The U.S. assistant secretary of Health and Human Services will discuss health issues of the '90s as the keynote speaker at the annual College of Biology and Agriculture Symposium Thursday, March 21.

Dr. James O. Mason will speak at 9 a.m. at the Wilkinson Center, the first of a daylong series of Varsity Theatre lectures from health specialists throughout the United States.All addresses are free to the public.

Other speakers will include Victor Herbert, professor of medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center; Richard Krause, senior scientific adviser of the Fogarty International Center for the Department of Health and Human Services; and Cecil O. Samuelson, vice president of Intermountain Health Care.

Before assuming responsibilities for U.S. Health and Human Services, Mason was director of the Centers for Disease Control and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. In his current position, he supervises eight national health-related agencies.

For one academic year, 1978-79, Mason chaired the Division of Community Medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Utah College of Medicine.

From 1970 to 1975 he directed a multiple-hospital health-care corporation owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The 10 a.m. speaker, Dr. Victor Herbert, will give a speech entitled "Nutrition in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention."

At 1 p.m., Dr. Richard Krause will speak on the subject, "In Search of the Future: The NIH in the 21st Century." He is senior scientific adviser at Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

The 2 p.m. speaker, Dr. Cecil O. Samuelson, will discuss "Health Professions Education for the '90s: Trends and Needs."

In addition to his work with Intermountain Health Care Inc., Samuelson has been vice president for health sciences at the University of Utah as well as dean of the U. medical school.

The symposium will conclude with a 3 p.m. panel, an opportunity for students and faculty members to ask questions of the speakers.