Friday, May 4, 2007

Stem Cells at 92nd St Y

Even before moving to NYC, people were raving to me about programs at the 92nd St Y. This beloved cultural center on Manhattan's East Side fosters physical, intellectual and spiritual health. The lectures and performances are top notch, and you can also work out there or take cool classes.

My first intro to the place was Stem Cell Research: The Way Forward sponsored by the NY Stem Cell Foundation. The line up was amazing and discussion rather... political. While I would have preferred a bit more yack yack on stem cell science as well as what is on the horizon, you couldn't have asked for a better line up of experts. Michael J. Fox gave the welcoming remarks. Kevin C. Eggan of Harvard & MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Nobel recipient Harold Varmus of Sloan-Kettering & NIH, NY lieutenant governor David A. Paterson, Susan L. Solomon of NY Stem Cell Foundation and renowned artist Chuck Close all spoke passionately about a number of related issues, moderated by WNYC's Leonard Lopate. Some notable remarks:

  • "Pure science is a good enough reason to do this research" - Chuck Close, who is confined to a wheelchair and realizes the science is unlikely to help him in his lifetime
  • "Jail is a hard place to get tenure from" - Kevin Eggan, who decided not to work in a state where stem cell research was illegal
  • "There are two types of elected officials: adult and embryonic" - Lt. Gov. Paterson, expressing frustration with some politicians' views on this research

Upcoming speakers at the 92nd St Y include Baryshnikov, Yoko Ono, Gloria Steinem and Al Gore. Check it out!

No comments: