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Month: September 2010

Diversity Forum to Feature Go Big Read Panel

The 2010 Campus Diversity Forum, “Cultivating Excellence: Nurturing the Seeds of Success” will take place Thursday, September 30, from 8 am-4 pm at the Memorial Union. The event is free and open to the public. Registration for the lunch keynote is now closed, but you can still register for other events.

The Forum will include a Go Big Read Panel Discussion on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks from 1:15-2:30 in the Class of ’24 Reception Room, 4th Floor, Memorial Union. Professor Dayle B. DeLancey, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical History and Bioethics and Professor Susan E. Lederer, Chair, Department of Medical History and Bioethics will lead the session.

Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks shows readers how one woman’s experience with medicine has exposed issues of race and culture and highlighted ethical and legal dilemmas. In this joint presentation, two historians of medicine explore these overlapping issues and dilemmas. Professor Sue Lederer reconstructs the racial and cultural background of Henrietta Lacks’ case, while Assistant Professor Dayle B. DeLancey examines the case in ethical and legal context. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the 2009-10 selection for Go Big Read (, UW-Madison’s common reading program.

Participants who have not yet read the book but are interested in joining the conversation are very welcome, as are those who are more familiar with the material.

Hope you can join us!

Sarah McDaniel
Go Big Read & UW Libraries

History of Science / Medical History and Bioethics Colloquium Series Begins Tuesday

In association with this year’s “Go Big Read” book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the History of Science / Medical History and Bioethics Colloquium Series will examine diverse perspectives on the nature and implications of appropriations in science.

The series, APPROPRIATIONS: COLLECTING FOR SCIENCE, will open September 28 with a colloquium led by Ruth Richardson (University of Hong Kong, University of Cambridge), “Human Bodies and Their Parts: Appropriations and Donations from Bodysnatching to Transplants.”
Because of President Obama’s visit to campus Tuesday, Ruth Richardson’s colloquium has been rescheduled and relocated to 12:30-2:00 PM in 204 Bradley Memorial (light refreshments available afterwards).
For more information on the series and a full listing of the colloquia, visit the “Events” section of the History of Science: History of Science, Medicine and Technology Web site.
Sarah McDaniel, Go Big Read

Rebecca Skloot at UW October 25th

We hope everyone can join us for Rebecca Skloot’s October 25th lecture at the Kohl Center. The event is free and open to all. The event will begin at 7 pm (doors open at 6 pm) and no tickets are required.

If you’d like to suggest a question for Skloot, you can post one here until October 18th. Because of the large scale of the event, the question-and-answer session will be moderated and questions will be selected in advance.

Event posters are being posted on campus and in the community. If you would like a poster to display in your department, dorm, or business, please email (while supplies last!)

Sarah McDaniel
Go Big Read & UW Libraries

Rebecca Skloot Goes To Johns Hopkins (soon to UW!)

Rebecca Skloot will be the guest speaker at Johns Hopkins’ First Annual Henrietta Lacks Memorial Lecture. Johns Hopkins is, as all readers of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” know, the institution where Howard Jones, Richard TeLinde and George Gey treated Henrietta Lacks in 1951. While we all can’t attend an event in Baltimore, we can surely all attend UW’s public event with Rebecca on Monday, October 25th, at the Kohl Center. All are invited- doors open at 6:00.

Chancellor’s Convocation Book Give-away

Volunteers from the UW-Madison libraries, the Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE), Housing, Enrollment Management, and the Kohl Center, as well as a number of students, gave out five thousand copies of this year’s common book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, on September 1st. As one of those volunteers, I had the pleasure of participating in a high-energy effort to put a book in the hands of each and every student attending the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students.

After the students gathered in the Kohl Center to be welcomed to campus by Chancellor Biddy Martin and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, the volunteers began an organized, yet frenzied, project to unpack hundreds of boxes with thousands of copies of the hard-cover common book with its bright orange cover. A letter from the Chancellor explaining the goals of Go Big Read and the benefits of participating in a campus and community-wide discussion around a single title was inserted in each copy and the books were stacked high on tables ready for distribution. The energy and collaborative spirit of the volunteers, clad in green t-shirts (Go Big Read volunteers) and black t-shirts (CFYE volunteers), was palpable. With just five minutes remaining before the convocation ended, all the books were unpacked, stuffed, stacked and ready to go.

Chancellor Martin talked about Go Big Read in her welcome and invited students to participate, letting them know they would receive a copy of the book for free. Then the students exited the Kohl Center in massive streams. They first grabbed a brown-bag lunch and as they headed outside for a giant picnic, we handed each student a book with a smile. They all seemed genuinely appreciative to receive the book, even with hands full of lunch and convocation programs. It was truly exciting for the volunteers to be part of making the logistical challenge of distributing thousands of books such a success.

-Carrie Kruse
Director, College Library

Photo: Jeff Miller/University Communications