Emory Report

September 11, 2000

 Volume 53, No. 3

Awakenings author to appear

By Deb Hammacher

Oliver Sacks, best known to the public through Robin Williams' portrayal of him in the hit movie Awakenings, will visit Emory and deliver a lecture, "Journey into Wonder: Reflections on a Chemical Boyhood," on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium.

Awakenings told the story of Sacks' work in the 1960s using L-dopa to treat patients who were survivors of a great epidemic of sleeping sickness that swept the world from 1916-27. Many of them had spent decades like human statues, unable to initiate movement, and he achieved remarkable short-term results for some patients.

Sacks has become one of the best communicators of science to a general audience through his talks and writings. He is the author of seven books, including the best-selling collection of case histories, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. His most recent book is The Island of the Colorblind, about a community on the Pacific atoll of Pingelap.

Sacks' work as a physician and author centers on the link between body and mind, and the ways in which the whole person adapts to different neurological conditions. In 1989 he received a Guggenheim Fellow-ship for his work on the neuroanthropology of Tourette's Syndrome, and he was recently elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. For a complete biography on Sacks, go to his web site, www.oliversacks.com.

Sacks' lecture kicks off the semester of "Science in Your Life" being organized by the Emory College Program of Science and Society, a campuswide group focused on bridging the gap between science and people's everyday lives.

Future series events include:

· Oct. 4: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Michael McQuaide, medical sociologist at Oxford, will discuss alternative medicine and why people are so hungry for it now. Jones Room, Woodruff Library. To reserve lunch, contact science@emory.edu.

· Oct. 26­27: 7:30 p.m. Theater Emory presents Y2K by Arthur Kopit, winner of the 1982 Tony Award for the book of the musical Nine and author of End of the World with Symposium to Follow and several other plays. Kopit turns his skillful eye to the insidious world of identity theft. Discus-sion will follow the Oct. 26 performance with Phil Hutto of Emory's math and computer science department. Theater Laboratory, 117 Burlington Road Building. Free.

· Nov. 2­5: Kidsvision, interactive science and art festival with Atlanta-area first through fifth graders, at SciTrek Museum.

Other events will include the Women in Science Forum (co-sponsored by Hughes Science Initiatives at Emory) and the Peace and Justice Film Series (co-sponsored by Soka Gakkai International) in October. "Science, Health and Spirituality," a workshop/panel discussion with experts in the field (co-sponsored by Hughes Science Initiatives), will take place Nov. 12.

The new radio show "Science in Your Life" begins airing on WABE (90.1 FM) in October on Saturdays at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. during National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition," and Sundays at 6 p.m. following "All Things Considered." The show is a partnership between WABE and the Program in Science and Society. For more information on the program or its work, go to www.emory.edu/COLLEGE/scienceandsociety/.

For more information on the Oliver Sacks lecture, call 404-727-6639.

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