and they traveled and shared their generosity together until his passing in 2006. She became a dedicated sponsor to her husband’s Mautner Lecture Series, which began the year before they met. Marguerite passed away in April of 2019, at the age of 96.

Past Mautner Lectures

2024

Omar M. Yaghi

Omar M. Yaghi

2022

Joe Derisi

Joe Derisi

2018

Sir Fraser Stoddart

Sir Fraser Stoddart, Nobel Laureate

2017

Janice Kiecolt-Glaser

Janice Kiecolt-Glaser

2015

Barbara Romanowicz

Barbara Romanowicz

2013

Elaine V. Fuchs

Elaine V. Fuchs, National Medal of Science Recipient

2011

James E. Hansen

James E. Hansen

2009

Eric R. Kandel

Eric R. Kandel, Kavli Professor of Brain Science

2007

Peter D. Lax

Peter D. Lax, Professor of Mathematics


The First Mautner Perkins Memorial Lecturer

In 1983 Richard Feynman, theoretical physicist and Mautner family friend was the inaugural Mautner Lecture Series speaker.