TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2008
Caspary Auditorium | The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue (at 66th Street)
6:15 p.m. Refreshments 7 p.m. Lecture
It’s like they’re speaking two different languages. Scientists make meticulous observations and report precise results; politicians use passionate rhetoric and make fiery speeches. In the middle: a confused public who often gets neither the straight story nor good policy. Now more than ever, we need sound laws, based on sound science, to solve big problems like global warming, dwindling oil and unaffordable health care. Why is it so hard to get them? Go behind the scenes of the slanted public discussion, and hear how scientists, journalists and policymakers fight to get their stories out.
Host, The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC
Leonard Lopate, host of The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC radio, came to radio relatively late in life. Having trained as a painter, Mr. Lopate studied with leading artists including Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko, and supported his art habit by working in advertising. He was offered his first talk show in 1977, and was soon hooked on radio; what began as a whim became his life’s work. Mr. Lopate has been with WNYC since 1985, talking with politicians, scientists, poets, painters, novelists, filmmakers, actors, dancers and many others. He has received two Associated Press awards for best interview with — Jimmy Carter and with Tony Bennett — and two consecutive James Beard Awards for best radio show on food. Mr. Lopate appears regularly at the 92nd Street Y, one of New York’s most prestigious cultural venues, where he interviews celebrities and moderates his on-going panel discussion series, Comparing Notes. He has also appeared in a similar capacity at Brooklyn College, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Queens College, the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library, Columbia University, the New School, the PEN American Center, the Connecticut Forum and the French Institute Alliance Française.
Nobel Prize-winning biologist, president, The Rockefeller University
Paul Nurse became Rockefeller University’s ninth president on September 1, 2003. A Nobel Prize-winning biologist, Dr. Nurse’s research focuses on the molecular machinery that drives cell division and controls cell shape. Before coming to Rockefeller, Paul spent more than three decades as a research scientist in the United Kingdom, where he was born. As president of Rockefeller, Dr. Nurse has been an outspoken advocate for science and has called on policymakers to increase investment in basic research in order to fuel technological innovation and economic growth. He has also made numerous media appearances in an effort to improve communication between scientists and the public: He currently serves as cohost of the “Charlie Rose Science Series,” a monthly public affairs show devoted to scientific issues, on PBS. In addition to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with two other scientists in 2001, Dr. Nurse has won the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. He was also honored with knighthood in Great Britain in 1999 for services to cancer research and cell biology and received France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur, in 2000.
Emmy Award-winning science and technology reporter, CNN
Miles O’Brien is an Emmy Award-winning broadcast news veteran who serves as CNN’s chief technology and environment correspondent. An experienced instrument-rated pilot and aircraft owner, he is also the network’s space and aviation correspondent. Mr. O’Brien was the first CNN correspondent to produce a documentary on global warming, earning awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Overseas Press Club for Melting Point. He anchored CNN’s Alfred I. duPont Award- and George Foster Peabody Award-winning coverage of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, and he followed up with a series of reports probing the failures of the federal government to address the environmental consequences of extensive flood control projects in the Mississippi Delta. Most recently, Mr. O’Brien produced a documentary examining the Bush administration’s track record dealing with the environment, titled Broken Government: Scorched Earth. The program offers viewers proof that the federal government has abandoned commitments to enforce the Endangered Species and Superfund Acts, while stifling scientists who do not toe the line. Mr. O’Brien also led CNN’s coverage of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia in February 2003, reporting live for 16 consecutive hours, and has garnered numerous awards for outstanding space coverage over the years.
SUSAN F. WOOD
Former director, FDA Office of Women’s Health
Susan F. Wood served as director of the Office of Women’s Health at the United States Food and Drug Administration from 2000 until 2005, when she resigned in response to the FDA’s politically motivated decision to delay approval of over-the-counter status for emergency contraception despite the recommendation of scientific staff and advisory committees. Dr. Wood, who has a Ph.D. in biology from Boston University, has worked as a research scientist in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine neuroscience department, as science adviser and later deputy director for the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues and as director for policy and program development at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. After leaving the FDA, she became research professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where her work focuses on the use of scientific knowledge in public policy. She is also adjunct associate professor at the Women and Politics Institute of American University, and is a Katherine Hepburn Fellow at Bryn Mawr College. Dr. Wood is the recipient of numerous awards for her work.