Women's Networking Event at ScienceOnline'09

Overview | Schedule | Keynote | Sponsors | FAQ

Friday, January 16, 2009
Time: 7 - 9pm, Light food and drinks provided!
Place: Sigma Xi Center, RTP, Directions can be found here.
We've reached capacity, and registration is now closed!
Print a flyer of the event: pdf, png.

Keynote address by Rebecca Skloot:
"Women, science, and storytelling: The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks (a.k.a. HeLa), and one woman's journey from scientist to writer

WiSE is partnering with ScienceOnline'09, a national science blogging and communication conference, to host a Triangle-wide networking event for women scientists, engineers, educators, researchers, science writers, and students. This event also includes many of our local women's groups and promises to be a networking extravaganza. Following a networking reception with free light eats and drinks, there will be a presentation by our guest speaker, Rebecca Skloot, a freelance science writer, contributing editor at Popular Science, and correspondent for PBS's NOVA scienceNOW. Our goal in hosting this networking event is to bring together local women's groups to support joint efforts in community outreach and to support communication of science information and ideas to the general public.

Registration is now closed! Sorry, we've reached capacity with almost 300 registrants!

Check out who's coming! Download the participant list (.csv, right-click "Save as", openable in a spreadsheet program like Excel).

And many thanks to our many sponsors! Generous funding for this event provided by the NC Biotechnology Center, Rachel Witek, David Kroll (NC Central University), the Sigma Xi Center, Duke School of Medicine, Syngenta, Duke Graduate Student Affairs, Duke Graduate and Professional Student Council, Duke's Women's Center, UNC School of Medicine, Sigma Xi (UNC Chapter), Sigma Xi (Duke Chapter), Sigma Xi (NC State Chapter), Sigma Xi (RTP Chapter), the Duke Univ Postdoctoral Association, Celebrity Dairy, Trader Joe's, The Grove Park Inn, and the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy in the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke.


6:30 pm Doors open
7 - 8 pm Networking reception and informational booths with local women's groups
8 - 9 pm Keynote talk by Rebecca Skloot

Keynote address by Rebecca Skloot

Women, science, and storytelling: The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks (a.k.a. HeLa), and one woman's journey from scientist to writer

Award winning writer Rebecca Skloot will speak about women in science journalism, her own journey from scientist to writer, and her forthcoming book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which tells the remarkable story of HeLa -- the first immortal human cells ever grown in culture -- and the woman they came from.

In 1951, doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital took a small sample of cervical cancer from a 30-year-old African American woman named Henrietta Lacks, without her knowledge or consent. A scientist put that sample into a test tube, and though Henrietta died a few months later, her cells -- known worldwide as HeLa -- became the first immortal human cell line ever grown in culture and one of the most important tools in medicine. They were used to develop the polio vaccine and sent up in early space missions to see what would happen to human cells in zero gravity. Research on HeLa helped uncover the secrets of cancer, viruses, and the affects of the atom bomb; it helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, stem cell research and gene mapping. Today, HeLa is still bought and sold by the billions and is still the most widely used cell line in labs worldwide. But few have ever heard of Henrietta Lacks.

Henrietta's cells did wonders for science, but also had dramatic and troubling consequences for her children and husband -- an impoverished tobacco farmer with a third grade education who struggled to afford housing and healthcare, and didn't learn about the cells until 25 years after Henrietta's death. Rebecca Skloot's book traces the history of cell culture and the ethical debate surrounding research on human biological materials through the story of the HeLa cell line -- the incredible science they inspired, the researchers who made it possible, and the collision between science and Henrietta's family.


Many thanks to our many sponsors! Generous funding for this event provided by:

North Carolina Biotechnology Center
The Sigma Xi Center
Rachel Witek
David Kroll (NC Central University)
Duke Graduate Student Affairs
Duke Graduate and Professional Student Council
Duke School of Medicine
Duke's Women's Center
UNC School of Medicine
The DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy in the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke
Sigma Xi (UNC Chapter)
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
Sigma Xi (Duke Chapter)
Sigma Xi (NC State Chapter)
Sigma Xi (RTP Chapter)
Celebrity Dairy
Trader Joe's
Duke University Postdoctoral Association


Does registering for this event mean I'm registered for the conference?
No, registering for this event does NOT constitute registration for the conference. It registers you only for the Friday night networking event. To attend the conference, please register with ScienceOnline'09 directly. Yes, you can attend the networking event without attending the conference.

When I registered for the conference, I checked a box stating I planned to attend this event. Do I need to register again?
No, you are already registered! Check the participant list to make sure you're on the list. If not, just complete the registration form again.

Oh no! I thought I registered, but I don't see my name in the participant list. What should I do?
Please just try registering again. Sorry it didn't make it through the first time!

Can men come to this event too?
Yes, absolutely! Persons of any gender are welcome to attend. But please be respectful of creating a welcoming space for women and the discussion of gender issues.