Author Harriet Washington to Speak at BGSU Firelands

Huron, Ohio – Award-winning author Harriet Washington will be the featured speaker at Bowling Green State University Firelands College on Tuesday, Oct. 25, as part of the All College Book Series.

Washington is the author of Medical Apartheid, The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the 2007 PEN Oakland Award, and the 2007 American Library Association Black Caucus Nonfiction Award. 

She has been a fellow in ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University.  As a journalist and editor, she has worked for USA Today and several other publications, been a Knight Fellow at Stanford University and has written for such academic forums as the Harvard Public Health Review and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Washington is on campus as part of BGSU Firelands’ All College Book Series.  Each year the faculty and staff select a book and strive to incorporate the lessons and content of that book into curriculum throughout the year.   This year the faculty and staff selected The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

It is the story of “a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance.”

Soon to be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a New York Times bestseller.

Washington will address students and community members during an assembly on Tuesday, October 25 at 12:30 p.m. in the BGSU Firelands Cedar Point Center Auditorium.  The event is free and open to the public.