Panelists will include AIDS researcher David Ho, named Time magazine's 1996 Man of the Year for his pioneering work in developing the AIDS drug "cocktail"; Nobel laureate David Baltimore, newly appointed president of Caltech and chairman of the AIDS Vaccine Research Council; and Melvin Simon, chairman of the Caltech division of biology. Sandra Thurman, director of the federal Office of National AIDS Policy, will moderate.
The fourth annual forum will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium. The event is free to the public, but tickets are required. (626) 395-4652. On the Internet:
Science for Families
* Children from third grade up can learn about the plants and animals of the Madrona Marsh at the Fall Science Camps in October and November. On Oct. 12, a workshop offers lessons on fossils. (310) 32-MARSH.
* Families can find out more about the Southern California environment in docent-led outings sponsored by Nursery Nature Walks throughout October. On Oct. 26, the Family Fun Festival in Griffith Park will provide a full day of nature adventures for children ages 1 to 12 and their families. (310) 364-3591.
* Children 5 and older, with an adult, can sleep beneath the skeletons of Ice Age mammoths and participate in other activities at the Page Museum's "Halloween Camp-Out at the Tar Pits," Oct. 25-26. (213) 763-3534.
* Mars Global Surveyor project manager Glenn E. Cunningham will discuss the latest findings of the mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's von Karman Auditorium on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. (818) 354-5011. On the Internet: www.jpl.nasa.gov/lecture/
* The spotlight is also on Mars at Santa Monica College. On Friday, Tim Parker of the Mars Pathfinder team will discuss the latest information from the space probe in a special 8 p.m. program at the John Drescher Planetarium. The weekly astronomy program "Exploring Mars" will be presented Fridays in October at 8 p.m. and Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. (310) 452-9223.
* The Los Angeles Astronomical Society will have a public Star Party at Griffith Observatory on Oct. 11 from 2 to 10 p.m. (213) 673-7355. On the Internet: http://www.laas.org/
* To mark its 20th anniversary, the Page Museum has announced a lecture series on the animals found at the La Brea Tar Pits. The initial lecture by John Harris, chief curator of paleontology and museum administrator, will focus on "Mammoths and Mastodons" on Saturday at 2 p.m. (213) 763-3534. On the Internet: www.tarpits.org
* The American Cetacean Society will sponsor a discussion on the effects of El Nino on marine mammals and birds, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. (310) 548-8500.
* The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium has a number of activities planned throughout October, including tide pool walks, training classes for whale-watching and aquarium docents and outings aboard research vessels. (310) 548-7562. On the Internet: www.cabrilloaq.org/
* Jesse Grantham, the National Audubon Society's Western sanctuaries director, will present "Audubon Habitats," a workshop on techniques homeowners can use in their gardens to attract wildlife. The program is Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the public meeting room of Plummer Park in West Hollywood. (213) 876-0202.
* "Organisms of the Rocky Intertidal Zone" will be presented at the Whittier Audubon Society's monthly meeting Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Whittier Community Center. (562) 693-4088.