Campus News

Skloot’s tour of New York Times bestseller comes to UGA

Skloot's tour of New York Times bestseller comes to UGA

Athens, Ga. – Rebecca Skloot, an award-winning sciencewriter and author of a current New York Times bestseller, will lecture at the University of Georgia on Thursday, March 25, at 5 p.m. in Room 101 of the Miller Learning Center.

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 remarkable 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. Her moving 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.

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 notedthat 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 last 100 years.”

Skloot’s articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; Prevention; Glamour; Columbia Journalism Review and others. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s RadioLab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW, and is a contributing editor atPopular 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, Oregon. And, according to her Web site, she regularly abandons city life to write in the hills of West Virginia, where she tends to find stray animals and bring them home.

Skloot’s lecture and book signing are being sponsored by the UGA 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. It is free and open to the public.

For more information about Skloot and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, see, follow her on or on the books fan page at