Robin Scheffler - "A Contagious Cause" - James T. Sparrow

Friday, May 17, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Robin Wolfe Scheffler

Robin Wolfe Scheffler discusses A Contagious Cause: The American Hunt for Cancer Viruses and the Rise of Molecular Medicine. He will be joined in conversation by James T. Sparrow. A Q&A and signing will follow the event.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the Book: A Contagious Cause is the first book to trace the century-long hunt for a human cancer virus in America, an effort whose scale exceeded that of the Human Genome Project. The government’s campaign merged the worlds of molecular biology, public health, and military planning in the name of translating laboratory discoveries into useful medical therapies. However, its expansion into biomedical research sparked fierce conflict. Many biologists dismissed the suggestion that research should be planned and the idea of curing cancer by a vaccine or any other means as unrealistic, if not dangerous. Although the American hunt was ultimately fruitless, this effort nonetheless profoundly shaped our understanding of life at its most fundamental levels. A Contagious Cause links laboratory and legislature as has rarely been done before, creating a new chapter in the histories of science and American politics.

About the Author: Robin Wolfe Scheffler is the Leo Marx Career Development Chair in the History and Culture of Science and Technology at the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About the Interlocutor: James T. Sparrow is associate professor of history and master of the Collegiate Social Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government and Boundaries of the State in US History.

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637