Pulitzer-winner Jonathan Weiner to address bioethics at Phoenix lecture

October 20, 2004

By hammersmith

Having made a career of tracking scientists everywhere from the Galapagos Island to the borderlands of the medical frontier, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jonathan Weiner’s next destination is Phoenix, where he will be the inaugural featured speaker of the new Arizona Consortium for Medicine, Society and Values.

Weiner, whose tale of contemporary evolution, The Beak of the Finch, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995, will be in town Oct. 30-31 for a series of consortium events, headlined by his public lecture, On the Edges of Medicine, on Saturday evening, Oct. 30. Weiner will focus on the “cutting edge” medical therapies that were at the center of his latest book, His Brother’s Keeper. Additional invitational events include a public policy seminar with local scholars, clinicians and educators; a reception; and an informal student seminar on writing with his wife, author Deborah Heiligman.

Weiner is a familiar face at Arizona State University, where he was the 2000 Centennial Lecturer and a 2001 writer-in-residence as the John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at the Barrett Honors College. That spring, he taught an undergraduate honors writing seminar, Science and Literature, in which he and his students explored the intersections of science and story and the narrative inherent in all discovery.

The Arizona Consortium for Medicine, Society and Values explores the ethical, humanistic, legal, and policy facets of medicine within its larger social context. Taking its mandate to educate citizens from

Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the state’s long-term biosciences strategy, the consortium was created to help organize and combine efforts of educators and medical professionals around the state to extend the public conversation about biosciences by putting on educational and outreach programs for the community.

The Consortium’s partner agencies hope this collaboration will prompt the interaction of medical professionals, scholars, and students as it enhances community awareness of the role each partner plays in the widening biosciences landscape of Arizona. The partners include the ASU’s Center for Biology and Society and the Barrett Honors College at ASU; the Flinn Foundation; Mayo Clinic Scottsdale; the Translational Genomics Research Institute; and the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

The Consortium has several events slated for 2005, including a regional undergraduate bioethics conference at ASU in February, and the visit of another National Book Award winner, physician-writer Sherwin Nuland, who will be in residence in March in conjunction with the Barrett Honors College’s Staging of Illness course.

Weiner’s public lecture will take place Saturday, Oct. 30, from 7-9 p.m., in the Irene P. Flinn Auditorium of the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix. The event is free and open to the public. Interested parties are requested to send an email to cmsv@asu.edu to state their intentions to attend and check on seating availability.

For more information and to register:

Arizona Consortium for Medicine, Society and Values

Group brings science issues to the public,” The Arizona Republic, 10/21/2004