Rebecca Skloot, an award-winning science writer and author of a current New York Times bestseller, will lecture at UGA on March 25 at 5 p.m. in Room 101 of the Miller Learning Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Skloot spent a decade working on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which was released in early February to rave reviews and currently stands third on the Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction.
In the book, she shares the story of HeLa cells, one of history’s most important research tools, and how they were originally removed from the cervix of Henrietta Lacks, an impoverished African–American woman without her knowledge or consent. Skloot’s account probes racial and ethical issues in medicine through the story of the young mother whose death from cancer led to the first immortal cell line.
A Publishers Weekly review of Skloot’s first book called it, “A remarkable debut. . . a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society’s most vulnerable people.”
The New York Times Sunday Book Review noted that Skloot “introduces us to the ‘real live woman,’ the children who survived her and the interplay of race, poverty, science and one of the most important medical discoveries of the past 100 years.”
Skloot’s articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine, Discover, Prevention, Glamour, the Columbia Journalism Review and others. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s RadioLab and PBS’ Nova ScienceNOW and is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine.
Her work has been anthologized in several collections, including The Best Food Writing and The Best Creative Nonfiction. She blogs about science, life and writing at Culture Dish, hosted by Seed Magazine.
Skloot is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle and has taught in the creative writing programs at the University of Memphis and the University of Pittsburgh. She also taught science journalism in New York University’s graduate Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.
She has an undergraduate degree in biomedical science from Colorado State University and an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from the University of Pittsburgh.
Skloot currently teaches writing workshops and gives talks on subjects ranging from bioethics to book proposals at conferences and universities nationwide. She divides her time between Memphis, New York City and Portland, Ore.
Skloot’s lecture and book signing are being sponsored by UGA’s Cancer Center, the Division of Biological Sciences, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Health and Medical Journalism Program.