a blog entry about this upcoming debate http://entropybound.blogspot.com/2007/03/string-debate-07.html announcement from the Smithsonian http://residentassociates.org/ticketing/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=81193 The event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Museum of Natural History (the Smithsonian) and will be held 28 March at the Museum. It's interesting to see who they got to be the moderator: Michael Turner----he's a top cosmologist (roughly speaking and in no particular order, he's in the same league with people like Ned Wright, Charles Lineweaver, David Spergel) Cosmology (rather than high energy particle physics) is where many of us see the big unknowns and most glaring questions these days---things like dark energy, dark matter, the constitution and dynamics of spacetime. why does expansion accelerate. what preceeded the start of expansion. and so on. So having a cosmologist, with that perspective on the big fundamental questions, serve as debate moderator strikes me as a possibly significant choice. I see Peter Woit already posted about this. http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=524 Some years back there was a debate (on merits and shortcomings of string think) along the same lines in New York at the Hayden Planetarium. http://haydenplanetarium.org/programs/asimov/archive/2001/ The director there is Niel deGrasse Tyson, who writes popular cosmology and astronomy books and may have some of the same perspective on particle physics as Michael Turner. Tyson was moderating---a parallel with the event now planned at the Smithsonian.