Rowan to welcome 'Henrietta Lacks' author Rebecca Skloot
Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will present a lecture and lead a discussion on the many moral and ethical issues raised in her New York Times bestselling book on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m., in the Eynon Ballroom of the Chamberlain Student Center at Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, N.J.
Skloot’s appearance, which is part of the President’s Lecture Series, is free and open to the public.
The inaugural book in the RU Reading Together Common Reading Program, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of Lacks, whose cancerous cells were removed from her body—without her consent—in 1951. The cells, which are still growing, have led to breathtaking scientific breakthroughs, including the development of the polio vaccine and advances in in-vitro fertilization, cloning and gene mapping.
Lacks, a poor, African-American mother who died at age 31, never knew her cells had been removed. Her family members did not know until years after her death that her cells had been used for research—and generated huge profits.
As it tells the very personal stories of Lacks and her family, the book explores issues of scientific, economic, racial, ethical and moral concerns in health care and research.
Named one of the best books in 2010 by more than 60 critics, Henrietta Lacks, Skloot’s debut book, has been translated into 25 languages and has been adapted into a young reader edition. The book is being made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball.
An award-winning journalist, Skloot specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan.
Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications.
For information about Skloot, visit www.rebeccaskloot.com.
All new Rowan students—from incoming freshmen to first-year students at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University—have been encouraged to read Henrietta Lacks (as have many returning students, faculty, staff and administrators) as part of Rowan’s RU Reading Together Common Reading Program. Discussion groups focusing on issues raised in the book are being held throughout the academic year.