Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rebecca Skloot at Emory on March 29!

I have some exciting news to report today. After months of planning, I am pleased to announce that Rebecca Skloot will be visiting Emory on Monday, March 29, to discuss her bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. She'll be speaking at Emory's Cannon Chapel at 7:00 PM, with a book-signing to follow. This event is free and open to the public. We hope to draw a large crowd, so come on down!

I've had a lot of help putting this event together. Rebecca and her publicist have been great about dealing with the unique demands of a grass-roots book tour, and I appreciate their patience as I've flailed around trying to set this up. I'm also forever indebted to a fellow graduate student, David Ritchie, and to the Assistant Dean of Student Progress and Special Programs at Emory's Laney Graduate School, Dr. Virginia Shadron. VA and Dave stepped up when I came to a Graduate Student Council meeting begging for money and assistance, and they really came through for me. Also, Quinn Eastman, a science writer at Emory, tracked me down via this blog and helped organize and promote Rebecca's talk.

We're fortunate enough to have received financial and administrative support from twelve different offices and departments across the university (so far!), proving that if everyone chips in a little bit, you can make something awesome happen.

Finally, this event would not have come to be without the science blogosphere. I found out about Rebecca's book tour through her blog, and left a comment expressing interest in bringing her to Emory way back in the day. Since then, The Immortal Life... has been featured on the cover of Publisher's Weekly and praised by the likes of NPR, the New York Times, ABC World News, Oprah Magazine, and many others. It's currently #5 on the New York Times Hard Cover Best Seller list for hardcover nonfiction (and has gone as high as #2 in recent weeks!). So, I'm glad I got in on the ground floor of this tour, because the hype has totally exploded! To me, this is one more example of how web-based media provide unique communication and networking opportunities for scientists and science enthusiasts. That's something I hope to explore further in the future (I'm applying for a teaching fellowship to do this with Emory undergrads... stay tuned for an update on that later!).


  1. Way to go! Very cool of you to make it all happen. Ms. Skloot is speaking tomorrow in NYC and I am SO excited to see her. Will tell all!

  2. Excellent, Dr. Becca! She'll also be on the Colbert Report tonight. I don't have cable, so I'll have to wait for the show to go up on comedycentral.com, but I think that exposure will win her a big audience among college students for the rest of the book tour.

  3. Hi -- will books be available for purchase at the event? Thanks for organizing!

  4. Hi Anonymous - Yes, books will be available for purchase. But, I suggest picking up a copy ahead of time so you have a chance to read it before the talk (and to ensure that you have one for her to sign -- apparently they've been selling hundreds of books at all of her appearances, and booksellers just can't keep up with the demand!).