Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement
City Council approves $2 million grant application to renovate Hilda’s Place, talks Evanston Dog Beach accessibility access
City Council expands guaranteed income program, exempts athletic fields from leaf blower ordinance
Body recovered in Lake Michigan, EPD examining identity of body
Evanston’s ‘Seeds of Change’ theme inspires unity at Fourth of July parade
Lawsuit against Pritzker School of Law alleges its hiring process discriminates against white men
Evanston Fire concludes recovery search and rescue efforts for missing swimmer after ‘exhausting’ all resources
Independent review of athletics department released, puts forth key recommendations
Advertisement
Perry: A little humility goes a long way

Brew, Hou, Leung, Pandey: On being scared to tweet and the pressure to market yourself as a student journalist

June 4, 2024

Haner: A love letter to the multimedia room

June 4, 2024

Independent review of athletics department released, puts forth key recommendations

Northwestern hosts groundbreaking ceremony at Ryan Field construction site

June 25, 2024

Derrick Gragg appointed as Northwestern’s vice president for athletic strategy, search for new athletic director begins

June 13, 2024

Advertisement

The secret (and short) lives of cicadas on campus

NU Declassified: Prof. Barbara Butts teaches leadership through stage management

Everything Evanston: Behind the boba in downtown Evanston

One Book One Northwestern author Rebecca Skloot delivers keynote speech

Award-winning science writer Rebecca Skloot delivered a keynote address Thursday to Northwestern students and faculty members, as well as area residents. She spoke to a crowd of several hundred people in a full Ryan Auditorium in the Technological Institute.

The program covered Skloot’s journey of writing this year’s One Book One Northwestern selection, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” Following her speech, Skloot held a question and answer session with the audience and signed books.

Skloot began the address by expressing her gratitude for the attention the book has received.

“A lot of writers spend a decade or so locked in their rooms working on books,” Skloot said. “I can’t thank you all enough for reading (my book) and talking about it and keeping it and the story alive.”

Skloot’s best-seller tells the story of Lacks, a black woman whose cancer cells were taken by a doctor without her consent in 1951. Since then, the cervical

cancer cells, called HeLa cells, continued to grow and have been used for scientific and medical research.

In addition to speaking about the book, 39-year old Skloot used a large portion of her lecture to talk about how she became interested in writing as a science-oriented college student.

“Writing is kind of cool,” she said. “If you can write it in a way that gets people to think, maybe they’ll do something about it.”

Skloot’s interest in Lacks’s story started before her college years. She said she first learned of Lacks as a 16-year-old in a community college biology class.

The author said one person came to mind when she was prompted to tell a story in a creative writing class about “something that everyone forgot.”

Skloot said telling Henrietta’s story took spending time with the Lacks family. Skloot specifically credits Lacks’s daughter, Deborah, with much of her persistence in regards to the project.

When Deborah agreed to let the journalist write a story about Henrietta, she had a specific request.

“No matter what I do to you, don’t let me stop you from writing this book,” Deborah told Skloot.

Weinberg senior Matthew Pilecki served as a One Book Fellow and provided input on the One Book One Northwestern program. He spoke of NU’s part in the conversation sparked by Skloot’s book.

“‘The Immortal Life’ was a really great choice because it was very adaptable so we were able to do lots of different speakers and different types of programming,” Pilecki said.

Jorona Johnson, Medill junior and ambassador for One Book One Northwestern, spoke further on the book’s wide readership.

“My friends in the science department read the book, too,” she said. “And my friend in RTVF read the book because she’s interested… to see how this can be turned into other mediums. The story is so versatile. It just is able to reach almost everyone on this campus.”

[email protected]

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
One Book One Northwestern author Rebecca Skloot delivers keynote speech