The public is invited to attend three events this month at Missouri University of Science and Technology that deal with ethical issues in medical research. The events are presented as part of the university’s One Book program, which asks incoming first-year students to read the same book to provide a common experience.
This year’s One Book is New York Times bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a non-fiction work by Rebecca Skloot. The book brought attention to Henrietta Lacks, known by scientists as HeLa. Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells — taken without her knowledge in 1951 — became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization and more.
The following One Book events are free and open to the public:
- Members of the student chapter of iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machine Foundation, will give an interactive presentation titled “The Science Behind ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’” from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in St. Pat’s B of the Havener Center.
- “Whistle What Can’t Be Said: A Poetry Reading by Charlotte Matthews” will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in the Ozark Room of the Havener Center. Matthews is the Maxwell C. Weiner Distinguished Professor of Humanities at S&T.
- “Biomarker Discovery for Noninvasive Early Cancer Detection: A Challenging Project” will be presented by Dr. Yinfa Ma, Curator’s Professor of chemistry at S&T, from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the Meramec-Gasconade Room of the Havener Center.
The events are sponsored by the undergraduate studies office and the English and technical communication department at Missouri S&T. More information is available online at onebook.mst.edu.