June 6, 2011

Seven MacArthur Fellows to inaugurate new speaker series

Seven recipients of MacArthur “genius” fellowships—all from the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia region—will kick off the first Johns Hopkins Medicine Distinguished Speaker Series, to be hosted on the East Baltimore campus. The theme for the event, to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. today, June 6, in the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building, is communication, particularly how creative and public intellectuals talk about and interest their peers, policymakers and the general public in their ideas and work. Neither tickets nor reservations are required to attend.

Speakers plan to discuss how the art and science of communication play an important role across their disciplines and how creative experts can engage the public and promote understanding of their interests within and beyond their fields. Event organizers launched the series, they say, to inspire lively exchange and creative collaboration by gathering the brightest minds of our society in one room for one special evening.

The participating MacArthur Fellows are Marin Alsop, conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Lisa Cooper, an internist and epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins; Ruth DeFries, an environmental geographer at the University of Maryland; Janine Jagger, an epidemiologist at the University of Virginia; Liz Lerman, a choreographer and founder of Dance Exchange; Peter Pronovost, a patient safety expert at Johns Hopkins; and Adam Riess, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins.

The panel discussion, followed by a question-and-answer session, will be chaired by Atul Nakhasi, a first-year Johns Hopkins medical student and chairperson of the series.

Joann Rodgers, a veteran science journalist and senior communications adviser to the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, is the moderator.

The event concludes with a reception.