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An Evening with Rebecca Skloot: An Intersection of Science & Ethics

  • DLS FBEP Skloot 20 0822

An Intersection of Science & Ethics 

Join us for a discussion with author Rebecca Skloot about the story of unraveling science and ethics, in exploring her New York Times bestselling novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

REBECCA SKLOOT has spent more than ten years doggedly uncovering the truth about the life, death, and ultimate “immortality” of a poor Black tobacco farmer named Henrietta Lacks. Her phenomenal book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has sold nearly 3 million copies to date. In The Immortal Life, Skloot tells the story of a young Black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951—and left behind an inexplicably immortal line of cells known as HeLa. Henrietta’s cells—harvested without her knowledge or consent—contributed to scientific advancements as varied as the polio vaccine, treatments for cancers and viruses, in-vitro fertilization, and the impact of space travel on human cells. Part detective story, part scientific odyssey, and part family saga, The Immortal Life raises haunting yet urgent questions about race, class, autonomy, and bioethics in America.

Her novel has spent more than four years on The New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into more than 25 languages. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was also made into an Emmy-nominated HBO film starring Oprah Winfrey as Deborah Lacks and Rose Byrne as Skloot. She has spoken widely at high schools, colleges, and professional organizations, including Johns Hopkins University, Morehouse School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, Harvard University, Yale University, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), and more. She has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including The Colbert ReportCBS Sunday Morning, and NPR programs including Fresh Air and Talk of the NationShe is the founder and president of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation, which strives to provide financial assistance to needy individuals who have made important contributions to scientific research without their knowledge or consent.

This event is brought to you by WUD Distinguished Lecture Series.


Get your ticket here.  

Note: Per WUD DLS ticketing policies, tickets will be made available to UW-Madison students first. 

Tickets will be available to the general public on February 26th, 10AM. 

Please join WUD DLS for An Evening with Rebecca Skloot: An Intersection of Science & Ethics on Wednesday, March 4th at 7:30 p.m. The doors of Shannon Hall in Memorial Union will open at 7:00 p.m. The one-hour conversation/lecture is open and FREE to both students and the public, and will end with a 30-minute Q&A.

Sign Language interpreting will be provided with CART captioning available upon request. If you need CART services to attend this event, please contact Kate Lewandowski at kate.lewandowski@wisc.edu.  For other accommodation requests (e.g. accessible seating), please contact the Distinguished Lecture Series committee at dls@union.wisc.edu. All accommodation requests should be made no less than two weeks before the event. We will attempt to fulfill requests made after this date but cannot guarantee they will be met.

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