Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Henrietta Lacks events

Several events are happening on campus related to the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which details the biographical and cultural history of the discovery of HeLa cells (used to find treatments for cancer, HIV, etc.), cells which were taken without permission from a young African-American women in the 1950s. There's been a great deal of buzz about the book on campus: it was a national bestseller, it was chosen by the SMC book club as their selection for last year, it's been taught in several classes on campus (in my Lives and Times, in Political Science, Philosophy, Biology, and others) and, most importantly, there are several events happening on campus related to the book. If you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend it. It's a fast-paced, moving, thought-provoking book that proves that we can't so easily separate issues of science and the human, social justice and medical development, in ways that we so often try to do.

Upcoming events include a visit and presentation by members of the Lacks family and a lecture by the author of the book, Rebecca Skloot (details below). And, for those who just can't get enough, Saint Mary's has an alumnae book club called "One Book One Saint Mary's" (modeled after a national trend for college and university book clubs) with regional meetings / groups. The selected book this past year for clubs across the country and the world was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and the South Bend chapter will be discussing the book with yours truly and Prof. Kathryn Haas (Chemistry). Feel free to join us, and please do spread the word for any friends who didn't get to discuss the book in a class.

RSVP for Skloot lecture (HUST students only)
Friday, February 1

"One Book One Saint Mary's" Book Club Discussion
Wednesday, February 6
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Student Center Lounge
Open to alums and SMC students/faculty/staff

Lacks Family Presentation
Tuesday, February 12
7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Carroll Auditorium
* free & tickets required *

Rebecca Skloot Lecture (& book signing!)
Wednesday, February 27
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
O'Laughlin Auditorium
* RSVP to LWA & tickets required *

I hope to see many of you at these events! Please let me know if you have any questions.

A brief video to give you a taste of what to expect: