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Lecture to explore intersections of biomedicine and emotions

April 01, 2013

The New York Times in College, ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences and the Undergraduate Student Government will host The New York Times Café at 7:30 p.m., April 9 at The Student Center @ The Post Office, 522 N. Central Ave., San Carlos multipurpose room, Phoenix. Coffee and assorted pastries will be served and is free to all ASU Sun Card holders.

“This partnership arose out of the need to bring vital current issues influencing our world and shaping our future to our students and community,” said Mirna Lattouf, series organizer. “In the process, we hope to connect business, education, media and people to strengthen dialogue and awareness.”

The Downtown Phoenix lecture, “The Emotional Life of DNA: Biomedicine in the 21st Century,” will explore the intersection of biomedicine and emotions in popular science journalism as exemplified by Amy Harmon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series, “The DNA Age.” Patrick Grzanka, Barrett, The Honors College Faculty Fellow, will lead the discussion with an introduction by his former instructor and current dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Christopher Callahan.

“We tend to think of bioscience and genetics research as what goes on in hospitals, laboratories and university research. Biomedical phenomena, such as pharmaceuticals and DNA testing, come to function as an almost invisible force, when in fact this science plays a compelling role in our everyday lives,” Grzanka said. “I specifically selected Harmon’s series because I think it helps to illuminate for students that what we’re really talking about is culture, as well as science.”

Grzanka is an Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College and affiliate faculty of the Center for Biology & Society at ASU. He earned a doctorate in American studies from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at Maryland, from which he graduated first in his class and was named the nation's top journalism graduate by the Society of Professional Journalists.

The New York Times Café was first hosted by Fort Hays University in 2004 to foster a more engaged citizenry, stimulate class discussion and debate and initiate a habit of lifelong learning.

For more information, contact Mirna Lattouf at 602-496-0638 or