Mautner 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

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 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, 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.. Then 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 was born in Augsburg, Germany, she came to the US in 1936 when family fled Nazi Germany. She grew up in Illinois, went to  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


A color photo of Fraser Stoddart, Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and professor at UCLA.

Who: Sir Fraser Stoddart, Nobel Laureate

When: November 27 & 28th, 2018

Public Lecture: My Journey to Stockholm

Research Lecture: Engines Through the Ages


Janice Kiecolt-Glaser

Who: Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research; Distinguished University Professor, S. Robert Davis Endowed Chair; Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Ohio State University

When: January 25 & 26th, 2017

Public Lecture: How Stress Kills: The Damage and Some Remedies 

Research Seminar: Lovesick: Couples’ Relationships and Health 


Who: Barbara Romanowicz, Professor of Geophysics and Director of Seismological Laboratory at UC Berkeley 

When: February 18th & 19th, 2015

Public Lecture: Voyage through the earth’s deep interior

Research Seminar: Of mantle plumes and secondary scale convention: recent insights from whole mantle seismic waveform 


Who: Elaine V. Fuchs, National Medal of Science Recipient, Professor of Mammalan Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University

When: February 20 & 21st, 2013

Public Lecture: Beauty is Skin Deep: The Medical Promise of Skin Stem Cells 

Research Lecture: Skin Stem Cells in Silence, Action and Cancer 


Who: James E. Hansen, Ph.D., Leading Climate Scientist 

When: February 22 & 23rd, 2011

Public Lecture: Human-Made Climate Change: A Scientific, Moral and Legal Issue 

Research Lecture: Climate Sensitivity 


Who: Eric R. Kandel, Kavili Professor of Brain Science in Neuroscience at Columbia University

When: February 10 & 11th, 2009

Public Lecture: We Are What We Remember: Memory and the Biological Basis of Individuality 

Research Lecture: Molecular Mechanisms for the Persistence of Memory Storage 


Who: Peter D. Lax, Professor of Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences & New York University

When: February 27 & 28th, 2007

Public Lecture: The Connect Between Mathematics and Physics 

Research Lecture: The Zero Dispersion Limit 



Who: Dr. Eric S. Lander, Director at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Professor of Biology at MIT; Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School; Member of Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research)

When: February 23 & 24th, 2005

Public Lecture: Beyond the Human Genome 

Research Lecture: Beyond the Human Genome 

Before 2005

The first Mautner Lecturer

Who: Richard Feynman, theoretical physicist and Mautner family friend.

When: 1983